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LEGO Mindstorms is back with the EV3…

August 30th, 2013 by Marc Comments

LEGO is always the frontrunner with creative toys and not just for kids…

And now they are back with their Mindstorms line and the EV3… the what? Well, check out what exactly the EV3 can do below and keep scrolling for the history of Mindstorms and some images of the newest addition to the family. Just awesome stuff…


An overview of 15 years of consumer robotics the LEGO way

LEGO® MINDSTORMS™ EV3 is a new consumer robotics platform designed to introduce a younger generation to the excitement of building, programming and playing with robots while expanding the flexibility for its devoted following of robotics enthusiasts.

Enhanced technologies and smart device integration provide endless opportunities for LEGO builders ages 10 and older to create and command their own robots. Improved modular design makes it easy to build and program a robot in 20 minutes; from there EV3 is more hackable than ever.

LEGO Group assembled a multinational team of product designers, technologists and enthusiasts to evolve the MINDSTORMS platform. Over a period of three years, the platform’s hardware and software were re-imagined while a core team of 12 user-enthusiasts tested the platform limits and co-developed models, applications and an expanded hacking environment.

EV3 Intelligent Brick

 Stronger and faster ARM9 robotic processor

 Embedded 16MB FLASH memory

 64 MB RAM plus SD expansion slot

 LINUX operating system, released under open source

 USB 2.0 interface allows for WiFi connectivity

 4 input ports / 4 output ports allow up to four intelligent bricks to be connected together

 Matrix display with loudspeaker

 Building-compatible button interface with status indication

 Enhanced on-brick programming

 Bluetooth ® v2.1

 iOS and Android compatible


 3 Interactive Servo Motors: 2 large and 1 medium

 2 Touch Sensors

 New IR Seeker Sensor measures distance, movements and detects objects

 New IR Beacon remotely controls robot from up to 6 feet away

 Improved Color Sensor detects 6 colors plus the absence of color

 Backwards-compatible with LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT

 Assortment of 594 LEGO TECHNIC® elements for easy, more stable building with improved functionality and movement capabilities

Programming Software

 Downloadable software is PC and Mac compatible

 Icon-based drag and drop environment for “building” programs with new interactive content that helps de-bug programming

 Ability to zoom out on bigger programs facilitates creation of parallel executions, arrays and other advanced concepts




An overview of 15 years of consumer robotics the LEGO way

Since its introduction in 1998, the LEGO® MINDSTORMS™ build and program robotics toolset has become the best-selling product in The LEGO Group’s history. Garnering worldwide acclaim, the Robotics Invention System™ fueled the imaginations and satisfied the inner tinkerer of generations of LEGO and robotics enthusiasts alike, leading to the development of a global community of users and students of all ages over the last 15 years who create and command robots the LEGO way.

1980: LEGO Educational Products Department established.

1984: LEGO Group owner Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen contacted Dr. Seymour Papert after seeing a television program about him and his Logo programming language. The two agreed to meet.

1986: The first-computer controlled LEGO products are released.

1988: Collaboration between the LEGO Group and Massachusetts Institute of Technology begins on development of an “intelligent brick” that will bring LEGO creations to life via computer programming.

1989: Dr. Seymour Papert, of Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Development Laboratory of Computer Learning becomes “LEGO Professor of Learning Research.”

November 1997: The first LEGO MINDSTORMS Learning Center opens at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. Children age eight and up are guided through a process of building and controlling robotic inventions.

January 1998: The LEGO MINDSTORMS RCX Intelligent Brick and Robotics Invention System are unveiled to the press at The Museum of Modern Art in London.

February 1998: News of LEGO MINDSTORMS amplifies during presentations at Toy Fairs in Nürnberg, London and New York.

Winter 1998: LEGO MINDSTORMS RCX for education and ROBOLAB software are introduced.

July 1998: RoboTour™ ’98 launches from the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, kicking-off a two-month, 30-city odyssey across America in search of learning about and seeing everything robotic.

September 1998: The Robotics Invention System is launched simultaneously in the United States and the United Kingdom. Two expansion sets – RoboSports and Extreme Creatures – also are available.

