As LEGO has proven over the past several years, there’s no limit to what this interchangeable interlocking brick system can do in the way of super simple buildings to extra-complex robots. They’re building pieces, after all, and open systems like the SBRICK – or SmartBrick – are coming in to expand the system even further than LEGO has already imagined. Here we’re going wireless with LEGO robotics and remote control.
If you’ve seen our LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Review, you already know LEGO has a wireless-friendly control unit out in the wild. The problem is its size, its compatibility with a wider variety of elements, and its ease of use. With the SBRICK, things are exceedingly simple.
Instead of working with LEGO Mindstorms connections – working with ethernet cords – here you’re working with LEGO Power Functions line of devices. With Power Functions, normally you’d have the ability to connect with IR (infra-red) only. With SBRICK, you’re connecting with your smartphone.
Above you’ll see an example of a single “control switch” element from the LEGO Power Functions line – this is the sort of connector you can buy direct from LEGO that will work with the SBRICk right out of the box.
The creators of the SBRICK at Vengit have added 3 connector sockets on the back of their unit and 4 output connectors up top. Three for power to bring abilities to all manner of builds, and four connectors to bring life to all manner of LEGO Power Functions motors and LED lights. Below you’ll see how simple it is to connect.
The SBRICK app can manage up to 64 devices, working on iPhone (for now) and Android (hopefully) at some point in the future. This is not just a toy – the SBRICK app is programmable and open, allowing you to do whatever you like with the unit itself. Each SBRICK is identified by a completely unique ID.
You can connect to the web with the SBRICK app and register your SBRICK to you – from there, you can control your SBRICK with whatever device has the SBRICK app, just so long as you add your unique ID to that app.
SBRICK will be part of a KickStarter soon. We’ll be checking in with the crew periodically to make sure you get the info you need on how to attain this little oddity as soon as possible – stick around our LEGO tag portal for more!