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7 Reasons Why Lego Mindstorms Is The Perfect Toy

By Edited Oct 20, 2015 0 0

Lego Mindstorms NXT 2.0 is a robot construction kit. Lego has ingeniously designed the Mindstorms kits to be easy for kids at age 10 to understand, but have enough depth that adults can build complex projects as well. Both schools and homes are discovering the fantastic learning and fun potential Lego Mindstorms offers as kids build robots that can walk, wheel, and scoot around the house, see and avoid objects, listen and responding to audio instructions, pick up and touch objects, and more.

  1. Right Brain Creativity. Since Lego Mindstorms is about building robots, Lego guides you through two engineering disciplines, mechanical engineering and computer programming. Designing and putting the physical robot together engages the right side of your brain as you touch and manipulate the physical pieces of the robot. Right brain activities such as imagination, spatial perception, and experimentation all come into play during robot construction.

    Lego Mindstorms Robot
  2. Left Brain Logic. After your robot is physically constructed, you bring it to live by programming the robot's brain through software. This activates the left side of the brain as you carefully write the instructions for the robot using logic and math. You must be focused and detailed orientated to make sure your robot behaves as you intend, further strengthening the left side of the brain. Building and programming a creation gives you holistic, practical learning and experience.

  3. Intuitive. Lego has created their own programming language that is easy to learn and understand. You drag and drop squares on your computer to write a program that controls what your robot senses and does. Writing a program is almost like playing with Legos, snapping together different objects. There are books about Mindstorms in Amazon to help you learn and give you ideas. This book is my favorite because it has lots of examples and is very easy to read.

    Scorpion Robot Build with Lego Mindstorms
  4. Compatible with other Lego products. Many of the Legos you current have can be used with Mindstorms. There are areas on the Mindstorm parts that you can snap Legos bricks, Lego minifigures, and Lego decorations. Pull down all your old Legos and embellish your Mindstorm creations with all your favorite Legos from the past.

  5. Grows with you. Since software is easily changed, you are only limited by your creativity. You might build a robot car that can avoid walls today, but as you learn more and more, you will discover and understand how to do more and more complicated things. An adult friend built a MindStorm robot car with a video camera that wirelessly connected to the internet. People could go to a webpage and see through the robot's eyes and steer the robot, from anywhere in the world.

  6. Safe. Mindstorm is build with kids in mind. The parts are strong and the electronics have safeties build-in such that they are extremely difficult to break or burn out. It's no problem if you try something that doesn't work. You can experiment without worrying about frying a motor or circuit because you made a mistake.

    Crane Robot
  7. Fun. Despite the fantastic learning and growing that Lego Mindstorms encourages, don't overlook the most important aspect of any toy. Lego has always been about fun and Lego Mindstorms is totally fun. You can build your own toys, and these are toys are smarter than any toy you can buy, depending on how you program it. One of the things my son has built is a robot gun turret that shoots a foam dart. The turret turns back and forth, scanning for a target. When it detects an object within 10 feet, it announces “Missile Lock” and fires a foam bullet at the target. My son tells me it makes him feel powerful and in control to bring something to life that he created.

 Obviously I think very highly of Lego Mindstorms as an education, skill building toy. But it's not only for kids, adults can have a great time building robots, as well. The set is more expensive than an ordianry set of of Legos, but for these reasons and more, it's totally worth it.

 

For more details about Lego Mindstorms, please checkout my other articles here:


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