History of LEGO Robotics
Since its introduction in 1998, the LEGO® MINDSTORMS® build and program robotics tool set has become the best-selling product in the LEGO Group’s history. Garnering worldwide acclaim, the Robotics Invention System™ fueled the imaginations and satisfied the inner tinkerer of generations of LEGO and robotics enthusiasts alike, leading to the development of a global community of users and students of all ages over the last 15 years who create and command robots the LEGO way.
1986: The first-computer controlled LEGO products are released.
1988: Collaboration between The LEGO Group and Massachusetts Institute of Technology begins on development of an “intelligent brick” that will bring LEGO creations to life via computer programming.
January 1998: The LEGO MINDSTORMS RCX Intelligent Brick and Robotics Invention System are unveiled to the press at The Museum of Modern Art in London.
September 1998: The Robotics Invention System is launched simultaneously in the United States and the United Kingdom. Two expansion sets – RoboSports and Extreme Creatures – also are available.
November 1998: LEGO Group owner, Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, and famed inventor, Dean Kamen of FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) partner to launch FIRST LEGO League, a robotics competition for middle school students introducing LEGO MINDSTORMS sets to regional competitions. A pilot tournament is held at the Museum of Science & Industry in Chicago with 200 student teams.
September 1999: The Robotics Discovery Set, Ultimate Accessory Set, Droid Developer Kit and the Robotics Invention System 1.5 are released in the United States. The Droid Developer Kit and the Robotics Invention System 1.5 are released in Europe and Asia, and The Robotics Discovery Set and the Robotics Invention System 1.5 are launched in the United Kingdom.
February 2000: The Robotics Invention System 2.0, Dark Side Developer Kit™ (a pre-programmed, remote controlled constructible robot), Vision Command System™ (a PC camera expansion kit for the RIS) and Exploration Mars™ (themed robot challenges, building instructions and games for the RIS) expansion set are unveiled at the American International Toy Fair in New York.
April 2005: First-ever FIRST LEGO League World Championship is held in Atlanta, GA.
August 2006: LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT launches in the United States; international availability follows.
April 2007: FIRST LEGO League exceeds 100,000 participants for the first time.
May 2008: LEGO MINDSTORMS is inducted to the Carnegie Mellon University Robot Hall of Fame.
August 2009: The LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT 2.0 platform iteration is released.
January 2013: The 15th anniversary of LEGO MINDSTORMS is celebrated and the next generation platform – LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 – is unveiled at the International Consumer Electronics Show.
September 2013: The third incarnation of LEGO robotics, LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3, is launched worldwide.