Mark Szpakowski's shared mems and memes... gestating chaordic bindings in the co-emerging noosphere.

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Wednesday, April 3, 2002

I've been watching how my 9-year-old son is making use of the Lego Mindstorms community and associated sites: he's self-educating himself, making use of both books and online resources. The lego robotics forums let him see what builders all over the world are constructing, complete with digital photos of construction details. He refers to these in his own building projects, always with variations due to different parts, etc.

He can go to the Lego Store and find products (using a cool cross-hairs type interface), zoom in to the actual package (front and back), zoom inside to see how the parts are packaged, and then see a structured listing of the parts, so he can understand what he'll get and how that fits into his current inventory of gears, motors, sensors, pneumatics, hydraulics, etc. Pretty inspiring!

He started out with the USB Team Challenge Pack, which includes one programmable RCX brick (3 outputs (eg., for motors) and 3 inputs (for sensors)), and the Robolab language (a visual [example] programming language co-developed by Tufts University and National Instruments and based on LabVIEW (which was used to control the Mars rover)). You beam the program to the brick by infrared.

This is education/collaboration of the future, in practice, now.
4:45:25 PM    

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