Mindstorms encourages young tinkerers to play their way into robotics. “It puts no limits on your fantasies,” says Niels Pugholm, a Danish college student who’s been playing with Lego from the time he was old enough to know he shouldn’t swallow them. “Most toys pre-tell a story but Mindstorms is exploratory and has no set rules. If I construct a Mars rover robot, I can rebuild it into a robotic arm and then a robotic humanoid. Lego robotics is a sneaky educational way to learn about design, planning, construction and, most importantly, reconstruction.” In Denmark, he says, it’s obligatory for a child to build a Babel Tower out of Lego that “inevitably gets demolished.”