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If your child is fascinated with all things robot, or totally bored with their Star Wars LEGO kits, you don’t want to miss the fantastic Mindstorms LEGO kit series. If you’re not already in the know, LEGO Mindstorms contain software and hardware to create customizable robots that can be programmed. The kit may contain an intelligent computer that controls the Mindstorms, a set of sensors and motors, and Lego Technic parts to create the robot.

Lego Mindstorms NXT or EV3?

LEGO Mindstorms NXT has three servo motor, a light/sound/distance sensor, and one to two touch sensors depending on the model. The main process is an ARM7 microcontroller. The LEGO Mindstorms EV3 has a powerful ARM9 CPU running Linux as the main processor. It has a USB connector and a micro SD slot (up to 32GB). The NXT sensors can be used with the EV3 line, and it can boot an alternative operating system from the microSD card. In fact, all the NXT components including sensors, motors, and building elements, work with the EV3 models. EV3 sensors do not work with the NXT, but the EV3 motors are cross compatible. There are also smaller, educational versions of the Mindstorms products, as well as expansion sets which can be purchased separately. If both the educational and the expansion sets are purchased, the NXT model allows for most of the retail version of the robots to be built. However, this is not the case with the EV3 version.

Some significant robots have been created with the LEGO Mindstorms. A 13 year old boy in California created a Braille printing robot, named Braigo, for his school science fair. As a typical Braille printer starts at $2,500 and the Braigo costs around $460, this is a significant achievement - cheap, silent, and lightweight. The Braigo has won dozens of awards and the boy’s mother has opened a company to begin manufacturing the printer. The opportunities for your child are endless with a LEGO Mindstorms kit, or really any LEGO complete set or kit, so check out the range right here on eBay and your child could be the next budding entrepreneur to take over the world!

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