Maaboo35

LEGO Mindstorms to be discontinued

Recommended Posts

I am truly heartbroken. This was my childhood! Mindstorms gave me a golden childhood. Nothing will ever be as magical as the time I built my first mindstorms NXT robot when I was 6 years old. All day every day, I would either build robots or watch mindstorms videos on YouTube. I was also fascinated with LEGO Mindstorms segways, and built some by Laurens Valk and HiTechnic. This came out of the blue. I did not expect this at all! I would like to address a common misconception. Lego was NOT abandoning the mindstorms line. Sure, in the days of the EV3, it seemed like it with complete silence and lack of updates. However, ever since the release of the 51515 set, we have been getting software updates VERY often. Fans such as myself were even given the opportunity to work directly together with the mindstorms design team.

On August 1st of this year, LEGO has released a new mindstorms app update, one containing many new fan designed official models, including my very own creation, Neptunian. It seemed like everything was perfect, and that mindstorms would still stay strong for many years to come. And not only that, remember that they announced mindstorms machine learning very recently! That obviously took a lot of time to develop and because of all these things, this announcement genuinely SHOCKED me.
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sad to hear. Sales will obviously be a large part of the motivation, but I can't help thinking that Lego have dug their own hole with so many distinct but overlapping "build/code" themes and products. To my mind, Mindstorms - EV3 in particular - was the one that I found the most intuitive and feature-dense.

The specific mention of Spike Prime (amongst other avenues) does have me worried slightly. In our education establishment, we've avoided Spike Prime, Boost, etc. exactly because our students find it far too limiting. If Lego commit to expanding the functionality then it may work out, but the way they (and Powered Up) have been handled so far makes me sceptical.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm saddened by this news, but not entirely surprised. 

I can think of many reasons why this has happened but the first that comes to mind is that as Powered Up has entered the mainstream, and Mindstorms hasn't evolved dramatically, a situation has arisen where there's not much that Mindstorms can do that Powered Up can't.

I don't see this as all bad - hopefully it's a step towards a more organised Lego electronics ecosystem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, ord said:

is that as Powered Up has entered the mainstream, and Mindstorms hasn't evolved dramatically

I disagree, the whole point of the new mindstorms was to build on and improve the powered up system. Mindstorms brought some of that insanity into the world of technic and powered up! Furthermore, it’s not just that, but it’s the community of mindstorms that was truly awesome. In the mid 2000s, Steve Hassenplug was a member of the mindstorms users panel. He suggested a new technic piece, nicknamed the hassenpin. And guess what? It was actually made by the official LEGO company. Look up what the hassenpin is! Today, it is a crucial component of every technic creation!

I was also working very closely with the design team. They are truly the kindest people and they were ALWAYS open to suggestions from fans like myself. Sadly with the discontinuation of mindstorms, this level of 1-1 community interaction will be gone. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, ord said:

I can think of many reasons why this has happened but the first that comes to mind is that as Powered Up has entered the mainstream, and Mindstorms hasn't evolved dramatically, a situation has arisen where there's not much that Mindstorms can do that Powered Up can't.

In a lot of ways that's true. The base Technic hub is so overpowered for its (Bricklink) price in terms of programmability, that for a lot of people, like me, Mindstorms just didn't make sense from a cost standpoint. Of course, software is likely going to be the limiting thing here, but PyBricks looks really cool for that.

That said, this is really surprising and disappointing! I always thought that Mindstorms was one of Lego's core product lines, and never really expected it to die out!

I don't think we've reached a point where Lego robotics is going to become prohibitively hard to do, but I think dropping the Mindstorms line is going to drop the awareness of these possibilities for non-hardcore fans.

On the other hand, it would be really cool if Lego decided to make SPIKE PRIME more widely available to fans, since it's always had more interesting hardware anyways. Honestly, as long as I've got access to sensors with the standard plug format, I think I'll be happy, but it's still too bad overall.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know some people care a lot about "purity" of their builds, but when dealing with robotics, is it really that heretic to have custom electronics? I have one Mindstorms set, the NXT2.0, and I could not get used to the drag-and-drop-interface. I much rather have a text-based programming environment...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dang... what a sad news!

I was more quite tempted to get one #51515, but was waiting to see it a good price: I guess I should buy it right now, especially since Lego is the only shop who is selling it in France as of now?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well. Mixed, very mixed feelings here ...

