Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Bricks issue 15

As you may know, the AFOL scene got in the past years, several generalist magazines about this great hobby. Among them we have Bricks magazine which have now reached issue 15, available in digital and print form.

Bricks 15 edition dedicates several articles to the Technic theme, models and their own LEGO Fan Media days interview.

As well it takes a look on inventive ways to use LEGO Technic elements in inventive and decorative ways.

Hence it is worth a note here, and we are glad to share the respective press release, which probably arises your interest.

The art of movement

Bricks issue 15 takes a look into the world of Technic and how it provides movement across all LEGO disciplines

The Age of Technic is here! A discipline that often plays second fiddle, considered by most a ‘love it or hate it’ theme, yet lets not underestimate the key role it has played in the development of LEGO models and their functionality. Technic is in almost every official set we see, from Nexo Knights and Ninjago to Star Wars and Super Heroes. Technic is not purely a range on its own; it’s the go-to-guy that provides engineering solutions, structurally sound frameworks and increasingly complex playable functions. Without the Technic system, most moving elements would not be possible.

This year the theme has firmly stood up to be counted with an onslaught of huge scale sets that have taken LEGO engineering to the next level; a voice that we could not ignore and so this month, we hail the wonderful world of Technic and its applications.

A great example of boundary-pushing design came in June with the release of 42056 Porsche 911 GT3 RS: a set like no other, hand-packaged in a black satin box adorned with luxurious artwork and a 500-plus page instructions booklet that’s more like a car manual. Racing past the Porsche, our Technic expert Ryan Welles moves his keen eye onto another licensed set, the new 42053 Volvo EW160E. Steven Jarratt gets all agricultural with 42054 Claas Xerion 5000 tractor before Ryan reappears to examine the role of Technic within System sets, and James Pegrum takes a different approach by showing you techniques for using Technic parts for their decorative rather than their functional qualities.

This issue, we also take a look at one of the new aftermarket LEGO-compatible controllers, BuWizz, before Tim Johnson takes a visit to Verona to see how shows are done ‘Italian-style’, while Li Li introduces us to the world of making LEGO circles in part two of his MOC Recipes series. This month also see the start of our new LEGO User Group section, where we showcase models of the month from Swebrick and Communidade 0937.

As ever, there’s also reviews, masterclass builds, Bright Bricks and much more. Enjoy the issue and keep building.

With 124 pages packed full of inspirational models and exclusive features Bricks is the premier LEGO fan magazine. With a price of just £4.99, why accept anything less?

Order your copy today and enjoy the reading!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

SBrick universe in continuous expansion

It has been time for Vengit to polish the rough edges from SBrick, specially on the Android app front, and add functionality to the overall solution (Firmware, App, Profile Designer).
While SBrick get matured and causes good impression/interest in the community, others have been demonstrating intent to develop their own SBrick like alternative prototypes via own Kickstarter campaigns, like BlueSmartControl and BuWizz or even quite different alternatives as RCBricks, with more or less success. So far only one of this terminated a KS campaign but without reaching its stretch goals.

Meanwhile SBrick continues to evolve with new features and options.

More Colors

Option to replace the default plastic LBG case, with brand new colored cases (black, withe, red, yellow)

You can order them in packs of four of the same color or one of each color, for a small bargain at SBrick Store.

More Programming Options

Scratch was added to SBrick ecosystem and allows to deploy pre-programed actions to any SBrick powered LEGO model.

Scratch is a free-to-use education platform available for an increasing number of robotics solutions, which uses drag and drop method to teach kids the possibilities of programming and robotics. This opens a new world of possibilities for SBrick in Education programs, something that creators of SBrick envisioned when they first imagined it.

Scratch is developed and maintained by the Scratch Team at the Lifelong Kindergarten group at MIT Media Lab.

Read more at SBrick Wiki and learn how to connect and program SBrick from your computer here, provided that you have an adequate BLE dongle. I've done it myself and can assure you it is really easy.

More (bigger) Market

Building-up on the possibilities offered by the recent SBrick compatibility with Scratch, Vengit is expanding their target market by creating their first "SBrick - Education Pack".

This pack has been designed around SBrick, a powerful remote control platform for LEGO, to teach programming to children aged as young as 7. Immersive lessons combine physical dexterity, mechanical thinking, programming fundamentals and robotics for a learning experience children love.

Each pack contains 20+ hours of lessons divided into short 40 minute activities, as well as the instructions needed to build 12 unique models. The pack also includes a teaching guide for educators.

Expected to be available by end of August, this pack is already available for pre-order from official SBrick Store.

And still more to come... Stay tuned!

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