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The 2015 National Robotics Competition



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What does EV3 stand for?
This is the third generation of the LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education platform, and the “EV” stands for evolution. 
What is an Intelligent EV3 Brick?
The EV3 Brick is a programmable intelligent Brick that controls motors and sensors as well as provides wireless communication (Wi-Fi and Bluetooth®). 
What comes in the LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Core Set?
- A sturdy storage box and sorting tray for easy classroom management 
- Building instructions 
- Rechargeable battery 
- Ball wheel 
- Connecter cables 
- USB cable 
- LEGO Technic Elements: 541 pieces 
- Three motors and five sensors 
- One EV3 Brick 
- Two Large Motors 
- One Medium Motor 
- Two Touch Sensors 
- One Color Sensor 
- One Ultrasonic Sensor 
- One Gyro Sensor 
 
Will all the model builds be available as PDFs?
 Yes.
Where will teachers find the BI for Expansion Set models?
 Inside the EV3 Software: in the Lobby area. 
What new EV3 Software updates have been made?
 There are many new features and improvements from NXT to EV3 Software. Some of the more noticeable are: 
 
> Lobby
- New full screen Lobby to navigate through the content provided by LEGO Education, third parties, and, making sure the teaching objective is in focus. 
 
> Content Editor 
- Content is editable directly inside the environment, enabling customization of existing projects or creation of new ones from scratch. 
- The Content Editor provides a digital workbook for students, where they can capture their work by inserting text, images, videos, and sound, creating their own digital workbook. 
 
> Tighter integration between the EV3 Brick and the programming environment 
- The hardware page enables monitoring of the status and values measured by all the hardware elements. 
- Hardware elements are automatically recognized thanks to Auto ID. 
- Bluetooth configuration is facilitated by the USB-to-Bluetooth features. 
 
> Debugging features are now part of the programming environment 
- Execution highlight 
- Programming blocks will display a warning symbol if expected hardware by the programming block is different from the detected hardware by Auto ID. 
- Probes enable seeing the values go through the data wires. 
 
> New programming blocks’ possibilities 
- Simple strip programming by snapping blocks together (no need to use the beam anymore). 
- Block parameters are configured directly on blocks. 
- Read the program sequence directly on blocks. 
- Improved sequence wires facilitate showing the structure of the program and create parallel execution. 
- “Wait for change” has been added to easily create robots that behave according to change in the environment, as opposed to waiting for the threshold, which only works by comparing measured values. 
- Data wires are improved and data casting has been added to simplify data type conversion. 
- Arrays integrated in the standard blocks. 
- Loop Interruption is now possible, enabling the creation of advanced state control mechanisms. 
 
> Datalogging 
- Oscilloscope Mode enables live monitoring of the sensors to prepare experiments and validate setup. 
- Dataset calculation is integrated, enabling analysis of the data coming from the sensors. 
- Graph programming added; this feature enables users to create zones in the graph that will make the robot react in the physical world based on the data in the graph. 
 
