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Lego-like electronic bricks redefines 'playing with blocks'

Posted: 13 May 2016 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Tel Aviv University? Quantum Experience? Lego? LED? sensor?

Boaz Almog, who does quantum physics research at the Tel Aviv University, is recognised for his papers about quantum levitation when together with Barak Deutscher from the superconductivity group at Tel-Aviv University, revealed over fifteen years ago how a superconductor disk can be trapped into a surrounding magnetic field in a manner akin to levitation.

Since then, the quantum physicist has been busy educating the masses about superconductivity, both through public demonstrations and more recently by commercialising demonstration kits via his company, Quantum Experience, founded in 2013.

Yet, the CEO started up another company in June last year, Brixo Smart Toys Ltd, with the scope to commercialise Lego-compatible electronic bricks. Running a crowdfunding campaign on KickStarter, the Israeli startup has raised well over ten times its initial $50,000 goal, offering what it describes as Lego on steroids.

Lego-compatible electronic bricks

The chrome-plated bricks can conduct electricity, integrate active parts such as LED lights, motor blocks, and even sound, light and proximity sensors. The conductive bricks feature flexible side-arms that ensure electrical connection between two adjacent blocks, and the whole assemblies are powered by a Bluetooth-controlled 9V battery block. The built-in Bluetooth controller lets users change the current's direction and voltage levels via a mobile application.

That means the Brixo bricks can not only be triggered by sound, light and touch, but also controlled by any Bluetooth connected device, taking the good old Lego bricks further into the IoT world (the Danish company has its entries in the cloud via its Mindstorms Lego series and the augmented reality-capable Nexo Knights toys.

The company is promising open 3D building instructions, an online library of models and hacks to its followers, encouraging a community of Brixo enthusiasts to share their models.

- Julien Happich
??EE Times Europe

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