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Throwback Thursday: Lego Mindstorm Robotics Invention System

Published Sep 9th, 2010 3:32PM EDT

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We’re taking you back on this one… way back. Lego’s Robotics Invention System was released commercially in 1998 and was first utilized in educational settings thanks to a partnership with MIT’s Media Lab. So what did this “robotics” kit contain? Well, two motors, two touch sensors, and one light sensor. You used the included software to program the device, and it would perform completely on its own; acting according to the programmed instructions. Left, right, stop, start. If you had more than one unit, they could even “talk” to each other if they were within a certain distance. Not only could you program the brick (also known as the RCX) to perform what you wanted, but these were Legos — you could make them into whatever you wanted. Lego followed up the original Robotics Invention System with version 2.0 and, in 2006, with the NXT version. There is still pretty strong community support for these products even today. Did anyone else out there build two Lego robots and have them battling to the death?

BGR Throwback Thursday is a weekly series covering our (and your) favorite gadgets, games, and software of yesterday and yesteryear.

Jonathan S. Geller
Jonathan Geller Founder, President & Editor-in-chief

Jonathan S. Geller founded Boy Genius Report, now known as BGR, in 2006. It became the biggest mobile news destination in the world by the end of 2009, and BGR was acquired by leading digital media company PMC in April 2010.

Jonathan is President of BGR Media, LLC., and Editor-in-chief of the BGR website.

What started as a side project at the age of 16, quickly transpired into 24-hour days and nights of sharing exclusive and breaking news about the mobile communications industry. BGR now reaches up to 100 million readers a month through the website, syndication partners, and additional channels.