Silicon Valley keenly awaits latest Lego robot kit

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - Few are more excited about Lego's new Mindstorms sets rolling out next month than Silicon Valley engineers.

Many of them were drawn to tech by the flagship sets that came on the market in 1998, allowing them to build their first robots. Now, 15 years later, those robot geeks are entrepreneurs and inventors, and the colorful plastic bricks have an outsized influence in their lives.

Techies tinker at Lego play stations in workplaces. Engineers mentor competitive Lego League teams. Designers use them to mock up larger projects ideas. And executives stand Lego creations on their desks alongside family photos.

The new Mindstorms kits, on sale Sept. 1, are simpler for the younger set and more versatile for sophisticated users than two earlier versions.

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