LEGO reveals new Mindstorms 51515 Robot Inventor, a 5-in-1 robotics and coding set [News]

LEGO has revealed the successor to the Mindstorms EV3 as 51515 Robot Inventor, a 5-in-1 robotics and coding kit. The set is the first addition to the Mindstorms theme in seven years since 31313 EV3 launched in 2013 which was recently labeled as “Retiring Soon” on the LEGO Store online. The new Robot Inventor includes 949 pieces which can be built and rebuilt into five models each with different capabilities and personalities. The set will be available later this year (LEGO has stated early Q4) and will retail for US $359.99 | UK £329.99 | EU €359.99.

Robot Inventor includes a rechargeable Intelligent Hub first seen in SPIKE Prime (enabling Bluetooth connections, gyroscope, accelerometer, and a light matrix) as well as four medium-angular motors, an ultrasonic distance sensor, and a color sensor. LEGO is also launching a Robot Inventor app with visual and text-based coding, the ability to make customized digital remote controls, and support for a variety of third-party controllers like those used with the PS4 and Xbox One.

The front of the box showcases the five models that can be built and coded, as well as some of the newer Technic elements–many recolored in teal and white like the Technic baseplate, frame, and the hub itself.

The back of the box depicts each model and accompanying accessory builds that enable more than 50 activities that come with the free Robot Inventor coding app. The app uses a visual drag-and-drop coding language based on Scratch and supports Python for more advanced coders.

The core humanoid “Blast” model stands 14 inches tall (36 cm) and uses every hub, motor and sensor. The box comes with 949 pieces, including 60% more extra pieces than the previous EV3 model to help rebuild “Blast” into the four other versions and to give a number of pieces for builders to experiment with.

“Blast” can be built and coded to sense its environment and fire projectiles at targets, while “Charlie” is more of a smiling and dancing, drum-playing sidekick. Both models use the hub’s 5×5 light matrix for facial features and expressions.

The other three robots include “Tricky” — the master of sports, “Gelo” — a four-legged robot all about mobility, and “M.V.P.” — the modular vehicle platform.

The robots are controlled through the free Robot Inventor coding app which will be available at launch on Windows 10, macOS, iOS and Android tablets and smartphones, and a few specific Fire OS devices. The building and coding instructions for each of the five models will only be available digitally through the app.

The app will also include a digital remote control builder that will work across all Powered Up sets to give builders the freedom they want to customize controllers specific to their creations. Additionally, LEGO will now support third-party Bluetooth controllers like the ones from the PS4 and Xbox One.

The Brothers Brick had the opportunity to chat with LEGO Senior Design Manager Dan Meehan who is the Creative Lead for Mindstorms. He showed off some of the functions of each model and said the Robot Inventor set has been under development for nearly three years.

He also confirmed that with the Robot Inventor, LEGO has now fully transitioned to what he called the LPF 2.0 (LEGO Power Functions 2.0) system which features the same interface across Powered Up components, Control+ app, Boost, SPIKE Prime and now Mindstorms. He said that the new LPF 2.0 hardware is not backwards compatible with the EV3, though the Powered Up app now supports some control of past Power Functions components.

When asked about the lack of a touch sensor in the Robot Inventor set–which was included in the EV3–Meehan explained that they included it in early product exploration but found that many of the features a touch sensor enabled could be replicated by either using buttons on the hub or using the color sensor to detect a finger touch. The team ultimately decided to include a fourth motor instead–one more than the EV3–because it granted more play and coding opportunities than a touch sensor.

LEGO Mindstorms 51515 Robot Inventor includes 949 pieces that can be built and rebuilt into five robots. The set will be available later this year (early Q4–likely meaning October) and will retail for US $359.99 | UK £329.99 | EU €359.99.

The full product details, press release and an expanded photo gallery from LEGO are included below.


LEGO MINDSTORMS 51515 Robot Inventor

The LEGO MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor Kit is intended for builders and coders ages 10+ to discover and expand on their STEM skills at home.

