5 DIY Projects Involving Lego, Arduino, and Motors

Some things just belong together like peanut butter and jelly.   As I have been building Lego toys with my kids, I started to wonder if you could connect Arduino stuff to Lego stuff. While  my kids really enjoy the Lego Wedo and Lego Mindstorm, those kits can be rather costly.   I started searching for DIY ideas for driving down the cost of tinkering with Lego and Arduino.   I hope that you find these ideas can help inspire your projects and young makers to explore the world of physical computing and robotics.


Arduino Lego Case

Lego Arduino Case: On Instructables, Mr_Oliveira created instructions for building a simple case for your Arduino.  The case can help you interface the Arduino in your next Lego/Arduino project.  Check out the article here.


DIY Lego Motors: Official lego motors and kits can be expensive.   In this video by Jaime Mantzel, learn how to steal motors from old electronics and toys and use them in your lego projects.   His procedure uses some filing, gluing, common lego’s, and rubber bands.


Connecting Servo’s to Lego:  From your local radio shack, you can obtain an inexpensive standard servo for  $12.00 .   A servo contains a motor that can be precisely positioned using an angle signal.   Using cleverly positioned rubber bands, you can interface servo’s Lego bricks and gears.   In the video above, the maker interfaces their Arduino to the servo to control a small Lego structure.

To learn more about programming servo’s using the Arduino platform, check out the following example: http://arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/sweep  .  You will find the sweep example under the “File > Examples” menu in the standard Arduino programming environment.


Lego Arduino bot platform

Lego/Arduino Robot platform: Searching around Thingiverse, I found an notable robot platform enabling you to combine Arduino and Lego together.   I have not personally tested this platform, but I thought the idea of 3D printing your own Lego pieces really fun.  Download and tinker with the files here: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:311813

If you need to include additional servo’s in your lego build, you might consider 3D printing the following component: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:7535



Lego RC Car

Lego/Arduino/XBee Remote controlled car:  I am amazed at the creativity that people have with combining Lego and Arduino.   NFrith provides an overview of his experience of building a remote controlled Lego car with his son at the following Instructables.      post: http://www.instructables.com/id/Lego-Technic-Car-with-Arduino-XBee-Wireless-Contro/?ALLSTEPS   It’s a pretty cool build.


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