Bringing creations to life

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A beloved children’s toy meets the technology revolution. By allowing creators to imbue life and logic into their work, LEGO was able to reach new audiences of junior engineers and prototyping machinists with the same blocks they had known since childhood. And now, they can move. 



LEGO is the world’s largest toy company with ~$5.55B in sales in 2018. Since 1932, LEGO’s toys have inspired generations of children to build, create and play. As more and more kids have access to smartphones, toy manufactures are facing competition from application developers and video game publishers and must continue to push the envelope and get even more creative. The LEGO MINDSTORM EV3 line was LEGO’s opportunity to bring its legendary innovation into the mobile world.

The Challenge

LEGO needed a controller for their Internet of Things (IoT) project – LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3. Production of a custom controller would push back the launch date and increase the overall cost of the Robot Commander package. The toy giant needed a solution that would allow creators of any age to connect and control their creations in a simple, intuitive way.

Our Approach

Taking a user-centric approach to the project, we used the device that was already in everyone’s pockets – their smartphone. Creating native applications for iOS and Android allowed us to connect through Bluetooth to LEGO’s Intelligent Brick computer, a set of module sensors and motors, and provide an interface for users to control their creations. By activating different components of the brick through the application, students and engineers were able to modify existing builds to test new concepts and prototypes at will.

Keeping the number of custom components in the Robot Commander kit to a minimum was a goal. LEGO MINDSTORMS has been so widely adopted that the companion app has been downloaded more than 3 million times and is now a staple of engineering and robotics programs worldwide. LEGO MINDSTORMS is LEGO’s most popular product set ever created with over one million sets sold.

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