Can you still use EV3 kits for this upcoming FLL Season

Does anyone know if you can still use EV3 kits for FLL this upcoming season our school donated 5 kits to the 2 FLL teams we are starting and we don’t want to buy new spike primes, if we can still use those.

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All of the previous FLL kits are legal for FLL Challenge, including the EV3 and NXT. The only thing to be mindful of is that all curricular and team resources will be geared toward the SPIKE Prime, so whoever is using them will have to be comfortable enough to go between the two.

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Even RCX??

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Correct!

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The newer kits may have better motors and sensors, but do they let you program your robot using a cool tower thing?

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My understanding is always that you cannot do any wireless communication in the competition area, but at home or in your pit would be fine (for those following along).

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Meh… that’s the “new” IR tower. You haven’t lived unless you use the RS-232 version with the 9V battery inside.

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About 10 years ago I taught every 9th grader in the school how to program a robot using RCX and the Not-Quite-C language. We did a mini sumo competition with them. It went well and was a blast.

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On page 22 of the 2021 Robot Game Rulebook, it states “Electric LEGO equipment is allowed only as described and shown here (LEGO Education SPIKE™ Prime and MINDSTORMS® EV3 shown, but MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor and equivalent NXT and RCX are also allowed).”

The Spike Prime is not necessary to be competitive. How one uses the equipment makes much more of a difference than which brick a team uses. Have the teams work through the curriculum at ev3lessons. Be sure to have them learn how to effectively use the color sensor t follow a line. There are instructions give for building several robot chassis designs. The DroidBot 2.0 and the Compact Bot designs are far more suitable for FLL competitions than the design presented in the EV3 training materials. One can omit the ultrasonic sensor from the DroidBot 2.0 since it is rare that it is useful in competition.

The new programming languages can be used with both the Spike Prime Hub and the EV3 brick. I believe they can be downloaded here.

If you do ultimately get the Spike Prime systems, avoid using the big blue wheels they supply for the two drive wheels. Both the teams I mentored this past season experienced significant frustration due to inaccuracies in navigation that could be traced to a lack of traction. We found that they had less traction on the smooth field/mat than all the wheels with black rubber tires.

Lastly, join the FLL Challenge: Share and Learn facebook group. There are many experienced coaches/mentors who can offer help there.

The greatest difficulty with using the RCX in the FLL competition is probably finding cable assemblies for connecting the sensors and motors where the insulation has not rotted away. Almost all the techniques that the top level teams use can be adapted to the RCX.

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