I noticed the beta for robotics.se has started.

Not too surprisingly, they already have a question about LEGO Mindstorms robots, and the corresponding tag.

This may mean there is some overlap with us, and in order to make sure both sites don't lose visitors through confusion, maybe we need to establish which kind of questions are best asked here, and which ones are best asked there. We could of course try to get all Mindstorms-related questions, or we could make sure they all land on robotics.se, but these two solutions look too extreme to me.

I'm not sure if we can even pinpoint subtopics as pertaining to one or the other site; for example I'm thinking of the following sub-topics:

  • Programming and typical robotics algorithms - line following,...
  • Firmware issues - flashing new firmware, custom firmware,...
  • Mechanical robotic construction - stability, sturdiness,...

I thought at first to list such topics as answers and ask to up/downvote if you thought they belonged here or not, but then I realized this didn't make much sense - these questions are always more or less valid on robotics.se insofar as they could be asked about other types of robots as well.

Yet I'm sure some questions would be best asked here if they specifically pertain to the LEGO aspect of things. Maybe we could warn the users in the corresponding tags, both here and on robotics.se?

What do you think? When we have some more input, we can contact the robotics.se community and try to negotiate. Or send our Mindstorms robots destroy their puny non-LEGO creations and impose our will.

3 Answers 3


We've kind of covered this a bit before when there was a separate Mindstorms proposal - and even then we noted that there was a Mindstorms tag on StackOverflow (which is small but still active).

We should certainly accept any build specific questions that are sent our way, and perhaps encourage their Mods (eventually) to direct them over - as they seem to be fairly happy so far to have "Software only" questions:

I think Mark captured it with "when the problem domain of the questions is specifically robotic in nature." The question can be purely software, or hardware, or a mix. But the problem domain should be robotics.

Also, we've not got a great answer rate on our questions, with only around 54% with accepted answers, and 10% unanswered :(

Perhaps we should offer and ask for a cross site link in their Mindstorms tag wiki?

  • thanks for the links on their meta, it seems they've discussed the issue quite a bit yet
    – Joubarc
    Commented Nov 20, 2012 at 14:20

I don't think that you want all Mindstorms questions moved away from here. You certainly need a deeper bench here for answering that tag though, and I may be stepping into that arena soon. I would encourage the view that "software only" has a home on StackOverflow, and Robotics-centric has a home on robotics.se, but there will always be some cross-pollination. The central challenge is determining what level that you want to enforce. A zero-tolerance policy would make sense if there was a Mindstorms.SE site. The depth of the bench at each SE site will help to self-select the questions that gets asked and over time, a little guidance to the new users will augment this. For my own personal case, my interest in Mindstorms is coming from an interest in LEGO, and I would rather go to one SE site for those questions and answers. There will be others that approach it from an interest in robotics, and they will be likely to come from robotics.se, and may not be inclined to visit bricks.se.

  • Thanks for your input, it seems a rather wise position. Hope you'll be able to answer a lot of Mindstorms questions in the future!
    – Joubarc
    Commented Nov 25, 2012 at 7:38
  • I might try to propose a mindstorms site on area 51.
    – user6907
    Commented Jul 2, 2016 at 19:23

This screen makes me think that we have kind of degenerated a bit into near-robotics-only, and the people here don't have answers for these things. Overkill NXT/EV3?

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