Let’s all agree: LEGO is one of best toys in the world. But, it can be improved. Seeking to do so is a project called BRIXO which incorporates electronics directly into the bricks.
You may be experiencing déjà vu, because LEGO already does this officially with their MINDSTORMS and WeDo platforms. Where this new product differentiates itself is by making each brick its own conductor. This means everything you make out of the toy will be a complete circuit.
There’s no wires or soldering to mess around with, touching the outside of the bricks is completely safe when in use, and it all connects to your building block collections.
So-called connector blocks act as the wire, which connect to action blocks (like LEDs and motors) which can then be controlled by trigger blocks like light and motion sensors. All of this leads back to a large battery brick, and there’s even Bluetooth to operate your creations from a phone.
And now for the bad news: you can’t buy any BRIXO blocks at the moment because it’s being crowdfunded on Kickstarter.
The brains behind the toy and the campaign are two physicists from Israel (if the video above is to be believed), and they’re seeking $50 000 (R739 667) to get their final prototypes molded and mass produced.
That’s not a worry for them, though, as the campaign quickly pulled in $165 413 (R2 446 607) with 41 days remaining.
The cheapest way to get some of the bricks was a $29 (R428) early bird kit, which has since been sold out. The $35 (R517) option gets you a small starter set and pledging more gets you larger sets with more pieces, culminating in a $1 280 (R18 932)”Classroom Special” with enough kits for 40 students.
A relatively soon October 2016 is the estimated delivery date with shipping worldwide but, as we’ve learnt in the past, this is never a certainty.
Regardless, we want to get our hands on this and build a shiny silver robot. Because we can.