Fall 1998: According to Businessweek, LEGO MINDSTORMS is banned in the Silicon Valley during work hours because employee tinkering with robots is cutting into workday productivity.

November 1998: LEGO Group owner, Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, and famed inventor, Dean Kamen of FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) partner to launch FIRST LEGO League, a robotics competition for middle school students introducing LEGO MINDSTORMS sets to regional competitions. A pilot tournament is held at the Museum of Science & Industry in Chicago with 200 student teams.

December 1, 1998: Robotics Invention System 1.0 sells out before the Christmas rush.

January 1999: Recognizing the power of the unintended adult hacker audience that the Robotics Invention System activated, The LEGO Group makes an historical decision to encourage hackers of its software platform to explore the depths of possibility of the new toolkit.

February 1999: The Robotics Discovery Set™, a derivative of the Robotics Invention System allowing users to program right on the smart brick instead of through the computer, and the Droid Developer Kit™, a pre-programmed, constructible robot kit, are unveiled at the American International Toy Fair in New York.

Summer 1999: Carnegie-Mellon University’s Robotics Academy in Pittsburgh runs Summer Robocamp to teach problem solving, teamwork, and engineering concepts in collaboration with LEGO Education.

September 1999: The Robotics Discovery Set, Ultimate Accessory Set, Droid Developer Kit and the Robotics Invention System 1.5 are released in the United States. The Droid Developer Kit and the Robotics Invention System 1.5 are released in Europe and Asia, and The Robotics Discovery Set and the Robotics Invention System 1.5 are launched in the United Kingdom.

September 1999: RoboTour ‘99™ Europe launches.

February 2000: The Robotics Invention System 2.0, Dark Side Developer Kit™ (a pre-programmed, remote controlled constructible robot), Vision Command System™ (a PC camera expansion kit for the RIS) and Exploration Mars™ (themed robot challenges, building instructions and games for the RIS) expansion set are unveiled at the American International Toy Fair in New York.

September 2000: The Ultimate Builders Set is released.

December 2000-January 2001: The Robotics Invention System 2.0 is released in Japan.

September 2001: The Robotics Invention System 2.0, Dark Side Developer Kit and Vision Command System are released in the United States.

September2002: SpyBotics, a spy gaming-oriented series of remote controlled and programmable robots, are released in the United States.

April 2005: First-ever FIRST LEGO League World Championship is held in Atlanta, GA.

January 2006: The next generation of LEGO MINDSTORMS robotics is unveiled at the International Consumer Electronics Show. In addition to new product and platform features, the introduction was a breakthrough as a proof point for a new LEGO strategy around lead-user innovation leveraged to create the platform, ushering in a new company commitment to co-creation that is applied across its global portfolio of products.

January 2006: At the launch of NXT, Carnegie Mellon creates 18 weeks of curriculum for schools, Robotics Engineering I and II. Science, technology, engineering, and math are addressed in the curriculum and teach students programming basics.

May 2006: The premiere FIRST LEGO League Open European Championship is held in Eindhoven, Netherlands.

August 2006: LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT launches in the United States; international availability follows.

April 2007: FIRST LEGO League exceeds 100,000 participants for the first time.

Spring 2008: Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy introduces ROBOTC, a C-based programming software developed for use with LEGO MINDSTORMS. The software is accompanied by curriculum.

April 2008: The first-ever FIRST LEGO League Open Asian Championship is held in Tokyo.

May 2008: LEGO MINDSTORMS is inducted to the Carnegie Mellon University Robot Hall of Fame.

August 2009: The LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT 2.0 platform iteration is released.

Spring 2011: LEGO Education introduces the Green City Challenge Activity Pack. This pack gives students the opportunity to solve real-world problems dealing with energy.

December 2012: FIRST LEGO League expands to include more than 20,000 teams in over 70 countries.

January 2013: The 15th anniversary of LEGO MINDSTORMS is celebrated and the next generation platform – LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 – is unveiled at the International Consumer Electronics Show.

Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….