Tag Archives: lego_mindstorms

BrickPi

The BrickPi is a Kickstarter project by Dexter Industries to build a module that connects to a Raspberry Pi and can control LEGO Mindstorms sensors and motors, it comes with a case which can connect to LEGO Technical parts and allows the construction of robotic projects.

It is open source hardware and software.

http://www.dexterindustries.com/BrickPi/

The BrickPi system costs $140.

LEGO Mindstorms
The LEGO Mindstorms system was introduced in 1998 giving the ability to create robotic systems using a series of sensors, motors and LEGO technical parts. It works both as a toy and as an educational tool

The technology centres on the intelligent brick which attaches to and controls a set of modular sensors and motors, all of which can be connected to LEGO parts from the Technics line allowing the creations of robotic systems.

A large community of both professional and hobbyists has built up around the technology, sharing design and programming techniques.

A standard LEGO Mindstorms set costs £215.

A number of LEGO accessories have been created for photographers including a robotized panoramic head and turntable for object photography.

LEGO is even being used to create a LEGO drone in a kickstarter project.

LEGO dron

Benefits
The LEGO Mindstorms system has many great potential using the LEGO Technical system to create complex mechanisms.

The ability to connect this to the Raspberry Pi combines the abilities of the two systems, allowing the Raspberry Pi to control robotics in a simple way which requires no understanding of electronics, while still providing all of the abilities of the Raspberry Pi.

LEGO has also been demonstrated to be an excellent tool in the construction of products including turntables, which would be useful in artifact photography, and in the creation of motorised panoramic camera heads. The inclusion of a Raspberry Pi would increased processing power and control to this ability.

Limitations
If you already own a LEGO Mindstorms kit and want to use the technology in combination with a Raspberry Pi, then this kit is very useful. But if you have to buy both the kits and a Raspberry Pi then you would have to pay quite a lot of money. It would be cheaper to learn electronics and buy the individual parts that you required.

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