Lego/Snap-Circuits Mashup

By on 4/10/2011

My daughter Layla mentioned a few days ago that they are teaching her how to program simple Mindstorms robots at school. As a software developer, I was of course super excited when she started explaining the logic she was "writing" in the visual programming language to make her little mindstorms robot move around and turn. So then today my son Ashton goes upstairs and grabs all his legos, and the Snap Circuits I bought him a few years ago, and asked me to help him build a robot. The options were pretty limited because the snap circuits kit only had one motor, and the legos he has don't have any gears or anything.

It was a blast helping the kids with it :-) The biggest challenge was figuring out how to transfer the power from the snap circuits motor to the lego pieces. We ended up cobbling together a rudimentary axle, and used a rubber band to transfer the torque from the motor to the axle.

And it totally works!

well, mostly ... the motor was too weak to actually move the car without first getting a push ... but as you can see above, they got it to actually turn the wheels :-) Of course it wasn't done all on their own ... I gave them help along the way, but I'm happy that they worked through the process of figuring out something like. And most importantly, it was because they wanted to ... I can't wait to see what this generation does with all the technology they are growing up with.

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