Mindstorms Update!

The LEGO® Group released MINDSTORMS EV3 seven years ago. Other robotics systems came out in the interim, namely Spike Prime and Boost. However, the time has come for a MINDSTORMS update. After all, it was MINDSTORMS that started LEGO® robotics over 20 years ago. The new kit is called the MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor 5-in-1 and is set for release at some point between October 1 and December 31, 2020.

Mindstorms update box art
Image ©2020 The LEGO Group.

The official press release describes the upcoming set as follows:

The new LEGO MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor 5-in-1 model gives builders aged 10+ the power to bring one of the set’s five unique designs to life or take their own builds to the next level by programming them to walk, talk, think and do more than ever before. Kids can also code their own remote-control features for the models in the LEGO MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor app or connect their own controllers to the app using Bluetooth.

Image ©2020 The LEGO Group.

What to expect in the MINDSTORMS Update:

  • £329.99/$359.99 USD/€359.99
  • 949 bricks
  • Instructions for five unique models
  • Free coding app for Windows, MacOS, IOS, Android
  • New hub
  • Color and distance sensors
  • 4 motors
Mindstorms update
Image ©2020 The LEGO Group.

So, what makes this different from EV3? The main changes are in the hub. EV3 enthusiasts probably noticed that there was no gyro sensor listed above. The gyro sensor is built into the hub this time around along with an accelerometer. Additionally, this hub comes equipped with a 5×5 LED light matrix. Otherwise, there are six ports for motors or sensors, a micro-USB port, a speaker, and bluetooth connectivity. Interestingly, this new hub also comes with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Only the educational version of EV3 came factory sealed with a rechargeable battery pack.

Five robot designs included in the Robot Inventor set (©2020 The LEGO Group).

The app reportedly uses a similar drag and drop coding to what EV3 used. The press release states:

The app is also packed with over 50 fun coding challenges and awesome activities to help those of all abilities build coding confidence. The app uses drag-and-drop coding language based on Scratch to support those getting into coding for the first time, as well as Python for advanced coders looking for new challenges.

Check out that new Technic base plate (©2020 The LEGO Group).

Having tinkered with EV3 a fair amount over the years, this new iteration is certainly interesting. I am intrigued by the idea that this robot can be programmed to “think”. What are your thoughts on the MINDSTORMS Robot inventor? Be sure to comment below or reach out on social media.

Until next time, 

-Tom

p.s. for more LEGO® news, click here.

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