No one has mentioned the Bluetooth wireless link that is missing from the educational versions! Unless someone can explain how to find this feature in the educational versions of the software, I would highly recommend buying only the retail version. While wireless is not permitted during competition it is a very valuable feature while teaching and during the program development phase. Not only can programs be very quickly downloaded without plugging in the bot, this bi-directional wireless link can also be used to read motor positions and sensor values from a live robot. For example, you can move the arm and read exact number of degrees of rotation. Then plug that value into your code and you are done. No more time wasting iterations. This can work for wheel rotations too. You can also read sensor values to determine what the robot is sensing, in real time!
I feel Lego's decision to delete this wireless feature from the educational version was a big mistake.
From: First Lego League in Virginia and DC [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Aucoin, Bill (ES)
Sent: Tuesday, October 25, 2011 1:57 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [VADCFLL-L] EXT :Re: [VADCFLL-L] LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT Books ?
Nice summary. Attached is part of a presentation that I put together. This particular slide helps summarize the same information in a matrix for easier comparison.
As you mention, the biggest differences in the kits are:
· Color sensor vs. Light Sensor
· Software license
· Single Seat
· “FLL Team License”
Below is information I sent to some friends a while back. The product number for the Resource set changed & prices went up, so the differences listed below may not be exact, but generally speaking FLL Robot set = Retail kit (8547) + Resource Set (9695) with a few differences...
The "FLL Robot Set" consists of:
LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education NXT Base Set Product ID: W979797
LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education Resource Set Product ID: W979695
LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education NXT Software
(Purchasing thru FLL provides the FLL Team license )
The retail kit (8547), which you find on the web for $250-$270, is essentially the NXT Base Set above with just a few differences as follows:
Retail kit does not come with the rechargeable battery.
Retail kit has color sensor. The Education set has just plain light sensors.
Retail kit comes with the software, but not the license for loading it on many computers as you would need in a school setting.
I think the retail kit did not have the sound sensor either??? I could be wrong.
I think the retail kit has fewer tire choices.
The retail kit does not have the red and blue plastic balls either (minor difference)
The retail set (8547) + the Education Resource Set above (9648) (~$80) is a close equivalent to the “FLL robot set” with differences listed above.
I had another rookie team question. We bought the NXT kit from Amazon this summer.
What is difference between this Kit and NXT kit supplied by FLL. Do we need to buy more parts ?
We are not competing in this years competition. As you said, we are mostly getting ready for next year.
Yes,we do plan to visit this years event.
Do you mean that you just started your team and are registered for a local tournament? Because competition is just 2 to 3 weeks away, and that's a pretty tall order. But good luck to you and your team.
If it were me and I had just started, I would not enter into this year's competition, but hold an after school program starting in January every other week, teaching them programming and then enter next fall's tournament. Definitely go to this year's event, even as a spectator, because being at the competition teaches you a lot.
As for books to teach lego to your team,. I highly recommend Educate NXT
It's the best value for your money and time. Carnegie Mellon also has an excellent series called Robotic Engineering. They started a free online class equivalent but I can't seem to find that link right now; Maybe someone else has that link.
We are new FLL team recently registered with parents as coach and mentor. We
are all new to LEGO Mindstroms NXT Constructions and Programming.
I was a thinking a good book will be a nice way to get a jump start for our team.
I see a bunch of books available in Amazon. Any suggestion ?
Thanks for your help.
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