In what languages is the LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Software available?
 US English 
British English 
Danish 
Norwegian 
Swedish 
German 
French 
Spanish 
Italian 
Portuguese 
Dutch 
Korean 
Japanese 
Chinese 
Russian 
Arabic 
Can you use EV3 Software on both a Macintosh and PC?
 The EV3 Software can be used on both Macintosh and PC platforms to program LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Bricks. 
How do I update the EV3 Software?
Under Help at the top menu bar of the EV3 Software, you can enable the EV3 Software to automatically check for updates. By clicking Check for Software Updates, a check mark will appear and the EV3 Software will regularly check for updates. (This requires an Internet connection.) If a relevant update is available, you will be notified by the EV3 Software. If you wish to install the EV3 Software update, you will be taken to a website where you can download the update file. Once downloaded, you can install the update. 
What programming platforms can you use with LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Bricks?
Besides the EV3 Software, you can use also LabVIEW and RobotC. EV3 Software is an open-source platform, and, therefore, we anticipate the MINDSTORMS community to develop additional languages such as JAVA.
Is there EV3 Brick Programming?
 Yes. We have continued and improved the EV3 Brick Programming App with the LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Brick. Students can easily program basic tasks on the EV3 Brick and also conduct basic Datalogging. All of the EV3 Brick Programs can be uploaded into the LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Software for continued and advanced work. 
Can I program retail MINDSTORMS Hardware with my LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Software and vice versa?
Yes. In theory, it is possible. However, in reality, it is difficult since the two products differ significantly. The retail software version does not include all of the programming blocks needed for the education hardware, and it does not include Datalogging or the teacher version of the Content Editor. Also, it is not possible to utilize the Robot Educator Learning Tool together with the retail set as it is not possible to build the Robot Educator model.
Will there be tools to create my own Software Programming Blocks for LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Software?
Yes. For most users, the tool is called MyBlocks and is already available inside the standard EV3 Software. For people creating their own hardware, a software developer kit will be made available. 
Can I program the LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Brick using NXT Software?
 No. It is not possible to program your EV3 Brick with the NXT Software. 
What is the longest length of the program for onboard programming?
Sixteen blocks (excluding the Start and Loop Block). 
Will there be a pdf which shows how to program both on brick and computer?
There will be a pdf User Guide which will give a short introduction to the EV3 Brick Programming App on the EV3 Brick and describe how to make a program there. For EV3 Software Programming, there will be two Quick Start videos in the Lobby which will introduce the user to programming. In addition, there will be a large number of Robot Educator Tutorials teaching how to program in the EV3 Software. 
Is there a print function for the programming?
Yes.
Can one take a screenshot of the whole program?
Yes, in the Print settings, you can choose to print the entire view (all of the program(s)) or just the part of the program visible on the screen. Also, you can zoom out so that the entire program will fit within the screen. 
What is new about Datalogging?
Based on educator feedback, LEGO Education knew how important it was for the Datalogging functionality to be robust for technology and science classes moving forward. Therefore, we have created a whole new Datalogging environment, which is included in the education version of the LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Software. The capabilities include: 
 
> Datalogging 
- Live Datalogging via the USB cable (view Live Graphs) 
- Remote live Datalogging via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi (view Live Graphs) 
- Autonomous Datalogging: Log data on the EV3 Brick and upload to the EV3 Software. 
- EV3 Brick Programming Datalogging: Set up and execute Datalogging directly on the EV3 Brick. 
- Oscilloscope Mode: View sensor data as soon as connected. 
 
> Analysis 
- Prediction Tool: Draw or make predictions. 
- Inverse proportionality 
- Exponential 
- Sine 
- Cosine 
- Basic analysis tools: Point Analysis 
- Advanced analysis tools: Section Analysis 
- Mean 
- Median 
- Standard deviation 
- Curve fit 
- Easily export data to spreadsheets 
 
> Dataset calculation 
- Unique calculator interface that allows you to make calculations to datasets 
- Type in formulas 
- From Rotational counts via Speed to Acceleration 
 
> Graph Programming 
- Unique new LEGO Education feature 
- Execute actions based on data readings 
- Set thresholds for experiments to play sound or start motors when threshold is reached 
 
The onboard Datalogging program: Can this be autoscaled?
The graph area in the EV3 Brick Datalog App will automatically adjust to the (full) scale of the sensor used (e.g., 0–250 for the Ultrasonic Sensor, 0–100 for the Color Sensor). It will not autoscale within this range, e.g., in case the sensor readings are only giving low values. 


