Getting the parts / sensors support / motor adapters


#1

Hi,

I got a Pi for christmas, more or less by chance. (Funny story. ;D)
Now, I am thinking about what I could do with it. Since I always loved how creative you can be with Lego and I am studying computer science, I searched for a way to combine the Pi with Lego, like the BrickPi does. :wink:

The problem: I never had a Mindstorms set and since they are quite expensive, I will not buy one now. Since I would like to play around with Motors and sensor combined with the brickpi anyway, I would like to buy those parts seperatly.

Question: Do you know any source where I could buy a mindstorm set without the actuall brick? I could also buy the sensors and motors one by one but that would stack up like crazy. :’(A


  1. Here is an other question: There are many nice custom made sensors out there for EV3 and NXT. Are they supported and if not, what is needed in order to add support? Maybe edit the programm which is running on the arduino board?

  1. Last question for today: There are multiple pictures of the BrickPi which show different versions. How many motors and sensors does the current version, which is offered in the shop, support? (How many interfaces.)

Thanks right away! :slight_smile: The concept is amazing and I realy hope that you are successfull with it.
PS: Could you stack brickPis onto each other? That would be amazing!


#2

Hey RuhigBrauner! Congratulations on your gift. I’ll try to answer these questions as best as I can.

Do you know any source where I could buy a mindstorm set without the actuall brick? I could also buy the sensors and motors one by one but that would stack up like crazy.

This is one of our most popular questions. We’ve got an ongoing discussion about where to get parts here: http://www.dexterindustries.com/forum/?topic=ordering-lego-parts
Short answer is that no, it’ll probably be hard to find an NXT set without the brick. However, if you know what you need for a particular project, you should be able to find the parts at a reasonable cost.

There are many nice custom made sensors out there for EV3 and NXT. Are they supported and if not, what is needed in order to add support? Maybe edit the programm which is running on the arduino board?

Yes indeed! All of the LEGO sensors are supported. Almost all of the Dexter Industries sensors are supported. We have at least two Mindsensors supported. Not a lot of HiTechnic though. You can get an idea of what’s supported here, where we have some examples up: https://github.com/DexterInd/BrickPi_Python/tree/master/Sensor_Examples

If there’s something not supported, alert us. We’re happy to help or even give writing a library for it a shot.

There are multiple pictures of the BrickPi which show different versions. How many motors and sensors does the current version, which is offered in the shop, support? (How many interfaces.)

The current version, both Advanced and Basic power, supports 5 sensors and 4 motors.

Hope that helps! Any more questions, fire away!


#3

Hi!

Thanks for your response! That answered nearly every of my questions. :wink:

One think that is still open however, is what would be neseccary to add support for any sensor? I Is it sufficient to add some code to the raspberry or would I have to work with the software running on the bord itself?

I think I will wait for my semester breaks and then get into legobotics. :wink:
Bye!


#4

Hello RuhigBrauner,
If the sensor uses I2C you only need to write code for the RaspberryPi. The BrickPi firmware already supports this. There are some examples of how to do this in the Sensor_Examples directory. You will need good documentation of the command codes and register addresses used by the sensor. If this information isn’t available in a document, look for a NXC driver implementation, you could reverse engineer that to write the BrickPi driver.

Happy hacking :wink:


#5

Hi,
that sounds good. :slight_smile: Thanks for your response!


#6

Agreed, thanks Frans! You could also look at the RobotC documentation for 3rd party drivers published by BotBench (who are awesome by the way) http://botbench.com/blog/