  • 949 pieces
  • 5 unique models to build and code
  • The largest robot Blast stands at over 14” (36 cm) tall
  • The free LEGO MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor coding app for kids uses coding language based on Scratch and supports Python for more advanced coders.
  • The application works across PC Windows 10 + macOS, iOS and Android tablets and smartphones as well as specific Fire OS devices. Please see updated list at lego.com/devicecheck
  • New elements include:
    • The new Intelligent Hub is an advanced yet simple-to-use device featuring 6 input/output ports for connecting a variety of sensors and motors. The Hub can also be used with LEGO Technic and System elements to create fun robots, dynamic devices and other interactive models.
      • LED 5×5 matrix
      • Bluetooth connectivity
      • 6 axis gyro/accelerometer
      • Includes a micro USB port for connectivity with compatible devices
      • Speaker
      • Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery included
    • Colour sensor – able to distinguish between eight colors and measures reflected and ambient light from darkness to bright sunlight
    • Distance sensor – detects obstacles, programmable LED ‘eyes’ and an integrated 6-pin adaptor for third-party sensors, boards and DIY hardware.
    • 4 x medium-angular motors feature low-profile design, integrated rotation sensor with absolute positioning
    • New 7 x 11 teal baseplate
    • New black wheels
    • New frames

New LEGO MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor lets creators build and bring to life anything they can imagine.

  • Builders can create and code one of five personality-packed robots or dream-up and build their own creations
  • Robot Inventor uses drag-and-drop coding language based on Scratch as well as Python to support those new to robotics
  • Over 50 new challenges and fun activities to help all abilities build coding confidence in a fun, exciting way

June 12th – Billund: Today, the LEGO Group has announced the first addition to the much-loved LEGO MINDSTORMS theme in seven years. The new LEGO MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor 5-in-1 set unleashes a new world of fun, creative coding possibilities and provides the ultimate playful learning experience for young inventors and creators.

For over two decades, LEGO MINDSTORMS has inspired those of all ages to test and build their confidence with technology through play. By combining the LEGO building system with robotic and coding elements, builders can create anything they can imagine, while developing the STEM skills that 7 in 10 parents say are essential to their child’s future success (LEGO Play Well Report, 2018).

This latest evolution of the much-loved theme continues this commitment to helping children develop STEM skills in a fun and exciting way at home. The new LEGO MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor 5-in-1 model gives builders aged 10+ the power to bring one of the set’s five unique designs to life or take their own builds to the next level by programming them to walk, talk, think and do more than ever before. Kids can also code their own remote-control features for the models in the LEGO MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor app or connect their own controllers to the app using Bluetooth.

From your new sidekick Charlie to action hero Blast, the five personality-packed bots or new intelligent creations can be easily controlled remotely using the LEGO MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor app. The app is also packed with over 50 fun coding challenges and awesome activities to help those of all abilities build coding confidence. The app uses drag-and-drop coding language based on Scratch to support those getting into coding for the first time, as well as Python for advanced coders looking for new challenges.

Packed with 949 pieces and new LEGO Powered UP components, the LEGO MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor will be available in early Q4 2020 from LEGO.com, LEGO Retail Stores and retailers globally. The LEGO MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor 5-in1 set will be priced at £329.99/$359.99/€359.99 and includes digital building and coding instructions for these five unique robots:

  • 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.

Lena Dixen, Head of Product and Marketing Development at the LEGO Group, commented: “Since the launch of LEGO MINDSTORMS over 20 years ago, we’ve been committed to helping children and adults develop STEM skills through play. We are extremely excited to introduce a new MINDSTORMS product that offers even more creative opportunities for those of all ages, and we thank our fans for continuing to show us what is possible with LEGO MINDSTORMS. We are continually inspired by the creations the community share with us and hope that the LEGO MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor inspires many more children and playful adults to explore the exciting world of robotics and coding.”


3 comments on “LEGO reveals new Mindstorms 51515 Robot Inventor, a 5-in-1 robotics and coding set [News]

  1. Sean P

    Powered Up app now supports some control of past Power Functions components?? What does this mean…

  2. Tikku

    So, what’s the difference between Mindstorms 51515 and Spike Prime? Looks like just more LEGO / Technic pieces

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