It's been 22 years since Lego first got into the business of selling the robotic Mindstorms range, but it's also been seven years since the release of the last bot system - the EV 3. But now Lego is coming back with a new system called the Robot Inventor 5-in-1.
As the name suggests it's five robots in one set, each of which can be remotely controlled from the Mindstorms Robot Inventor app. Yes, another Lego app for controlling stuff, because apparently they can't be rolled together. But the app is full of coding challenges to help people build confidence with a Scratch-based drag-and-drop language, while more advanced coders can jump straight into using Python.
Of course the more coding you learn, the more you're going to be able to do with the kit itself. And once you get to the right point, you can use the app to programme your own remote-control features.
The five bots included are:
- Blast – this master robot is a stoic action hero. It can fire or hammer its way through obstacles and grab items. Builders can be the ultimate commanders, programming it to scan its environment and fire darts if it senses danger. Perfect for guarding your room!
- Charlie – this quirky sidekick helper can give out high fives, dance, play the drums, deliver small gifts, and charm friends with its smile.
- Tricky – the sporty bot is the ultimate athlete. Code it to complete the perfect slam dunk or master a plethora of robot sports: basketball, bowling or soccer – the list goes on and on.
- Gelo – a real life four-legged robot. Its unique mechanism means it can walk, avoid obstacles, and even perform tricks.
- M.V.P. – The Modular Vehicle Platform gets the job done. Create and code your own remote control and build the M.V.P. into a buggy, a crane, a shooter turret or even a brick-eating truck to pick up LEGO bricks left by the other robots.
The 5-in-1 set has 949 pieces, including elements like an intelligent hub with 6 input and output ports, sensors for colour and distance, microUSB support, a speaker, new angular-motors, and other new unique Lego pieces.
It's due for release this Autumn, and is going to cost you £330, which is a lot – but then again it is an actual robot.