MAKE_Conference_Badge-CESYesterday I finally had the chance to check out Lego’s booth in the Kids@Play section of CES. They’re previewing the newest version of their robotics platform, Mindstorms EV3, for show attendees. After I finally managed to elbow my way to the front of their packed booth, I was able to get the details on their newest product. The latest evolution of Mindstorms has been developed over three years and delivers a more powerful and hackable intelligent brick, new sensors, new components, and a programming software update.

At the core of the platform is the intelligent brick, which is powered by an ARM9 robotic processor and runs Linux. It will now allow for on-brick programming, Bluetooth, iOS connectivity, and WiFi (through USB ports). They’re open sourcing the on-board Linux package, so the unit should be more hackable than ever. Lego is also releasing a new IR seeker sensor, a beacon sensor, and an improved color sensor, which is demoed above by a rep from the company. The platform is even backwards compatible with the older NXT components. If you’re eager to get your hands on a kit, you’ll have to be patient. They expect to be shipping by the end of 2013.