Lego to discontinue Mindstorms robot line at the end of 2022

Shawn Knight

Posts: 14,582   +174
Staff member
The big picture: Lego has announced plans to shut down its Mindstorms line of programmable robotics following a 24-year run. Mindstorms debuted in September 1998 as an educational tool for children but the product quickly developed a following among adult hobbyists and hackers. The unexpected backing reportedly convinced the Lego team that they had a winner on their hands and to continue to invest in the product line.

We have seen some pretty incredible creations incorporating Lego Mindstorms over the years. A recent example and arguably one of the most impressive was this fully functional pinball machine made entirely out of Lego bricks.

The build featured more than 15,000 individual bricks and packed three Mindstorms NXT "brain" bricks used to control an array of servo motors as well as light, color and ultrasonic sensors. It took upwards of 300 hours to design, build and program and used no glue or screws.

Lego shared the Mindstorms news exclusively with fan sites. The announcement still isn't posted on Lego's website but has since been shared with other publications including tech sites.

Lego said because it now has several education and Build & Code experiences, it decided to move the Mindstorms team to other areas of the business. As such, current Mindstorms robot products and related elements will be discontinued at the end of 2022. The digital platform supporting Mindstorms, like the robot inventor app, will remain active until at least the end of 2024, we're told.

Lego added that it will continue to hang on to the Mindstorms trademark, leaving open the possibility of a relaunch at a later date. After the line reaches end-of-life status, Lego will support the Build & Code endeavor through its Spike Prime Set. Spike is similar to Mindstorms but exclusively targets the education sector instead of mainstream retail channels.

The Mindstorms Robot Inventor set (# 51515) is listed for $359.99 on Lego's website but is currently out of stock. It's unclear if it will return before the end of the year, meaning the only way you might be able to acquire a kit is through local retail or from a third-party like eBay, Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.

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stewi0001

Posts: 2,794   +2,588
Looking at the reviews on Lego's website, I would say that the more serious Mindstorm users were disappointed with this last iteration compared to the EV3.
 

alainw1977

Posts: 6   +10
Oh, we all know corporations are crap, but somehow they still have the urge to confirm that again and again...
 

ScottSoapbox

Posts: 446   +810
I guess raspberry pi creations were drawing away most of their customers?

I can't see this happening if they were still selling lots of product.

 

Dr Roboto

Posts: 64   +156
Profit over education :(

I know mindstorm was not the most popular Lego product. It's clearly a niche area. However, there really is nothing out there with both the simplicity and "kid friendliness" of lego. The raspberry pi kits are not bad, but do not have the flexibility of mindstorm. I have an older EV3 set for my kids. They have only used it a handful of times, but I personally think they are pretty cool. I would have loved to have them when I was younger. Does everything really have to be about profit when it comes to kids and STEM?