One of things I was most interested in seeing at BETT last week was the new Lego WeDo 2.0 robotics kit for primary school students. Just like the older WeDo kits, the new Lego WeDo 2.0 is aimed at introducing students to robotics, engineering and coding. Designed for primary school classrooms, the WeDo 2.0 Core Set, Software and Get Started Project is a hands-on solution that ignites pupils’ curiosity, enhancing their skills in science and computing.
Unlike the old WeDo 1, which had to be tethered to the computer via a USB connection, the new WeDo 2.0 has gone wireless with a new Bluetooth Low Energy hub. This allows for greater freedom of movement as well as the ability to control things via tablets. The hub connects to a motor, as well as motion and tilt sensors. Two things can be connected at any one time for example one sensor and the motor.
The software contains building instructions for many different projects as well as a drag-and-drop interface for writing basic applications that can connect to the hub and its sensors.
The desktop and tablet supported software provides an easy-to-use programming environment that gives life to pupils’ LEGO® models. You can download the WeDo 2.0 app from the app store here.
As well as the hardware sets and software, LEGO is also offering a substantial curriculum pack which features more than 40 hours of lessons. This curriculum pack carries an additional cost. For example, students can investigate how robots explore other planets by building Milo the Rover. They can add sensors to make Milo stop when he reaches his destination.
Another project asks the students to build a model to demonstrate how pollination works, with the flying insect stopping when it passes over a Lego flower!
The basic kit comes with one control block, a tilt sensor, motion sensor and a single motor. Two of these can be connected at any one time. With just one motor attached your bot can go forwards/backwards, but if you want it to be able to turn, you’ll need add a second motor. This shouldn’t be a problem with a class set as you can combine kits, but if you only get a single kit you’ll need to be aware of that! You might want to look into buying a second motor individually.
The connectors are different to the WeDo v1 hub, motor and sensors, so you won’t be able to use those with the WeDo 2.0 hub, sadly. Any other Lego bricks you own will of course be fully compatible!
I loved playing with the Lego WeDo, and I found it very simple to get up and running. Connection was very simple indeed and it all worked 1st time with my iPad. It’s a neat bit of kit. Go take a look!
For more info, visit the Lego Education website.