smart bricks

over 7 years ago by jorislam

Which problem are you trying to solve?

People can be intimidated by technology or have no idea how things work. We want to let people take control over
technology by letting them build their own harware without prior technical knowledge.

How are you going to solve the problem?

I developed an open-source LEGO compatible brick system which integrates sensors, internet connectivity and other
technology into simple LEGO like bricks which anyone can use to build their own tech.

What is the impact of your project?

Anyone around the world can make the smart bricks in a Fab Lab, but we also host free workshops for people to work with
the bricks and let them build their creations.

How can the project be manufactured in the OpenLab?

The project was developed as part of Fab Academy and everything can be made using standard Fab Lab equipment.

Describe your project in detail

The smart bricks project is an open-source hardware initiative to let people with little or no technical knowledge build
their own hardware and get familiar with electronics, sensors and code. I have developed a series of LEGO-compatible
bricks in the Fab Lab, each holding a different PCB with a different function. Some bricks are inputs, some are outputs,
one connects to the internet and another holds a battery. By stacking them together you can make your own
internet-connected device, and because it is fully LEGO-compatible anyone can build crazy creative creations around the
hardware! We received a grant from the city of Amsterdam to use our bricks to teach disatvantaged groups in the city
about technology and are working on a partnership with a program for refugees to educate them about technology with our
bricks. The system is super simple but also completely hackable, so if people get the hang of things they can completely
re-program, hack, remix, rebuild, do whatever with them. So they grow with a person as their skills grow. This started
as a final project of Fab Academy in the Fab Lab Amsterdam, and all the design files and code are open-source so they
can be made in any Fab Lab around the world.


Omarhasayn89 over 7 years ago
A wonderful and intelligent project ... It will be very useful especially for student education because it is
integrates between play and technology ... It also facilitates the access of technical information to the kids mind in a
flexible way ... It is possible in the future make models it's made using flexible materials that can be
remodeled Such as rubber materials, then it be easier to make different design
jorislam (Submitter) over 7 years ago
Thanks for your comment Omarhasayn89!
Yes, it would be possible to make them with flexible materials in theory. The
design files are open so anyone is welcome to experiment with different materials or ways to manufacture them. You could
potentially also cast them in rubber or resin.
Joris - smart bricks
yassineaskri over 7 years ago
Nice idea , good luck !