We all want our kids to be successful in this world in one way or another. It is even better if our children are encouraged to get out in the world and get an education that is inspiring and helpful to others. And that is exactly how Lego is changing the world.
With the Lego Mindstorms series, children are exposed to how robotics work at a young age, allowing children to see software and hardware, complete with a customizable and programmable robot kit. Since the Mindstorms kits are for ages 8 and up, your kids really can get started sooner rather than later on their imaginations and experimenting with how robotics works, changing their worlds for the better and formulating their own futures.
What are the Lego Mindstorms?
Lego Mindstorms are literally robot kits that you can buy for your children. I mean, you don’t have to be a child to enjoy building a robot or even purchasing the kits, but it is pretty awesome that there are these kinds of options for children to use. Funnily enough, the Mindstorms Robotics Invention System kit was the brain child of the MIT Media Lab. So you know that it is legit.
The Mindstorms kits are sold to be an educational and creative tool, in a collaboration between MIT and Lego. There is even a non-consumer based educational version of the products called Lego Mindstorms for Schools, which was developed by Tufts University. They also allow that the software can be swapped for something else if they want to, allowing the robot system to be completely customizable and versatile. If you know anything about playing with Legos, you will know that while they give you the layouts to build different structures, they also encourage you to be completely creative with it and create things on your own. Lego Mindstorms really is not any different that the regular plastic Legos that we have been playing with forever. The only difference is the fact that you are building an operational robot and not just a plastic castle to be raided by plastic knights (though that is also pretty cool).
The programming language that is used with the Lego Mindstorms are:
RCX Code: This is the in the version that you buy in the toy store. It is the commercial robot language for the robot toys.
ROBOLAB: This is also a specific Lego programming language. The language is used for the educational version of Lego Mindstorms. It is based on the LabVIEW system and was also developed at Tufts University.
I just have to add in the disclaimer that buying Lego Mindstorms is not cheap. It is not meant to be cheap. You are building a robot. There is not going to be anything cheap about that. That said, you can order most of what you need as far as Mindstorms is concnered on Amazon. They have a lot of the indivivudal cusotmoizeable accessories on their site, allowing you to pick and choose how you want to change the robot to suit your needs better.
Some of the different types of Mindstorms you can buy are:
Do some shopping and look around at the different kinds of options you may find out that there are some kits that will have more of what you are after than other kits. Considering the cost of getting into robotics, you will not just want to burn away your money on a whim without having done the research first.