At the FIRST Championships in Houston this past April, Lego Education debuted their new robot kit called Spike Prime. This is essentially the 4th evolution of Lego’s popular Mindstorms robot system. According to Lego personnel at the event, the kit targeted solely to the education market which makes sense as I imagine that’s where most Mindstorms sales originate from. The kit has a number of new features, but here are the highlights…
New controller that can includes a rechargeable battery, 6-axis gyro, and 6 ports that can be used for a mix of input (sensors) and output (motors) devices. The controller also includes improved mounting points
Two new motors that have a new and significantly improved form factor which allows for more mounting options. The motors also include higher precision encoders.
New large wheels with integrated SOLID silicone tires. One of the drawbacks of the usual Lego wheels is that they were very consistent in how they contacted the drive surface. We are really looking forward to using these wheels
New roller balls that are larger (less sloppy) and roll smoother than the original steel balls.
11 new Lego elements (pieces) that will be REALLY useful.
New cables. The kit uses new cables that are not compatible with the older Mindstorms kits. This was a bit of a disappointment as it means older EV3 and NXT devices cannot be used with Spike.
New programming language. Spike uses a completely new (for Lego) programming language called Scratch. We’ve never used it, but we hope to learn more about it over the summer.
The new Spike Prime will be sold online via the Lego Education site for around $330, with shipments starting in August. Click here to learn more from Lego Education.