Lego Mindstorms NXT is a fantastic educational robotics set that teaches kids and adults skills ranging from engineering to programming. Nevertheless, wouldn’t it be cool to enhance those Lego robots with Arduino boards and shields? With that thought in mind, Adam Wolf, Matthew Beckler, and I wrote Make: Lego and Arduino Projects and developed the Bricktronics shield to interface the two.
Adam and Matthew, who run the electronic kit business Wayne and Layne, tackled the challenge of making the shield. They reverse engineered Mindstorms’ protocols, had custom parts molded overseas, prototyped circuits, and developed an Arduino library for controlling the shield. The book explains how to build some fun Lego models as well, including a chocolate milk drinkbot and a keytar synth.
I’m looking forward to seeing more cool stuff in this column every week — this is a great start!
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.