3 April 2019

LEGO® Education SPIKE™ Prime: New Elements

Yesterday LEGO Education announced SPIKE Prime, the newest product in the LEGO Education hands-on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) learning portfolio. They tell us that SPIKE Prime brings together LEGO bricks, a programmable, multi-port Hub, sensors and motors all powered by the SPIKE app based on the Scratch coding language.

© LEGO Group
Of particular interest for New Elementary is that SPIKE™ Prime also brings new elements and we have been playing 'spot the new element' in some of the images and videos released by LEGO as part of their announcement yesterday.

As well as the 3x3 frame 'Biscuit' we discussed on two previous posts earlier this week (Part 1, Part 2) we have found a few more but have listed the Design IDs for those that we know.

© LEGO Group
Connector Beam 1x3x3 (Design ID 39793) is available in Bright Reddish Violet [TLG]/ Magenta [BL] (Element ID 6252656) and Black (6265644)

© LEGO Group
A new Bright Yellow [TLG]/Yellow [BL] Technic Base Frame 11x19 (39369)
© LEGO Group
Two Technic frames Bright Reddish Violet 7x13 (39794)  and Medium Azur 11x15 (39790).

© LEGO Group
New Technic wheels with a Black inner Technic hub and Medium Azur rubber tyre, in two sizes.

© LEGO Group
The smaller is Wheel 57 x 14 with 4 Spokes with Integral Medium Azur Tyre (39367) and the larger wheel has Design ID 49295.
© LEGO Group
© Anderson Harayashiki Moreira
A ball and castor joint with a H-shaped liftarm (39370)

© LEGO Group
A new 'wire clip' element (49283).

© LEGO Group
Available in a range of colours Medium Azur,  Bright Reddish Violet, Bright Yellow, Bright Red, Dark Green and Bright Blue.
A new 2x4 Brick with cross axle hole (39789) that appears in 5 different colours.

© LEGO Group
© LEGO Group
Also at least one new Technic gear (thanks Saabfan) Technic Gear 28 Tooth Double Bevel (46372)



Of course there is also the new LEGO® Technic™ Large Hub (Design ID 45601) for SPIKE.

© LEGO Group
and a range of new motors and sensors including the LEGO® Technic™ Large Angular Motor (45602).
© LEGO Group









Finally we have some of the builds used as examples of the builds that can be created using the SPIKE Prime set.  Let us know if you can spot any other new elements or new colours for existing moulds in the comments.




READ MORE:  MORE ON THE 3X3 TECHNIC BEAM


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Products mentioned in this post were kindly supplied by the LEGO Group. All content represents the opinions of New Elementary authors and not the LEGO Group. All text and images are © New Elementary unless otherwise attributed.

31 comments:

  1. It looks like we get also a new type of "Steering Ball Joint Large Receptacle".
    A new variant of Design ID 92911.
    This time kind of an hybrid with H-shaped liftarm (Design ID 14720)

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  2. Hot dang, that's an impressive array of new parts. Reminds me a lot of the VEX IQ robotics stuff. Just a lot more colorful.

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  3. There also seem to be two wheel sizes- I really like the extra connection points on the bigger one.

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    1. Yes I could not find a good photo of both as yet but I will keep looking thanks :-)

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  4. If the 3x3 is a biscuit then that giant yellow piece is a slice of toast.

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    1. Or probably a waffle with all those holes.

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    2. Waffle is commonly associated with the old Samsonite plates that look _exactly_ like a Belgian waffle from the underside. These remind me of a type of cracker, but I can't remember the name. I'm assuming "biscuit" references the British definition of the word (in the US, it'd be "cookie"), and that further it might reference a specific UK brand, since nobody is going to mistake these for Oreos.

      Whatever people end up calling them, it makes sense to stick with a single term for both, since there's a good chance that they'll end up making these in intermediate sizes at some point.

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  5. Looks like 32526 3x5 liftarm now comes in Medium Azure too, and it's already on B&P, element-id 6173003.

