Lego Mindstorms and SparkTruck Team Up for a Play-Maker Summer Tour

LEGO MINDSTORMS GUITARLego Mindstorms EV3 and SparkTruck have teamed up to create the ultimate maker mobile that will tour this summer to invigorate the maker spirit of children across the country. Mindstorms EV3, the new consumer platform designed to introduce a younger generation to the excitement of robotics, partners with SparkTruck, the mobile prototyping truck that began at the Stanford d.school (Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford) and was created using the principles of design thinking, to engage children with experiences and tools that can help them fulfill their greatest creative potential in an unexpected, innovative, and fun environment.

At Maker Faire Bay Area, May 18-19, the grad student-run SparkTruck will demonstrate representative workshop activities for its summer tour while the Lego Mindstorms EV3 team will unveil the first three bonus models designed by Mindstorms community members. The Mindstorms team will introduce nine additional bonus models throughout the summer and building instructions for the 12 bonus models and the original five “hero” models will be available when the platform reaches store shelves this fall.

The SparkTruck will hit the road in July and journey across the U.S. through August. Integrating robotics into the traveling “educational build-mobile” will engage new and existing enthusiasts and pave the way for more exciting creations to come. Redesigned to excite and challenge an audience that has grown up in a technology- and mobile-driven world, the EV3 platform experience can be un-tethered from the computer with new features like on-brick programming and 3-D building instructions for the five hero models that can be built out of the box. Furthermore, as children seek and are able to develop a more customized playtime, EV3 has incorporated new features to help them add more personality to their robots while exerting more control over the entire experience.

Information on this and the Institute for the Future’s other Transformative Changes for Young People at Play insights can be found at www.EV3MakerFaire.com.

When Lego Mindstorms launched in 1998, it introduced the world to the original “smart toy.” In the 15 years since, the renowned platform has driven the growth of the consumer robotics category and helped inspire the Maker Movement by encouraging hands-on play and a level of tinkering with every aspect of the set from hardware to software to the Lego elements themselves. As a result, the Lego Mindstorms community quickly grew to more than 50,000 members with more than 15,000 creations from a giant chess set to a pancake maker to a flying blimp.