1998 not only ended my dark ages by literally blowing away any blinds from the many LEGO windows, that I had in my head since 1965; it beamed me back into creativity world. It was the RCX1.0 that finally made it come true, what I always wanted to do with LEGO: Sense, think, act. The Scout and MicroScout completed that line, along with NQC (and BricxCC) and RobotC. For me that is.

It was always 3rd party software though - and hardly any of TLGs "attempts" in this regard. In my opinion, they always - well - basically failed, when it came to "operating" software, IDE's and so on. Not their firmware(s), but this is again close to the hardware. And to be honest: The hardware was always nice. RCX, NXT, EV3 ... really cool. I don't have an EV3; simply because I still have not figured out, what an NXT can't accomplish - and RCX' are my workhorses. As are Scouts. Yes, the phasing out of these product lines kills many things - but there are still beyond-hope-nerds out there, and I certainly do count myself in.

So EV3's did not make it here - CFO Ms. Toastie was a lot of help in this regard. As she was with Spike - to be honest, I completely lost the naming at that stage - and tried PUp. And with PyBricks (again third party software), Mindstorms was deemed to be phased out, as now PUp "hubs" essentially replace PBricks. Yes, there are differences. But adding, for example, memory is next to nothing on the hardware side. So far, with TLG's apps, PUp was "just" remotely controlled stuff using bidirectional communication between hub and smart device. With PyBricks, PUp hubs become autonomous. Why use PBricks???

I am shocked that the Mindstorms program is dying. It changed a lot in my life. But hey, that's nostalgia, because ...

... the Mindstorms idea lives on - and hopefully will do so - in PUp hubs or whatever the marketing folks at TLG headquarters come up with for the next line of electronics, when they change all the plugs, and make all the new devices incompatible to PUp. I got used to this, when they made the NXT - and after decades, 9V cables became essentially incompatible (yes, there were adapter cables, but hey, I was close to call it quits on the hobby. I felt betrayed :pir_laugh2:).

Goodbye, Mindstorms. And thanks for all the fish.

And: Tipping hat, a very, very deep bow - to all the people in the Mindstorms developer team: You made VERY BIG CHANGES in the LEGO universe. 

Here is to you :pir-huzzah2:

Sincerely,
Thorsten

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh this just really sucks. And it the Brickset article it says:

Quote

"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.

The app will be discontinued in 2024 also! I guess you can still use the SPIKE app but it doesnt have the remote control functions!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, many fond memories of the Mindstorms community back before YouTube and Eurobricks... 

800x496.jpghttps://web.archive.org/web/20030206014846/http://mindstorms.lego.com/eng/inventions/

6 hours ago, 2GodBDGlory said:

The base Technic hub is so overpowered for its (Bricklink) price in terms of programmability, that for a lot of people, like me, Mindstorms just didn't make sense from a cost standpoint. Of course, software is likely going to be the limiting thing here, but PyBricks looks really cool for that.

Exactly! I see the Technic hub as basically a Mindstorms hub without the name - and for so much cheaper, which makes it accessible to more people. It is compatible with the Mindstorms sensors through Pybricks and hopefully now it will become compatible with them through the Powered Up app too.

Goodbye Mindstorms :wub:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, whitepen said:

Oh this just really sucks. And it the Brickset article it says:

The app will be discontinued in 2024 also! I guess you can still use the SPIKE app but it doesnt have the remote control functions!

Also machine learning and tons of cool function which spike app don't have. I think TLG need to keep it's software even set itself is discontinued. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, ord said:

Exactly! I see the Technic hub as basically a Mindstorms hub without the name - and for so much cheaper, which makes it accessible to more people. It is compatible with the Mindstorms sensors through Pybricks and hopefully now it will become compatible with them through the Powered Up app too.

Yeah, that's why I'm not devastated by this. My main worry is whether or not those Mindstorms sensors or an equivalent will actually remain available to hobbyists at reasonable prices, I'm not worried about supplies of hubs and motors from Technic sets, but if the only application for sensors is educational stuff (and maybe Boost; I'm not sure if that's still in production), they could become expensive and hard to find.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m pretty sad about this.  I really like the PoweredUp ecosystem, particularly when using the RI or Spike Prime hubs. The hardware is great and the software is bad but has been steadily improving and is certainly usable now.  I’ve made it a point to use the Mindstorms software for all of my creations because I thought it was more accessible than something like PyBricks.  I want other people to be able to build and program the things I publish on Rebrickable.  The Spike Prime software does not have the features I need.  Now it seems like there is no platform to build on that is accessible by everyone.

