I then butchered it and added a geared motor, a motor shield, an Arduino Uno, a LiPo battery, an nRF24L01 transceiver and a servo to create FrankenLego:
The basics work ok. Finishing the steering is next along with an improved connection of the wheels to the motor.
All for a fraction of what Mindstorms costs. Yes I know you can get motors for Technic but they are missing a big middle ground here by insisting on sticking with the over-thought over-designed over-priced under-achieving Mindstorms.
My 8 y/o daughter and I put together this Lego case for Raspberry Pi. All design concepts are hers and she built it. My job was to make it all fit and not wobble. Which of course we did using Sugru.
The case is a lot bigger than the RPi but that gives us expansion opportunities for USB hubs and battery packs. I like it and it will be our official Raspberry Pi case from now on.
Here are the insides:
Finally a video showing it in action with the OpenElec version of XBMC playing Peppa Pig.
Oh, and here’s another setup I did last week. RPi running on battery power with wireless mouse and Bluetooth portable fold-up keyboard. I’ve ordered a cheap bluetooth mouse so I only need one USB port.
I’ve written before about how Lego Mindstorms is ridiculously overpriced. Whilst the intent was probably good, it is so far from the brilliance of cheap educational plastic blocks that they need to start again.
I love the idea of building robotics kits and teaching kids about basic programming in the process. In theory I’m also a big fan of MIT App Inventor having Mindstorms integration but the problem is price. The kids who could benefit most from the opportunities presented by these learning tools are the ones least likely to be able to afford them.
But now we have Raspberry Pi. Something most people, even in a recession, can afford.
Raspberry Pi + Mindstorms Control Logic + App Inventor for €50. Change education forever. Do it.