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LEGO Goes Linux

Lego MindstormsFrom the 'What else would they use?' files:

Move over RaspberryPi and Arduino, there is a new maker on the 'block'.

I've been lusting after Arduino and RaspberryPi based maker initiatives since I first heard about them. Plug and play build your own electronics with Linux and open source goodness – it's just like LEGO people kept telling me.

Funny how times change. Now LEGO is set to embrace Linux in a limited way. The new MINDSTORMS EV3 robot playset will include Linux based firmware. Meaning, that Linux skills can now be used in a limited way to control/build/teach with LEGO.

"Fifteen years ago, we were among the first companies to help children use the power of technology to add life-like behaviors to their LEGO creations with the MINDSTORMS platform," said Camilla Bottke, LEGO MINDSTORMS project lead at The LEGO Group in a statement. "Now, we are equipping today’s tech-literate generation of children with a more accessible, yet sophisticated robotics kit that meets their tech play expectations and abilities to truly unleash their potential so that they may surprise, impress and excite the world with their creativity."

No, LEGO Mindstorms is not a replacement for an Arduino or a Raspberry Pi, in fact I personally hope to be able to own all three platforms (Mindstorms, Arduino and Raspberry Pi) myself. The LEGO move to Linux firmware is just a recognition that firmware should be Linux based if you want to make it easy to engage with developers and makers.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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