BrickPi has a hugely successsful crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. The goal? To crowdfund Raspberry Pi-based brains that work with off-the-shelf LEGO® Mindstorms hardware to create your very own robots.
The Raspberry Pi is a small, cheap ($25) computer that has a footprint roughly similar to that of a credit card. The open and hackable nature of the Pi means that nerds and developers from all over the world have adapted them in a number of ways.
The BrickPi consists of two parts: a board that mates up to a traditional Raspberry Pi that allows the Pi to “speak” to Mindstorms parts, and a clear case made for mounting onto LEGO® hardware. The entire package costs $15, keeping with the theme of affordable hacking for aspiring and established geeks alike.
Another key to the package is that the BrickPi accepts a 9 volt battery, thus freeing the entire system from your standard wall outlet.
All of the software underlying the BrickPi is open source, available on GitHub and written in Arduino. The team behind BrickPi is providing a library, allowing backers to get up and running quickly with a few lines of Python. The team insists you do not need to be a programmer to be able to have fun with your BrickPi.
The team has a goal of writing a library for Scratch as well, which would enable even children to be able to program their robots. The BrickPi could be a great way to get children interested in computer science or engineering in a familiar way.
The project is already well past fully funded, so it is only a matter of time before the BrickPi starts hitting doorsteps. If you get one and build something awesome, let us know.
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