VIDEO: watch this cute swarm of dancing Lego robots



It does not get any geekier than this (if it does, let us know): world renowned Italian robotics specialist Daniele Benedettelli  used crowdfunding to build an iOS controller for Lego NXT bricks. He reached his funding goals, and celebrated that fact by building a cute swarm of Lego robots who dance to Prokofiev music.

Because you want to see the robots dancing, we’ll show them first:

Here’s what Daniele did:

Here’s how he explains his project on the Italian crowdfunding platform eppela:

“In case you don’t know, Lego Mindstorms is a simple yet very powerful system that allow inventors of every age to build robots at low cost and in a very effective way.

The brain of every Lego Mindstorms robot is the NXT programmable brick, that can be controlled either via USB or Bluetooth. Bluetooth allows you to communicate with the robot wirelessly, but has some limits, since the range is short, and only few simultaneous connections are possible. Furthermore, it’s not possible to control a NXT robot with the Apple devices like iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch.

So, third party developers of Mindstorms devices have put into market Xbee or Wi-Fi devices, in order to enhance the NXT capabilities. Despite all this, Apple iOS users are still cut out of the game! There is not an adapter that allows you to control NXT robots from any web browser, using a pleasant graphical web interface.

There wasn’t, and I invented it!”

Some examples of what you can do with Daniele’s new technology: 

  • Remote control robots from every browser-enabled device, such as Android-powered smartphone and tablet, or any iOS device, like iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch.
  • Create a rich web interface for your LEGO robots
  • Create large teams of mobile cooperative mobile robots
  • Social robots, that can tweet
  • Ideal for University research projects

For further info, visit Daniele’s project website http://robotics.benedettelli.com/NXT2WIFI.htm

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Raf Weverbergh

Editor of whiteboard. Raf Weverbergh was a magazine journalist whose work appeared in magazines like Rolling Stone, Playboy, Mail on Sunday, Publico and South China Morning Post. He is the co-founder of FINN, a corporate communications agency where he advises startups and multinationals on their PR and Mustr, the easiest media database for PR professionals. You can contact him on Twitter, Linkedin or Skype (rafweverbergh).

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