Silicon Valley keenly awaits latest Lego robot kit
SAN JOSE, California (AP) - Few are more excited about Lego's new Mindstorms sets rolling out next month than Silicon Valley engineers.
Many of them were drawn to the tech sector by the flagship kits that came on the market in 1998, introducing computerised movement to the traditional snap-together toy blocks and allowing the young innovators to build their first robots. Now, 15 years later, those robot geeks are entrepreneurs and designers, and the colorful plastic bricks have an outsized influence in their lives.
Techies tinker at Lego play stations in workplaces. Engineers mentor competitive Lego League teams. Designers use them to mock up larger projects ideas. And executives stand Lego creations on their desks alongside family photos.
"Everyone I work with played with them as children. We sit around talking Lego. It's a shared common experience," said Mr Travis Schuh, who reaches into his bin of plastic blocks when he needs a quick prototype at the Silicon Valley medical robotic firm where he works.