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  6. I thought I spotted a new curved beam, but zooming in I can see that it's that inverted quarter gear (24121). The new gear looks a bit like a double-bevel gear, and a bit not like one. The teeth look a bit beefier, but with 28 teeth it would neatly plug the gap in the existing run of 12, 20, and 36. The wire clips are _way_ overdue, and hopefully they'll work with the full spectrum of LEGO wires

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  7. I zoomed and counted the yellow Techic baseplate as being 11x19, not 11x15.

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  8. I like the fact that this is a Technic system with a lot more color. Hope there'll be some more basic Technic parts produced in similar pastel colors etc. from now on.

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    1. Yes I agree, I would love a more colourful range of Technic parts.

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  9. Replies
    1. At the moment SPIKE Prime is only available for pre-order in the US, shipping 01 Aug.
      LEGO® Education SPIKE Prime $329.95
      LEGO® Education SPIKE™ Prime Expansion Set $99.95
      LEGO® Technic™ Large Hub $247.95
      LEGO® Technic™ Large Angular Motor $34.95

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    2. Oh gosh, that’s a bit expensive. Mindstorms and Boost all over again.

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    3. I mean, considering the amount of extra testing any sort of electronic toy (particularly a programmable one) has to go through to avoid safety or quality defects, a high price is pretty much to be expected. It's the same reason that motorized LEGO train sets have been so expensive for pretty much their entire history (as far back as https://brickset.com/sets/116-2/Deluxe-Motorized-Train-Set, which cost the equivalent of about $150 in today's money for just 360 pieces), and that LEGO ended up LOSING money on stuff like the monorail sets, fiber optic system, and Technic micro-motor. The profit margins on this sort of stuff aren't as high as a lot of people would like to imagine…

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    4. Besides the cost of getting UL approval, and whatever other similar hoops they have to jump through, there's also just the fact that the electronic stuff costs more to make. The 9v track is much more expensive to make than the RC/PF track. For the latter they just spit parts out of the machine, but for the 9v track they had to stamp the sheet metal bits, and then they had to crimp them to the top of the ABS rails. So, added cost because the sheet metal costs more than the volume of plastic they added when they switched to RC, they had to make extra tools just to handle the sheet metal, and they had to add several steps to the entire process. Honestly, a lot of us thought it was the cost reduction in making the parts that got them to drop 9v, but more recently I've heard there's a European Union law that bars you from selling anything as a toy if it plugs into the wall (to be fair, their electrical system is incredibly unsafe, and grabbing a frayed wire is likely to kill you rather than hyper-exercising every muscle in your entire body at the same time).

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    5. "to be fair, their electrical system is incredibly unsafe" Are you saying the electrical system of the entire EU is incredibly unsafe??

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    6. Yes, absolutely, 100%. We use 220-240v to power big appliances like fridges, stoves, and HVAC in residential, and you can even get lighting fixtures that use the same for commercial/industrial use, but for general purpose outlets it's all 110-120v. The higher voltage power runs far more efficiently, so power bills can be significantly reduced by making the switch to higher voltage, which is why much of the world went that route. However, 120v is generally considered survivable. You take a hit from a live wire when swapping out an outlet, and it's most likely just going to be a learning experience. Do the same thing in Europe, and you'll probably die.

      Of course, some problems are universal. Living creatures (like people) are most vulnerable to the 50-60Hz range. The US uses 60Hz, and the rest of the world pretty much uses 50Hz. So, pretty much framing the most dangerous range of frequencies there.

      Then there's grounding. From what I understand, Europe in general has been fairly slow to adopt grounded outlets, where the only non-grounded standard outlet I know of in my entire condo is built into the side of a porcelain ceiling socket in my basement, and was probably installed over 50 years ago.

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  10. I could have used one of the Technic bread boards in the past. I am very happy to see this part.

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  11. For historical reasons, US seem to mostly follow a 120V, 60 Hz standard, where EU follows a 230V, 50 Hz standard. Although I'm not an electrician, so I'm not sure of the practical differences between the standards.

    I rarely hear about electrical incidents here in Europe, however. Earthed sockets have also become increasingly more common.

