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LEGO Announces GNU/LInux-Powered Mindstorms EV3 Platform 164

First time accepted submitter Barryke writes "Today LEGO announces the new mohawk (NASA's turf) sporting MINDSTORMS EV3 platform (press release). And with details on its features and innards (in Dutch) which in short comes down to: 'Its intelligent brick sports an ARM9-soc running Linux on 64MB RAM and 16MB storage memory, and supports SD cards. There are also four ports, which allow four other 'Bricks' can be connected. The intelligent brick can be reached by WiFi, USB and Bluetooth, and supports control via Android and iOS devices. It comes with 3 servo's, two touch sensors and an IR sensor to track other robots at upto six meters. It also includes 17 build plans, shown in 3D using Adobe Inventor Publisher.'"
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LEGO Announces GNU/LInux-Powered Mindstorms EV3 Platform

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  • From the two English articles, I see a Linux kernel. I don't see any evidence that the user space on top of it is GNU. More likely is BusyBox/Linux.
  • by tibit ( 1762298 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @12:27AM (#42514731)

    Try molding those bricks like they do and see how inexpensive that is :)

  • by IVI4573R ( 614125 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @12:27AM (#42514733) Homepage
    What he said. They sue people distributing their code without source. For instance, Linksys routers. If it wasn't for them standing up for their copyright and the GPL we wouldn't have all the nice alternate firmwares like DD-WRT, Tomato, etc. I've never hear of Busybox ever suing an end user.
  • Re:Wait... what? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by aedil ( 68993 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @12:40AM (#42514823)

    It would actually make quite a lot of sense for a custom system where the control software (essentially the OS) is provided in the srtorage component (16MB), and things like actual programs are loaded into RAM. Since typically (as far as I recall) mindstorm programs are loaded into the brick at runtime, it makes perfect sense that no storage is used for this, other than perhaps a ramdisk.

  • by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @02:49AM (#42515471) Journal

    We know Apple could sell the iPhone cheaper because Apple makes massive profits. Does Lego make massive profits? No, in fact before it re-invented itself, it was like Apple in serious trouble of going the way of Meccano. Which still exists but only as a perversion of its former self.

    People often seem to think all there is to a product is its physical production. THAT is easy, although Lego is a bit more accurate in its production then most plastic factories, it can be easily replicated to produce a machine to produce simple bricks. BUT that is NOT Lego. Lego is ALL the models, which in box form have often to be in stores for a year or more before hopefully being sold, constantly having to keep up with trends like hot movies because the OLD business model of outdated non-current models wasn't working. And developing Mindstorms wouldn't have been cheap either.

    Lego suffers from the high cost of mass production of an INSANE number of parts that all have to be combined, they can't just let one machine run indefinite pushing out one type of brick, it is lots of different pieces in lots of colors that all have to come together in production runs from which only tiny amounts are sent out and the rest has to be stored.

    It is a logistacal nightmare and quite different from how other plastic producers like say plastic bottles work, most plastic bottles arrive at the bottling plant in granular form, one machine makes a test tube and another blows it up JUST before it is filled in an constant single item production run. THAT is cheap. Lego's method is not. In fact, lego's method of selling LOTS and LOTS of different models is EXACTLY what Apple is NOT doing. Even Samsung isn't. If Lego was a phone maker, there would be 2000 current models, ALL of them with instructions how alter them completely, combine them and turn them into complex robots.

    That is why Lego is expensive. Look at their profits, there is no excessive fat there. You can make cheap clones of a few boxes of lego easily but the entire product range? No. Proof? NOBODY ELSE IS DOING IT! Oh you can buy 1 or 2 lego like models from China but NOT the constantly updated catalog lego catalog. You PAY for that.

  • by dbc ( 135354 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @04:01AM (#42515765)

    Three words for you: Do The Math.

    I'm pretty sure you have no idea what it takes to create a mold for injection molding. I have made molds and shot plastic. Crappy molds, because I'm an amateur machinist, but I have shot ABS in molds I made myself using a 20 ton Morgan Press manual injection molding machine, and taught others how to do it. Come back and tell me "it's just plastic" after you have made a mold in hardened tool steel, with tolerances spec'ed in hundreths of millimeters, and a high-polish surface specification, and shot millions of parts while keeping the dimensions and surface finish within spec. You can show me your math then. Until then, stop talking out of your ass.

Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. -- F.M. Hubbard