Combination of brainstorm and the given cases that has been given through the hackathon. Here we evaluated the interests we had, and how we could include our skills, to make as qualified a product as possible.
What it does
Our project "LEGO Circuit" is an effort to try and make something relatable for children, in our case LEGO, and use it as a metaphor to educate and help the children understand the basics of electrical engineering. We've made different coloured blocks that can conduct electricity, and that way it is possible to build a circuit from LEGO blocks. On our webpage it is possible to follow courses, we have made specifically for the different competence levels of said school classes. Thus the students can follow different plans/drawings of e.g. how to make a circuit for LEDs in circuit, making it possible for students all the way down to first grade to be able to play with the power of electronics, without having to know the inner-outerworkings of an entire circuit.
How we built it
We've used coppertape to make the legos conductive. We have added two layers of tape, to make sure, that two legos next to each other make contact. We've used blue legos as ground, red legoes as 5V, and yellow legos as data wires. This is the mapping we want to continue with. We've created our own LEDs, build into lego, aswell as resistors, sensors and actuators. To control it all, we have used a couple of Arduino Unos, which we have tried to hide inside of lego houses.
Challenges we ran into
We have been challenged when diagnosing where we have a loose end, and when the code does not do as we expect it to do. We have also used a lot of time developing the website containing our library of builds. It was hard to modify legos, as they should still be able to click correctly into the board. Other than that finding the right sensors and actuators was also quite the challenge.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
LEGO housing for the Arduino's, in order to hide them, and make our landscape a bit more 'flavour' relevant. We're also quite proud of the project itself, since we've managed to make a solid concept that can be further developed and improved upon. This is after all a platform for the students to use and utilise as a educational tool. We're somewhat proud of the website, making it fairly quickly. Some of the design is lacking, but we have included the most important content of the website, the course guides.
What we learned
How to incorporate LEGO into a seemingly unrelated environment, and utilise it to not only play with, but also educate simultaneously. We've learned how to utilise our skills to make and create a different, and new approach on how to use one thing as another.
What's next for LEGO Circuit
In the future, we want to make a larger library of ideas to create, as well as making it available online. We want to make the blocks more consistent, as well as more different form factors. We would like to hide the wires we use even better. We want to make more sensors and actuators, aswell as designing them, so they fit better into the lego environment. We want to better indicate what is 5V and what is ground. We want to make a clear standard, so everyting fits into anywhere. To make it more challenging for older student, we would like to add layering, so two or more datawires can run on top of each other, to save space. We would like to reinvent the arduino coding completely, so it is easy for all ages.