Raspberry Pi is releasing an add-on that may allow you to use lots of its tiny, cheap computer systems to manage sure Lego robotic motors and sensors. The add-on is known as the Construct HAT (HAT stands for Hardware Attached on Top), and slotting it onto a Raspberry Pi’s GPIO pins will provide you with 4 ports that you need to use to manage Lego Education’s SPIKE components, which the HAT and its software program are specifically designed for. It’ll additionally hook up with most different components that use an LPF2 connector, together with the parts from the Lego Mindstorms robot inventor kit.
There’s additionally a Python library (mainly a set of instructions you need to use to manage the robotic) accessible to go alongside the HAT, which is able to allow you to write software program to manage the robotic components you’ve obtained attached. Programing Lego’s SPIKE parts with Python isn’t a singular promoting function from Raspberry Pi — the SPIKE equipment comes with a hub that helps connecting six gadgets (in comparison with the Construct HAT’s 4) that may additionally retailer and run Python applications.
Nevertheless, you’re going to get extra flexibility with a Raspberry Pi. It's a must to program Lego’s hub utilizing a separate laptop or iPad, whereas the Construct HAT will probably be hooked up to its personal laptop you could probably plug a keyboard, mouse, and monitor into, relying on which Raspberry Pi you’re utilizing. The SPIKE Hub additionally solely has LPF2 ports (although it has six, in comparison with the Construct HAT’s 4), whereas the Pi has GPIO pins that you need to use to attach different gadgets, electronics, and sensors. That offers you a ton of flexibility in what you'll be able to add to your robots. The Construct HAT additionally will allow you to management your motors and sensors at a decrease stage if that kind of factor is your jam.
Raspberry Pi says that hooking the Construct HAT as much as an 8V energy provide with a barrel plug will let it present juice to each the Lego equipment linked to it and the Raspberry Pi itself. The corporate will promote a particular 48W energy provide to go together with it if you happen to don’t have one which’s succesful.
That is clearly a fairly area of interest product, however I’m glad it exists. In case your child or college students are enjoying round with Lego’s SPIKE robots however need to go deeper into programming and electronics modding, the Construct HAT could possibly be a great way to assist them try this with the motors and sensors you have already got. Plus, Raspberry Pi and Lego appear to be an ideal match for one another — each manufacturers have a kind of DIY spirit and will make some attention-grabbing initiatives in the event that they find yourself doing extra work collectively.