August 1 is the official release date of the 45544 LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Core set. To celebrate this fact and to show you a bit more about what you will find in this set and how it was put together, HispaBrick Magazine talked to the lead designer for this set. In case you haven’t heard of him before, let me introduce you to Lee Magpili. You may have seen some of his other creations, like VALENTINE, the red dragon that was shown at LEGOWorld Copenhagen and EV-AN the EV3 android that has been traveling along with the EV3 Education presentations to different events.
HBM: Did the models influence the choice of sensors to be included in the set, or was it the other way around? What were the considerations behind a sensor assortment so different from the retail EV3 set?
LM: We really had to go with what made sense in a classroom or educational setting here, even competitions were taken into account. Every brick, and HW piece have been chosen with that in mind. Of course the models needed to have a clever way to use them to make sense. The addition of the second touch sensor, for example, came late in the process, so it wasn’t easy or possible to include a model that had two touch sensors. Including the ultrasonic sensor instead of the IR sensor was a matter of precision. Schools, educators, robotic competitors wanted the precision of the US sensor so that made more sense to have in there. The gyro sensor was a big question in that we had to come up with a way to make it simple enough for younger students to use and understand. I think we came up with a great assortment that will add some great new functionalities to new robots students make.
HBM: A lot of open frame pieces (e.g. 64179) are used in the base set and the expansion set. How has the availability of this kind of piece influenced the design process?
LM: I personally really love the frames as building elements and use them in so many of my own models. This element has been found to make building so much easier and sturdier so we really wanted it to be a feature in our sets. Even the motor design had these elements in mind so that we could use them more efficiently.
Of course we discussed a number of other questions as well. You can read the entire interview in HispaBrick Magazine 017 which will be out in a couple of days.
In the meantime, a two part video interview with Lee has just become available on the LEGOeducationUS YouTube channel: