The fantastical robotic creations you design and build with Lego Mindstorms are free to explore the world you release them into, so why should you be stuck behind a computer when it comes to programming them?
First announced back in September, the Lego Mindstorms EV3 Programming App is finally available for both iOS and Android tablets today. One of the most useful updates to the original Lego Mindstorms set when NXT 2.0 came out was the inclusion of Bluetooth. Mindstorms EV3 further improved that wireless functionality with the addition of wifi as well, but to program its ARM9 processor-powered EV3 brick still required you to sit at a computer or a laptop with the desktop software, and hop back and forth between your bot as you build and perfect it.
With the new Mindstorms EV3 Programming App, aspiring roboticists can tweak the code that powers their creations wherever they happen to be building them. However, the mobile version of the visual programming environment does come with a big limitation. It actually only includes 11 of the most popular programming ‘blocks’ from the Mindstorms desktop software’s library.
So it’s probably best to think of the app as a tool for roughing out the functionality of a Lego robot as it’s being built, or as the perfect way for younger kids to hone their programming skills. But for experienced builders needing more advanced programming, users will have to save their program and then open it in the Lego Mindstorms desktop software to have access to all of the available commands and programming blocks. [Lego Mindstorms EV3 Programming App]