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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.
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.
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.