Windows 8.1 and Mindstorms EV3 for STEM Education

Posted · 1 Comment

Last week, Microsoft held its first //Build/ Conference for developers just 8 months after the general availability of Windows 8. It was an incredible milestone to have another Build event so soon after the last conference. However, the upcoming Windows 8.1 update is worthy of a rapid return to our developer audience.

Windows 8.1 and Lego Mindstorms EV3

I am a huge fan of Lego Mindstorms robotics. Three years ago, I wrote about my daughter’s introduction to computer programming through robotics with the Mindstorms NXT 2.0. This fall, Lego has announced it will release the next generation of robotics with Lego Mindstorms EV3. The good news is that Windows 8.1 will be ready to deliver some clever, advanced programming experiences with Lego’s latest robotics offering.

At Build, Antoine LeBlond, Corporate VP, Microsoft demonstrated a EV3.0 series robot outfitting with a Windows 8.1 tablet during his keynote. Antoine took the magic further when he showcased the Lego robot being wirelessly controlled by a second Windows 8.1 tablet via Wi-Fi Direct built into Windows 8.

Windows 8.1 with Lego MindstormsEV3 and WiFi Direct

By using a full Windows 8.1 PC with a USB port, the Lego Mindstorm robot is capable of much more than basic commands. The short demonstration also highlighted remote viewing of the webcam from the control tablet to the robot screen–creating a robotic avatar of Antoine with live streaming video. I cannot wait to see the exploration and filmmaking that students start to produce with these new capabilities from Lego and Windows.

Windows 8.1 with Lego Mindstorms EV3 WiFi Direct and Webcam video

 

Fall 2013 will be an exciting time for students and teachers using a Windows 8 device as a creative canvas to teach English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science. What do you will be able to build, create, synthesize with Windows 8?