Hackable Lego Mindstorms EV3 robots can be controlled with an iPad

Lego has announced an update to its Lego Mindstorms robot-building kit that enables creators to control their robotic creations with an iPhone or iPad.

Lego Mindstorms EV3 was announced today's CES, and Lego says it will be available in Autumn 2013.

The advanced block-building kit comes with motors, sensors and over 550 Lego bricks, cogs and other elements. The heart of it is the Mindstorms EV3 programmable brick that controls all the other elements.

The Mindstorms Brick has, until now, been controlled by connecting to a Mac or PC computer, the extension of the device to iOS makes a lot of sense given the portability of Apple's products and their popularity. The device communicates with iOS and computers using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Walking, talking Lego

Keen LEGO fans can use the bricks to build robots that are controlled by the iPad or iPhone. According to Lego it includes instructions for five robotic characters that can walk, talk, pick things up, and move around.

Of course, this being LEGO you will also be able to build your own creations out of all the individual bricks, as well as follow instructions created by the active LEGO community.

The EV3 also has improved hardware, including colour recognition sensors and infrared sensors to detect objects and colours. You will be able to program the device to react according to its surroundings.

LEGO Mindstorms is more of a robotic programming learning tool than a toy, and it has many adult fans. The Lego Mindstorms EV3 is coming out in Autumn and prices will start at $350 (UK pricing TBA).

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