1992 - As electronics became smaller, lighter and cheaper, Seymour Papert and Mitch Resnick (from MIT) envisioned an “intelligent brick”, which could be programmed, thus robots no longer needed to be connected to computers. The first prototype, the Grey Brick, was developed in 1990, which was followed by the Red Brick in 1992.
1998 - The culmination of years of research and development between LEGO and MIT, the first LEGO MINDSTORMS set, 9719 Robotics Invention System, is launched in 1998. The name MINDSTORMS was derived from the title of Seymour Papert's book. In the linked video, Gaute Munch and Erik Hansen talk about the creation of LEGO MINDSTORMS. The first LEGO MINDSTORMS advertisements were seen.
LEGO MINDSTORMS (set 9735), Robotics Discovery set was also released this year. It included a blue programmable brick named the Scout, with an integrated IR sensor, two motors, and two touch sensors. You program it by changing settings on the brick, no computer required!
1999 - MIT organized Mindfest this year. This was the first ever gathering of MINDSTORMS fans. The first Star Wars LEGO MINDSTORMS Set 9748 Droid Developer Kit was released. It came with the Micro Scout, which had a motor and a light sensor, with 7 programs built in.
2000 - LEGO released the final expansion set for the RIS, LEGO (Set 9736) Exploration Mars.
2000 - LEGO released the Dark Side Developer Kit, (set 9754). It used the same Micro Scout found in the earlier Set 9748 combined with new parts to build vehicles such as the Destroyer Droid, the AT-AT, and the Droid Starfighter.
2001 - LEGO released the final version of the RCX-based LEGO MINDSTORMS Robotics Invention System 2.0 (Set 3804). Of note are the Pro Challenges in the bundled software, showcasing some amazing models.
2004 - LEGO started development of the next generation LEGO MINDSTORMS, the NXT, involving LEGO fans for the first time. A tight-knit group of secret master builders formed the MINDSTORMS User Panel (MUP) and LEGO also recruited 100 users for the MINDSTORMS Developer Program (MDP).
were given out.
2009 - To mark the 10th anniversary of LEGO MINDSTORMS, LEGO released a limited-edition black NXT brick along with build instructions for five fan models by Martyn Boogarts, Daniele Benedettelli, Laurens Valk, Fay Rhodes, and Mike Brandl . Only 1998 were made! "Why black? Because it is cool!"
2020 - Robot Inventor (LEGO Set 51515) was launched, featuring 5 main models with multiple extension activities. The electronics was not backwards compatible with previous generations of MINDSTORMS. Robot Inventor was similar to SPIKE Prime, but offered unique features including remote control blocks. Later, hub-to-hub communication and machine learning were added. LEGO collaborated with a small group of community members (Anika Brandsma, Laurens Valk, Arvind Seshan, Sanjay Seshan, Marc-Andre Bazergui, and Anton Vanhoucke) to add 8 bonus models to the MINDSTORMS App