I wonder if the logistical hassles related to shipping rechargeable batteries has anything to do with this?  Lego Education charges way more for shipping and is probably more tolerant of these sorts of issues.  TLG may be trying to streamline their main business.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, JaBaCaDaBra said:

Looks like the decision was made on Ark B

Sounds pretty much so.

Also explains a lot; telephone sanitizers and management consultants are usually not that good at writing software - well, that's what I heard :pir-wink:

Best,
Thorsten

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hope it won't affect the FIRST LEGO League too much! Maybe wishful thinking, but they could come out with a new platform that combines all the smart hubs for more powerful users including education.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to wonder what's next.

I can't see them abandoning programmable Lego platform aimed for the consumer market, and C+ just isn't a replacement for Mindstorms with it's lack of rechargeable battery and only 4 ports. So there must be something new in the works.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, howitzer said:

abandoning programmable Lego platform aimed for the consumer market

You know, back then we DID things with our hands and minds while nowadays kids are addicted to their phone.

We soldered our own cristal radio, wrote our own programs on early computers, (even expanded my VIC-20 with 64 Dynamic ram wich was not possible but worked fine)
Almost electrocuted by radio tubes and high voltage.. ouch.
Creating and exploring, learning, (including smoking circuits and exploding caps) and on we went.

Youth now thinks they're technicians when they manage to connect there WII to the television.
Creative? No, giving up at first attemp, Yes.
Sales of programmable sets. Zilch.

Edited by JaBaCaDaBra

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, JaBaCaDaBra said:

 

You sound like a bitter old person haha. Some kids are still tinkering with stuff just like you described.

2 hours ago, howitzer said:

I have to wonder what's next.

I can't see them abandoning programmable Lego platform aimed for the consumer market, and C+ just isn't a replacement for Mindstorms with it's lack of rechargeable battery and only 4 ports. So there must be something new in the works.

Maybe they saw all the third party stuff and decided others can do it better. That gives room to focus on other aspects, like bringing Lego-creations to life without all the technical know-how.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, Lira_Bricks said:

bitter old person

More sad,
It's getting lesser and lesser all the time with education.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, JaBaCaDaBra said:

You know, back then we DID things with our hands and minds while nowadays kids are addicted to their phone.

We soldered our own cristal radio, wrote our own programs on early computers, (even expanded my VIC-20 with 64 Dynamic ram wich was not possible but worked fine)
Almost electrocuted by radio tubes and high voltage.. ouch.
Creating and exploring, learning, (including smoking circuits and exploding caps) and on we went.

Youth now thinks they're technicians when they manage to connect there WII to the television.
Creative? No, giving up at first attemp, Yes.
Sales of programmable sets. Zilch.

Some did, yes, and some do this kind of tinkering now as well. Still, vast majority of the kids (and adults) then and now prefer easy to use stuff that just works rather than delving deeply into technical know-how and getting themselves electrocuted in the process.

On the other hand, I bet there are much larger proportion of youth today who can do at least some computer programming than there was in the heydey of VIC-20 and C64. Learning is much more accessible and convenient today, thanks to stuff like Mindstorms and numerous other similar toys and stuff.

2 hours ago, Lira_Bricks said:

Maybe they saw all the third party stuff and decided others can do it better. That gives room to focus on other aspects, like bringing Lego-creations to life without all the technical know-how.

Maybe, but I doubt that. Either way, only future will tell.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's really unfortunate for me because I've never had the opportunity to get into it. I wasn't able to afford them when I was single and had time to do it. Now that I can afford it, I don't have the time to learn a whole new thing because I have young kids. I'd always hoped I'd be able to get into Mindstorms with my son when he's older. I assumed some incarnation of it would always be around. I guess if we're just doing small projects, we could buy used stuff. This is really unfortunate. I don't like the direction the company is going these days (on so many different levels!).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, jodawill said:

It's really unfortunate for me because I've never had the opportunity to get into it. I wasn't able to afford them when I was single and had time to do it. Now that I can afford it, I don't have the time to learn a whole new thing because I have young kids. I'd always hoped I'd be able to get into Mindstorms with my son when he's older. I assumed some incarnation of it would always be around. I guess if we're just doing small projects, we could buy used stuff. This is really unfortunate. I don't like the direction the company is going these days (on so many different levels!).

Yeah i feel like the only good sets for me are Speed Champions, and even those are getting worse

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.