Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Would you like to control your PF models, via Bluetooth?

Would you like to control your LEGO Technic PF models, from your Tablet or Smartphone devices via Bluetooth interface?

There is a team of individuals working on a concept to do so and they asked me if I could raise some visibility on their project. Why not?
They are not the first to think about it, but may be they become the first to produce it!?...

It is the "Core" project and idea is to produce a device that communicates via BT with your Tablet, Smartphone or NetBook and allows to control up to:

  • 3 PF devices with proportional control (motors, lights,...)
  • 5 PF devices with non-proportional control (motors, lights,...)

Preliminary specs, say the module should provide 1A current and also includes a Gyrosensor ±2G for tilt, shock and fall detection.
On the remote side you will have a 360º fully proportional controller and several customizable buttons for different settings.

You can see their presentation from the media material below.

For now they are doing some research and marketing, for which they would like to have a few answers from you in order to make it fit with most consumer needs.
Please spend a few minutes answering this survey, as the "Core" Team is willing to gather as many answers/info as possible!


Tristan said...

Only one phase will fit I think:

"Shut up and take my money"

Gekke Ted said...

It's like an NXT Light module I have been waiting for, for ages!!

Shut up and take my money! :D

Anonymous said...

Scratch smartphone support, I want NXT control! Best way ever to get more motors!

Alex Campos said...

Done! I have a few remarks:

Isn't the name "Core" already trademarked or some legal jibberjabber like that? If I'm not mistaken, at least the first Tomb Raider games were made by a company named Core.
In the survey, there could be an option of choosing "more than 7" children. No, I don't have that many. I have only two cats and that's very fine that way, thank you very much. ;)
On the picture, it's not very clear how are motors connected. Assuming outputs are PF connectors and there are so many of them, they should be more visible.
I forgot to remark in the poll, but I think the design would be more flexible if, instead of pins for connections, the Core module had pin holes.

All in all, this is a great idea for a product, and even though I'm more-or-less a LEGO purist (TLG-approved HiTechnic sensors is as far as I comfortably go), I'd seriously consider buying one!

santi said...

I think this would be awesome. Also, I think the battery-less version is more useful. That would allow us to choose whether we want to use the standard battery box or the rechargeable battery box.

Also, similar to Jarren I'm not excited at all about smartphone control, but about having a way to control PFs form NXT or a computer.

Mark Bellis said...

Definitely have the battery separate - that is the Power Functions concept of separate small modules. Bulky is not the way to go.

I don't do smartphone control but I have an NXT and IR Link sensor to do PF control. A phone can talk to an NXT. Therefore we already have the functionality available.

Now if they made a slave motor driver with 2-Amp capability (for 2 train motors, 3 medium motors or 2 XL motors at max output), with control input from an IR receiver's output, power from a separate 11.1V LiPo to generate 9.0V as PWM, and the control module being no bigger than an IR receiver, I'd be much more interested!

That would beat the IR receiver's max output of 600mA or 400mA/channel, the reduced power (half) from the 7.4V LiPo battery and allow some PWM variation with back-EMF (max 85% duty cycle = 9.435V) to close the loop on the motor load so that a train could maintain speed up a hill and not run away down a hill. It would also use the same inputs, either from the IR handset or an NXT with IR Link sensor, making it control-compatible and providing the 8 proportional controls we have now.


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