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    1. The higher the voltage, the less power loss is lower, and apparently the big sell in Europe was that even though they had previously established 120v as the industry standard, they were able to recoup the cost of replacing everything pretty quickly with the savings recouped on power transfer. Given what I know of electrical systems, I'd guess that the reduced power loss _may_ reduce the risk of starting a fire with 230v over 120v. Maybe.

      The downside is 230v is far more likely to kill you than 120v if you take a jolt. Double the voltage, quadruple the power. I've actually taken a sustained hit from 120v (I had a college roommate who got a little...creative with his wiring projects), and I'm clearly not dead. I'm pretty sure I would have started the building on fire with my corpse if it'd been 230v.

      Anyways, grounded sockets are only half of the equation. They don't really do much if whatever you plug into them is not grounded. Granted, we have a ton of non-grounded electrical devices over here, too (some even have polarized plugs so they'll only plug in with one orientation the same way as a grounded plug, but lacking the ground wire).

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    2. That should be "the power loss is lower". Anyways, I've been reading up on the situation of Notre Dame, partly because of this discussion combined with the recent fire. It sounds like government ownership is ultimately responsible for the fire. Back before the 1900's, France was still a Roman Catholic nation, but in 1904 the Vatican chastised two of France's bishops, and they terminated their relationship for the next 16 years. In the meantime, they passed a weird separation of church and state law in 1905, resulting in all cathedrals as existed at that time being owned by the French government, and all lesser churches being owned by the relevant local governments (any future buildings would be owned by their respective organizations with no government involvement), while religious organizations were afforded free use of the facilities going forward. Due to the separation law, it sounds like France is unwilling to charge admission to Notre Dame because it would be seen as restricting access to the free exercise of religion when newer houses of worship had no admission requirements. They also weren't willing to flood the building with the level of money required to keep it in top shape, as the 1905 law has already been accused of creating government sponsorship of Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, and Judaism when any religions that came to France after 1905 are responsible for 100% of the upkeep on their houses of worship while places like Notre Dame are government-funded.

      France also self-insures these buildings, meaning they don't actually hold insurance policies on them, but merely pay out of pocket when an insurance claim could be made (the exception being that, if a contractor is found to be at fault, the contractor's insurance would have to cover the loss). Insurance adjusters have a vested interest in not paying out claims, and thus will impose requirements regarding the regular upkeep of the structure to make sure that they don't get stuck with a massive bill due to owner negligence. And owner negligence there has been in spades. By all accounts, the public areas were kept in very good condition, but once you got past locked doors you'd find that the rest of the structure was a mess. Plaster was crumbling and simply left where it fell, in one instance I read about a wall that was being propped up by a metal grate, and in another I read about one that was braced up by loose timbers. Policy is that when the restoration crew was done for the night, they'd have to unplug everything from the walls and turn over the key to the circuit breakers to a member of the clergy. The power would then be shut off and the circuit box would be locked until the work crews returned. They have gone on record as saying that exact procedure was followed the night of the fire.

      So, lightning strikes can obviously be ruled out as it would be all over the news. Intentional arson has been suggested, and can't be ruled out until they can do a thorough investigation of where the fire started. But my guess is the inadequate upkeep somehow compromised the electrical system. Reports of the fire started about an hour after the crews left that night. If it started out with just a bit of something smoldering, it could easily take an hour for anyone on the ground to notice a full blaze going.

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    3. That old construction was very prone to fire, I heard. I read somewhere that all the wooden beams basically made the building into a giant tinderbox.

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    4. Well, yeah, but they could have added a fire suppression system. They didn't. They could have invested more money in keeping the structure in good shape. They didn't. If they had power run to the area where the fire broke out rather than having the workers run extension cords all the way back to the lower levels of the building, it's possible the wiring is old enough that it should have been replaced before the insulation deteriorated too much. Or maybe part of the structure broke loose and landed on the wiring, damaging it enough that it could start a fire. Maybe they'll be able to track down the source, or maybe it will have been obliterated by the fire and subsequent collapse of the roof.

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  12. Weren't we discussing the new elements coming in SPIKE Prime?

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  13. Does anybody know the part number for the new 28 tooth gear? Any evidence of other new gears?

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