It’s a Review day here at The Lego Car Blog, and with much of LEGO’s latest product line-up covered we’re going to take a journey back to 1997, and to one of LEGO’s forgotten gems; the 8479 Technic Barcode Truck.
LEGO had successfully produced programable robotic models as far back as 1990 with the marvellous Control Centre and its mark II follow-up in 1995. Both sets allowed children to control a Technic model via a joypad and to program a series of functions into the system so that movements could be repeated. The only drawback was that the ‘brain’ control brick was a large black box that remained external to the models under its control.
For 1997 LEGO designed its first robot where the control brick and memory were integrated into the model itself, allowed by the continuing compacting of computer storage technology. Called the ‘Code Pilot’ it’s a neat handheld battery pack containing the model’s power source, memory, control buttons, and – rather inventively – a barcode scanner, just like you’ll find by the till in any shop. In short, this is LEGO Mindstorms’ genesis. Continue reading