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Get the most out of your smart hubs with PyBricks

The announcement last month that Mindstorms is being discontinued sent shockwaves through the LEGO robotics community, with many wondering what the future holds and whether their investment in the platform has been wasted.

Furthermore, LEGO's strategy concerning the wider Powered Up platform, of which Mindstorms is part, seems muddled, and the promised enhancements to improve compatibility and usefulness have yet to materialise.

The main limitation for many is that the relatively ubiquitous and affordable Boost, Powered Up and Technic hubs cannot be used autonomously: they need to be tethered to a smart device via Bluetooth to operate which limits their application considerably, and although the motors and sensors intended for use with each of the hubs share a connector, they are not supported universally by the different software platforms needed to program them -- of which there are currently five!

What's needed is a way to write code for every hub using a common development environment, which supports every sensor and motor, and which enables it to run as soon as the hub is switched on, something especially useful in an exhibition environment, for example.

In time LEGO's refocused Build & Code team may well deliver that, but there is a solution available already: PyBricks.

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