If you've already got the LEGO Mindstorms Robotics Invention System, the Exploration Mars expansion set lets you create a fleet of interplanetary explorers with your PC serving as mission control. Combined with the Invention System, this 156-piece set gives you everything you need to build two types of rovers, a lander, and a turntable and robotic arm--all of which you can control remotely from your PC or set out for autonomous operation using RCX Code. The Constructopedia comes chock full of detailed instructions and project ideas, and the CD-ROM that's included (Windows 98 compatible) tests you with nine guided challenges simulating actual Mars missions. You can even beam images back from the planet's surface using a Logitech Quick Cam or any other Windows 98-compatible PC video camera (not, unfortunately, included). --Paul Hughes
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful:
Great addition, Jan 11, 2023
As soon as I opened the package, I realized that I got more for my money. Not only did the Exploration Mars set come with an instructional booklet for hints and building models, but it also cam with software for your computer. The software that comes in the package works with just about and pc camera so you can creat an actual "Mars Rover". Also this set came with many additional pieces that cannot be found in other sets.
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful:
More Pieces than Expansion, Jul 9, 2023
Lego created their Mindstorms system, a seven hundred plus piece set containing a programmable brick called the RCX. Since the debut of the RCX, several expansion sets have been offered for the Lego Mindstorms line. Their Exploration Mars is one of these.
The focus of the expansion set is fairly self-explanatory - Mars. Plans are included for building two rovers, a base station, robotic arm, and a "top secret model", which is included in the back of the Constructopedia. The Constructopedia holds all of the plans.
The rover is incredibly slow, however this is similar to the real rovers that have traversed the planet Mars. The base station I found to be a bit on the fragile side. Nothing is worse than having your creation fall apart after building it. The robotic arm however is quite interesting and complex also. There are also suggestions in the Constructopedia for ways to modify the included robots.
Some of the other expansion sets include such things as extra motors or fiber optic strands - Exploration Mars does not. Considering that this expansion is priced equally to the others, it seems that something other than more Lego bricks would be included.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful:
Great Expansion Kit, Mar 21, 2023
Altough this kit doesn't come with pieces such as sensors or fibre optics, it's great fun. It includes instuctions for several very cool robots, neat challenges, and a feature to control robots from your computer. I recommend this expansion kit over both others to anyone with the Robotics Invention System.
26 of 31 people found the following review helpful:
Doesn't live up to it's name, Dec 29, 2022
The Lego Mindstorm Exploration Mars expansion set for the Lego Mindstorm 1.5 is a failure. All the other expansion sets have cool additions such as PC video cameras and remote controls, but this one anyone could do without. I feel that it is too simple to be considered a Lego Mindstorm expansion set, but instead should be an 'extra pieces' set.