For the better part of a generation, LEGO® MINDSTORMS has been considered the premier name in robotics education – both as a school-based educational tool, and as a consumer-level product: Even though I was at peak Dark Ages when the first set was released in 1998, I was aware of its existence, and before I had become engaged with the LEGO Community, I had somehow become aware that the RCX had been reverse engineered, with hobbyists developing ways to program it in ways not initially intended. But I digress. Kids brought up with those early sets are now well-established in their careers, which may in part be due to their engagement with MINDSTORMS at a formative time.
A couple of weeks ago, it was announced that the 51515 LEGO MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor, and with it, the LEGO MINDSTORMS Brand, will be retired at the end of 2022 – a little over 2 years since the set’s initial release in October 2020.
This brand, with a pedigree dating back to the 1980s, was being unceremoniously retired. Well, it will be at the end of the year. In part, this retirement means that the app now enters into its sunset phase, where no further development is taking place, but the software is maintained to run on contemporary platforms for two years, as required under European law. But what then?
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