5 Lego Mindstorms Alternatives | Educational Coding Projects

Did you know that The Lego Group declared in October 2022 that Mindstorms would shut down at the end of 2022? Making this article on “5 Lego Mindstorm Alternatives” one of the most searched queries on search engines amongst Lego lovers.

We’re all Lego fans. Regardless of whether you like building kits or video games, kids of all ages still find excitement in the time-tested brick-building toy. So are you seeking Mindstorms alternatives? You’ve come to the right place! In this article, we’ll show you the top 5 Lego Mindstorms alternatives you can buy for your kids and become “the parent of the year”

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5 Lego Mindstorms Alternatives

Before getting into the alternatives to Lego Mindstorms, we should first discuss and understand the concept behind them.

Close-up shot of a person holding a lego mindstorm

What are Lego Mindstorms?

It is a hardware and software platform for creating programmable robots using Lego building blocks. Each version includes a computer a set of modular sensors and motors, and Technic parts to build the mechanical systems.

Mindstorms was initially designed and launched as a tool to support educational constructivism, but it has since become the first home robotics kit available to a broad audience.

End of an Era! Why was Lego Mindstorms discontinued?

The company in a statement stated “The long-running product line, which mixes software and Lego bricks to make the robots, seems to have recently lost its fire, and 24 years after the range initially debuted, Lego is giving up”

That means the end of Lego’s Mindstorms Robot Inventor kit, which allows kids (and adults) to build five different working robot models out of 949 Lego pieces, ranging from a four-legged walker to a bipedal wheeled robot that gives high-fives.

The following alternatives are the best replacement on the market for Mindstorms lovers

1. VEX IQ

VEX IQ

VEX Robotics is an educational robotics for the entire family. VEX solutions are accessible, scalable, and affordable at all levels of formal and informal education if you’re looking for a kit that’s most similar to Lego Mindstorms.

It is designed for students in elementary and middle school. Annually, robotics teams can compete in its Competition (VIQC). VEX EDR is a popular robotics platform.

The Robotics Education & Competition Foundation is hosting the VIQ Challenge, which offers elementary and middle school students engaging, open-ended robotics and research project challenges that develop their STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) skills through experiential, student-centred learning.

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  • It is built with plastic snap-together pieces that are designed to create highly functional robots needed to help your kid in STEM learning.
  • Students can easily build their first robot, and a large number of additional parts allows them to build anything they can imagine as they keep learning.
  • Every kit includes a hand tool to make assembly and disassembly for small hands easier.
  • Use of VEX IQ (and EDR) is possible with ROBOTC. This will enable students to learn C programming rather than using the exclusive drag-and-drop method used by Lego.
CROSS
  • The robot does not drive straight
  • Robot freezes when it can’t complete the tasks
  • The battery is low even when it isn’t
  • Robot behaving randomly

2. Arduino Uno Kits (Robot Cars)

KEYESTUDIO Smart Car Robot,4WD Programmable DIY Starter Kit for Arduino for Uno R3,Electronics...

Uno Smart Robot Car is an instructional kit for newcomers to learn how to program with Arduino, put electronics together, and understand robotics. It is an integrated solution designed for Arduino teaching and robotics learning. But as you can see here, there are so many more options than just the car kit.

This robotic vehicle is equipped with an ultrasonic sensor that allows it to identify obstacles in front of it. When an object is detected, the ultrasonic sensor moves to the right and left to calculate the best possible distance for the vehicle to proceed freely.

Okay guys, instead of attempting to assemble a robot, beginners to the Arduino platform should definitely think about purchasing an Arduino robot kit. Even if you’re an expert in microcontrollers, a full robot kit enables you to quickly improve the original design.

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  • With the Sensor Kit’s components, you can build so many fun apps such as display interfaces, sound detection, alarm systems, light detection, temperature sensing, and much more.
  • Although a robot can be built from the ground up, a starter kit is easier to use and ensures compatibility with all attachments.
  • Robots can be built with microcontroller units (MCUs) with great success. The excellent compatibility of Arduino boards with a variety of devices, including servos, LEDs, and through-holes makes them ideal for robotics applications.
  • An Arduino kit can serve as a starting point for your own customizations. They are accessible, inexpensive, and well-researched.
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  • Some well-known languages, such as Java, Python, and JavaScript, are not supported.
  • Comes with limited memory storage
  • There is no debugger included to test scripts.
  • There is no knowledge of the AVR microcontroller.
  • Sketches and shields are difficult to modify.
KEYESTUDIO Smart Car Robot
KEYESTUDIO Smart Car Robot,4WD Programmable DIY Starter Kit for Arduino for Uno R3, Multiple Modes For Learning The Robot Programming, Supports Android And IOS Systems, Electronics Programming Project/STEM Educational/Science Coding Robot Toys for Teens Adults,12+.

Last update on 2022-11-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

3. UBTECH Jimu Cosmos Kit

UBTECH JIMU Robot Astrobot Series: Cosmos Kit / App-Enabled Building and Coding STEM Learning Kit...

Fly into space with the newest Cosmo Kit from the AstroBot Series.  With this kit, you can construct the AstroBot, Rover, or Astron or create your own alien JIMU Robot. But again, There are so many options from the UBTECH Jimu range (including a robot unicorn!), you’ll be able to find something to suit anyone.