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How many sensors are there in the LEGO® MINDSTORMS Education Base Set (9797)?
2 touch, 1 light, 1 sound, and 1 ultrasonic
What is a servo motor?
An electric motor whose speed or position is controlled by a closed loop feedback circuit that can sense its position. The speed of the motor is measured by a tachometer. The tachometer produces a voltage that is proportional to the speed. This voltage is compared to a reference point and the difference, or error, is used to adjust the speed of the motor, either up or down.
Is the new light sensor better than the LMFS legacy light sensor?
Not really. The only functional difference is that the new light sensor has a hole for an axel in the moving part.
Is the new touch sensor better than the LMFS legacy touch sensor?
Not really. The only functional difference is that the new touch sensor has a hole for an axel in the moving part.
What are converter cables used for?
The converter cables make it possible to connect lamps to the NXT brick. In addition, it also allows LMfS legacy sensors and motors to be connected to the NXT brick.
Why has LEGO changed the building system for the new product (from traditional SYSTEM bricks to TECHNIC beams)?
The TECHNIC building system is ideal for fast and sturdy building of 3D models which is why this is has become the preferred building system for LEGO® MINDSTORMS.
How easy will it be to use SYSTEM bricks from existing sets with TECHNIC building system?
It will be fairly simple, though it will take some practice. By having a larger number of SYSTEM bricks in the 9797 Base Set, that also are used in the building instructions, LEGO® Education will proactively support this possibility.
Is the rechargeable battery as powerful as 6 x AA batteries?
Not quite. The rechargeable battery will deliver the same max output but the durability is slightly lower. However, this is compensated for by utilizing the power better than standard AA batteries.
What is the charge time and conditions for the rechargeable battery?
Being a lithium battery is can be charged in small chunks without damaging the battery. The full charge time for a flat battery is approx. 4 hours using the existing charger (9833). The battery cannot be damaged by overcharging.
What is Robot Educator?
By use of 39 animated tutorials, Robot Educator will take the user through all areas of the programming software step-by-step. Each tutorial consists of a Challenge Brief, Building Guide, and Programming Guide. The in-build progression makes it possible for the teacher to focus on selected areas/functions that match student capabilities and curriculum needs. Robot Educator can also be used as a help function. When activated (i.e. not hidden), Robot Educator takes up 1/3 of the screen (on the right hand side), but can be zoomed to take up the entire screen when using the building guide.
Is the LEGO® MINDSTORMS Education NXT software compatible with Macintosh computers?
Yes, the software is delivered with both a pc and Mac version. 
What languages is the LEGO® MINDSTORMS Education NXT software available in?
In 2006, the software will be distributed in English, German, French, Dutch, and Japanese. In 2007, further 8 language versions will be launched including Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Chinese, and Russian.
Does MINDSTORMS NXT 1.0 run on Windows Vista?
Yes, Windows Vista can run applications that were designed for Windows XP. In some instances, the user may need administrator privileges for MINDSTORMS 1.0 to operate correctly. A new version of the MINDSTORMS NXT Software built for Windows Vista will be available in the summer of 2007.
How do I get help with Windows Vista and the MINDSTORMS NXT 1.0 software?
Technical support will not be provided for Windows Vista and version 1.0 of the NXT software at this point.
Does MINDSTORMS NXT 1.0 run natively on Intel-based Mac systems?
No, MINDSTORMS NXT 1.0 currently runs in emulation mode on Intel-based Macs. A new version of the MINDSTORMS NXT Software that runs natively on an Intel-based Mac will be available in the summer of 2007.
What is Bluetooth?
Bluetooth is a technical industry standard of short-range radio technology that facilitates communication between wireless devices. The communication occurs between wireless devices such as mobile phones, PDAs (personal digital assistants), or handheld computers and wireless enabled laptops, desktop computers, or peripherals. Once the connection between two devices is established (and approved) no third device can easily interfere. Bluetooth communication does not require eye of sight and can have a range up to 30 meters.
What can Bluetooth in the NXT brick be used for?
Bluetooth enables the NXT brick to communicate wireless to all devices with Bluetooth capabilities, e.g. computers, other NXT bricks, mobile phones, and PDAs. Exclusive to the LEGO® MINDSTORMS Education NXT software, Bluetooth also enables the computer to communicate wireless to several NXT bricks at the same time (classroom management). With Bluetooth, two or more NXT bricks can exchange programs and sound files, and a NXT can be remote controlled by a mobile phone.
How far can Bluetooth in the NXT brick reach?
Up to 10 meters as a minimum, but it is very likely to have longer reach.
Is it possible to safeguard the NXT brick from being "hacked" by others using Bluetooth communication (e.g. during competitions)?
Yes. The NXT brick can operate with "invisible" Bluetooth which means that it can communicate only with selected devices while no other devices will be able to "see" it. Alternatively, Bluetooth on the NXT brick can be switched off completely.
Why use a USB cable to connect the NXT brick to the computer when there is Bluetooth communication?
The USB cable ensures a fast and easy-to-use connection between the NXT and computer that does not require any Bluetooth capabilities in the computer. Furthermore, the USB cable must be used when downloading firmware to the NXT brick.


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