The Sun Sets on Mindstorms

The LEGO® Group announced this morning that Mindstorms is retiring at the end of the year. As of 2023, the theme will be no more. Launched in September 1998, Mindstorms had quite a run. Almost a quarter of a century to be precise. However, even as the sun sets on Mindstorms, the build-and-code experience lives on through LEGO® Education products like Spike Prime. Interestingly, the Spike firmware connects to the Mindstorms hub for those who already have the latter. Additionally, the LEGO® Group will continue to support the Mindstorms software through 2024. In their official statement, the LEGO® Group explains:

Since its launch in September 1998, LEGO MINDSTORMS has been one of the core ‘Build & Code’ experiences in the company’s portfolio, carrying with it significant brand equity and becoming a stand-out experience for the early days of consumer robotics and leading to current Build & Code experiences such as SPIKE Prime, from LEGO Education’s LEGO Learning System.

However, now having a number of priorities in LEGO Education and other Build & Code experiences, we have decided to focus our resources and future plans by redirecting our MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor team and their expertise into different areas of the business.

This means the physical MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor product (51515) and its related elements (88016 and 88018) are to exit our portfolio from the end of 2022, whilst digital platforms – such as the LEGO MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor App – will remain live until at least the end of 2024.

While I cannot say that I ever used the newer Robot Inventor, I do own the older EV3 kit. Back when I worked in education, I used the kits extensively with students. I purchased a kit for myself to learn the ins and outs so I could teach others. Designing robots was great fun. I imagine many schools will need to update their LEGO® robotics collections now since Mindstorms will be completely obsolete by the end of 2024. For those migrating to Spike Prime, LEGO® Education already offers a great STEM program tied to the launch of the NASA Artemis program. As the sun sets on Mindstorms, are you sad to see it go? Let us know in the comments below or reach out on social media.

Until next time,

-Tom

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