Lego's Mindstorms kits were born into a world where the PC reigned supreme for control; the company is ushering in 2013 with an acknowledgment that its build-it-yourself toy part of a much wider universe. Its updated Mindstorms EV3 runs on new Linux firmware that's ready for Android and iOS control out of the box, creates an overall more hackable platform and allows further programming on the core Intelligent Brick itself; accordingly, there's an SD card slot for local storage. A built-in infrared sensor expands the possibilities for a more autonomous design, as well -- Lego suggests that EV3 constructs can follow other moving gadgets, or even their creators, around the room. It should also be the first Lego bundle with its own 3D construction guide, as a new app built with Autodesk's help lets builders see the process from every angle. We won't have the chance to put a kit together until the EV3 line ships in the second half of the year, but Lego already expects the core unit to sell for $350.
Gallery: Lego Mindstorms EV3