The end of mindstorms - no smiley face sad enough

If you look up mindstorms news on yahoo or google, you will find seven stories in the past six weeks about young kids getting excited about space, science, robots and other technology through lego robotics. I personally think the FLL program is the best thing that ever happened to many kids. I was very saddened to read this other bit of news today:

Yahoo news

Since it reported its first loss of $47.8 million in 1998, Lego has been hit hard by increasing competition from the makers of electronic toys.

Under Plougmann, the company reacted by expanding its electronic offerings, including making high-profile deals to use characters from Disney, the Star Wars films and Harry Potter (news - web sites) books in its toys.

It also developed popular CD-ROM games and its lauded Mindstorms series, high-tech robots that are made of building blocks but can be controlled by personal computers.

As a result, sales rose but profits stagnated because of the higher cost of producing the new products.

The company now plans to stop making the electronics and movie tie-in products and return to its core mission: producing colored plastic building blocks for children.

The obvious question now at hand: what does this mean for the Lego League teams? Will there BE a Lego League at this time next year? I guess it’s possible that Lego might continue the FLL program in some way, but since they’re completely eliminating the Mindstorms line, I don’t really see this happening.

This is awful… :frowning:

There has been talk for a couple of years about the demise of Mindstorms; beginning with the closing of their headquarters here in the SF Bay Area. At the time the scuttle was that Pitsco would maintain the line for educational use, but I really don’t see that happenning and there is no indication of that in yesterday’s articles. I hope FLL will be able to find a new platform…preferably one that starts with the letter ‘L’ (a bit of gallows humor there).

Eric.

This is a horrible. If they created a new mindstorms program, sales would of took off again. :ahh: :frowning:

There has been talk for a couple of years about the demise of Mindstorms; beginning with the closing of their headquarters here in the SF Bay Area. At the time the scuttle was that Pitsco would maintain the line for educational use, but I really don’t see that happenning and there is no indication of that in yesterday’s articles. I hope FLL will be able to find a new platform…preferably one that starts with the letter ‘L’ (a bit of gallows humor there).

I have seen more and more educational robots pop up that offer the same capibilites as mindstorms and then some. It really just involves some research. Even First can probably create something better.

Is the Edubot too high level for middle school kids? Would that make an adequate substitute?

One of the biggest catches might be a 5th grader being inable to program an Edubot.

DUDE this IS HOrible

Ok everybody Go out right now and buy a mindstorms kit so legos sals will go up and they will be continualy produced

Err Im Being Crazy Probaly because kickoff is tomarro ERR!
I want my legos i want the kids to have legos i woant more ppl to have legos

http://www.robotstore.com/catalog_request/Cat26_PDFs/Cat26_04-05_Grandar_AS-M.pdf
I doubt the edurobot would be easy enough to program. I believe that something like the above would work. It would provide click and drop programing while providing high level functions.

This is really sad, you can do alot of cool stuff with the mindstorms. It’s easy enough to pick up and younger kids seem to find it more interesting. I’ve seen a lot of cool stuff done with those mindstorms. I hope some makes a suitable replacement.

Perhaps they could use something like the Parallax BOE Bot. And maybe someone could develop a GUI programming interface. But I guess that platform is not as easily customizable as the legos are.

NOOOOOO! :frowning: That can’t happen. Mindstorms are so cool, and the things the kids have learned from them are incredible. Argh… I want my legos.

I’m guessing FIRST will be able to find something else. Or at least I hope so.

-Jill

Maybe if they use PBASIC edubots… I could have programmed that in sixth grade.

I’m guessing FIRST is unsure or oblivious to what is going on with FLL and Lego Corp. They seemed to discuss FLL enough during kick-off and acted as if no change in the partnership was occuring. :confused:

Maybe they just chose not to acknowledge the situation until they know how it’s going to turn out. They can’t really say that FLL is dead until they’re positive that Lego’s commitment to the program is over and that there are no other alternatives.

from what the FLL expert on my team told me, FLL will continue to use the parts that are out now and create new games. in other words FIRST LEGO LEAGUE WILL LIVE ON!!! there just won’t be any new parts.

I hope that’s true.

Wouldn’t that make it incredibly hard to start new teams? It would be great if FLL could live on in any capacity, but it would be even better if the program could continue to grow so more students have a chance to get involved.

[edit]Situation update…According to TheForce.Net, the Mindstorms line isn’t going away…the story is here. Could this mean that Lego League isn’t finished?

GOOD NEWS! It’s not ending!

Lego released a press-release saying that they arn’t discontinueing mindstorms!!!

They are just reducing other parts of the business, such as the parks and stores, and that mindstores and bionicale are going to be THEIR MAIN FOCUS!!!

http://www.lego.com/eng/info/default.asp?page=pressdetail&contentid=3423

by reading the article on the LEGO site, it almost sounds like they have someone keeping an eye on CD for rumors like this…