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Young robot-builders will be guided by 3D instructions

14 February, 2013

Autodesk, the company behind AutoCAD, has joined forces with Lego to provide 3D interactive building instructions for a new generation of Lego’s Mindstorms robot-assembly kits, due to be released later this year. 

The Mindstorms EV3 kits are designed to introduce children to the excitement of building and programming robots. As well as Lego bricks, they include parts such as motors, infrared sensors and programmable microcomputers that allow children to create robots that walk, move and perform other programmed actions.

Users will be able to build five different robots, including a humanoid that shoots mini-spheres as it walks, a scorpion-like robot that searches for an IR beacon bug, and a robotic snake that slithers, shakes and strikes.

The interactive building instructions – based Autodesk’s Inventor Publisher technology – will offer an alternative to traditional instructions, allowing robot-builders to view how the components fit together, making it easier for them to build even the most sophisticated robot. They can interact with the Lego bricks at each step of the building process, stopping the animated display to zoom in on a part or rotate it to see exactly how it fits. The instructions will be accessible via apps for iOS or Android mobile devices, or via the Web.

“By teaming up with Autodesk, we’re delivering a new spin on our hallmark, nonverbal, step-by-step building instructions by providing powerful 3D interactive technology that enhances the Lego Mindstorms experience for today’s tech-literate generation of children,” says Camilla Bottke, Lego’s project leader for the kits.

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