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!
Make a robot friend with Adafruit’s CRICKIT – A Creative Robotics & Interactive Construction Kit. It’s an add-on to our popular Circuit Playground Express, FEATHER and other platforms to make and program robots with CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. Start controlling motors, servos, solenoids. You also get signal pins, capacitive touch sensors, a NeoPixel driver and amplified speaker output. It complements & extends your boards so you can still use all the goodies on the microcontroller, now you have a robotics playground as well.