The Blocky coding platform adds to the fun by giving kids the opportunity to code and build these robots to perform countless programs and tricks!

JIMU robots are educational in nature because they can be programmed to help students build their STEM skills at school and at home.

This kit does a better job of implementing programming language than others and produces an exceptionally cute robot. Price range from $120 on Amazon.

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  • It includes 387 snap-together parts, an infrared sensor, and a speaker to make STEM learning simple and enjoyable.
  • It comes with a power adapter and a quick start guide to help users search for what they want, and it programs actions using blockly coding.
  • The Blockly coding can help program your robot to navigate obstacles, pick up objects, control light and sound effects, add personality, and more
  • JIMU robots provide children with an engaging and enjoyable hands-on method of learning that is centred on the fundamentals of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.
  • It is user-friendly and Compatible with Android and IOS devices
CROSS
  • Short wires put tension on the connector.
  • The motion is not precise
  • It is 100% dependent on the Jimu app
Sale
UBTECH JIMU Robot Astrobot
UBTECH JIMU Robot Astrobot Series: Cosmos Kit / App-Enabled Building and Coding STEM Learning Kit (387 Parts and Connectors), Pick-Up Objects, 360° Animated Building Instructions, Control Light And Sound Effects, Add Personality And More.

Last update on 2022-05-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

4. Makeblock Robot

Makeblock mBot Neo Programming Robot, Coding Robot for Kids Compatible with Scratch and Python...

A private Chinese technology firm based in Shenzhen, China. It creates Arduino-based hardware, robotics hardware, and Scratch-based software to provide educational learning tools. Through the use of robotics, programming, engineering, and mathematics become easier or kids to learn.

The mBot STEAM education robot is designed for beginning students and makes robot programming easy and enjoyable.

Kids can experience the satisfaction of hands-on creativity by building robot arms with just a screwdriver, detailed instructions, and a study plan.

Due to the fact that it is a robot, as opposed to some other pre-assembled robots out there, its appearance is clearly homemade.

Kids will find the makeblock kits welcoming appearance to be non-intimidating and even attractive.

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  • Supports programming languages such as Arduino C/C++ programming and block programming, allowing it to develop with your child’s skill level
  • There is a large online user community, so there are many projects to look at and be inspired by and also view the comments of other users.
  • The robot set is affordable (under $100) and simple to assemble.
  • The mBot App allows you to control a robot from your smartphone or tablet, and it comes with a remote control for demonstrations or fun.
  • It is compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux, Chromebook, iOS, and Android and includes a light sensor, infrared receiver, ultrasonic sensor, and a line-following sensor.
CROSS
  • Does not come with a battery for the remote control or robot
  • The remote control looks cheap 
  • mBot design looks simple and unattractive
Makeblock mBot Neo Programming Robot
Makeblock mBot Neo Programming Robot, Coding Robot for Kids Compatible with Scratch and Python Support WiFi, IoT, AI Technology, Educational Remote Control Car, Nice gift for Christmas Birthday, Children's Day, STEM Toy Gift for Kids Ages 8-12.

Last update on 2022-11-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

5. Cubit Steam Kits

Cubit’s Voyager is the most comprehensive kit, ideal for exploring the full range of Cubit STEAM-based projects.

The Cubit Workshop drag-and-drop coding program, access to Cubit’s collection of STEAM projects and lessons, and online tutorials are all included.

Through coding, robotics, and STEAM education, the Voyager Kit is intended to inspire and create time for learning.

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  • Cubit’s modular Smartware design, simple user interface, and robust sensor suite provide students with the freedom to discover their surroundings.
  • It provides students with instruments that scientists and engineers use to measure magnetism and spatial position.
  • Cubit’s variable-speed precision motors enable students to imagine and put their creations into motion.
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  • Comes with 1 rechargeable battery
  • Temperature sensors might not be accurate sometimes
  • Ultrasonic sensor not functioning properly

FAQs

What is better than Lego Mindstorms?

Makeblock offers a wide range of robotics kits for STEM education. They are significantly less expensive than Lego Mindstorm kits and provide a very similar experience.

Why is LEGO MINDSTORMS retiring?

“We have decided to redirect our MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor team and their expertise into different areas of the business,” the LEGO Group said in a statement.

Can I still use Lego Mindstorms EV3?

At the end of June 2021, the LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Programmer app will no longer be available in the existing app stores. You may find Labview, the retired LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Home Edition for Mac and PC, further down.

Does LEGO Mindstorm use Scratch?

You can create interactive robotic creations using the motors and sensors included in the LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 invention kit. The possibilities increase when you connect it: you may create your own musical instruments, game controllers, robotic puppets, and anything else you can think of.

What programming language does Lego Mindstorms use?

RobotC is a C-based program that supports numerous platforms and features a fully integrated software debugger. There is extensive online assistance and documentation accessible to interested parties.

Summary

Now you know about the best 5 Lego Mindstorms alternatives after reading this article.

Lego Mindstorms, which uses gears and other mechanical parts to build semi-autonomous robots managed by sensors debuted back in September 1998.

Before STEM education became a buzzword in the toy business, it was one of the first toys to explicitly encourage it.

Over time, Mindstorm sets and components have been used to make some incredibly powerful creations.

Feel free to note that although the alternative kits do identical tasks, the choice ultimately depends on the budget, the activities, and the target age range.