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Raspberry Pi team up with LEGO Education for a new addon

I wonder if this will let me make a sword swinging Bionicle?

Reviewed By: Kevin Pocock

Last Updated on December 1, 2023
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Announced today, the Raspberry Pi Foundation will be releasing a new HAT (expansion boards that sit on top of the Pi’s GPIO pins) and it works with LEGO’s current line of Technic sensors or motors, in a bid to make education a little more fun when dealing with robotics.

Angled photo of a Raspberry Pi Build HAT: an approximately square green PCB with through holes for a 40-pin header, four LPF2 ports, a slot for a Raspberry Pi Camera Module connector, a barrel jack power connector, and a mounting hole in each corner. The Raspberry Pi logo and the words "Raspberry Pi Build HAT" are printed on the board.

The HAT is powered by not only the Raspberry Pi‘s pins but also an additional RP2040 that powers their microcontroller, the Raspberry Pi Pico. This allows for additional functions to be implemented while still building within Pi’s infrastructure.

It’ll be priced at $25, while the LEGO kit needed to get full use out of it is around the region of $300, depending on where you decide to shop. It supports the Pi Zero and Pi400 as well.

Currently, the LEGO Education SPIKE kit is what you’ll be using this with, the create easy to build and code cars, robots, and pretty much whatever you can handle with the parts available. Obviously, with it being LEGO, you can always just buy more kits and add them on as long as you have the supported motors and sensors.

In fact, Raspberry Pi has actually built a full table of parts that work with the Build HAT and it’s pretty extensive. There’s also a new Python library to download and use to take full advantage of the kit.

It seems that as long as there’s an LPF2 (like in the MINDSTORMS kit), it should work with the Build HAT.

The SPIKE set includes distance, colour, force sensors and angular motors that have integrated encoders to help find the position. LEGO has also designed a new ‘Maker Plate’ to attach the Raspberry Pi to any project it might not usually be able to sit on.

This seems like it’s going to be not only great for education purposes but also a boon for those of us who want something easy to construct to do the wonderful and weird things that we’re all currently trying to do.

Joel is a a lover of janky games, Magic the Gathering, and going down rabbit holes. For PC Guide he has written about peripherals, the Steam Deck, retro games, news and more.