brickAVR: the Proto-brick

Sometimes, prototyping systems need to be robust, full-featured, and powerful. Other times, nostalgia and simplicity are much more appealing. Rather than buying a pre-made prototyping board, one of our readers grabbed some parts lying around, including an Atmega8, a SMD 16Mhz oscillator, and a 6 pin ISP header, and performed some circuit origami free-form soldering (thanks [Gilberti]!). After it was assembled, he realized that it fit in a hollowed out 2×6 Lego brick rather easily. After adding female headers to the pins, as well as a label and some hot glue to seal it up, he was left with a fully functional, and most likely very durable centerpiece to a project. We would love to see this worked into a Lego Mindstorm robot, just for the sake of fitting in.


  1. napalm says:

    Nicely done and very cool. LEGO FTW!

  2. andrew says:

    Seriously, figuring out which link to follow shouldn’t be this hard.

  3. ino says:

    “Seriously, figuring out which link to follow shouldn’t be this hard.”

    I can not agree more !!
    I hate the multiple text-link frenzy on HaD. 3 links to previous posts before the right one, it’s simply dumb.
    Just put the right link at the end of the article, on it’s own, period!

  4. Duh says:

    But then they wouldn’t get all those extra page views on the other articles.

  5. nubie says:

    I don’t know, I usually have to mouse-over and check the link before I click it to make sure it is the right page.

    Neat hack, I wish I had some female headers now so I could do that (and some 6×2 lego pieces I guess).

  6. Josh says:

    It takes all of 3 seconds to mouse over all the links in the article to find the right one. Seriously, you people bitch too damn much. This is right up there with people bitching because a new mac doesnt have firewire. Get over it.

  7. neorazz says:

    i say flip the chip over and use another lego as the header make the lego headers real contacts ..i think i just invented lego chips it would be like a modular lego circuit

  8. MIchael says:

    dammit. I just did almost this exact same thing (with a slightly different layout, no lego) on Sunday, and was in the process of documenting it to submit to HAD!

  9. smilr says:


    The original lego mindstorms operated that way. The brain block had corners of the posts made out of metal contacts, and the motors / sensors etc. had wires off to a 2×2 flat panel with metal contacts both on the underside and through the posts. This way one could stack a bunch of these connectors onto one hookup on the brain.

  10. cantido says:

    >circuit origami

    note that the word origami is a compound word constructed from 送る(Oru – to fold) and 紙 (kami – paper). So how exactly you would perform circuit “paper folding” is um, beyond me. I believe the correct term for this sort of construction technique is “pin to pin” or “leg to leg”.. you get stuff like “dead bug” construction too.. still no paper involved.

  11. Gilberti says:

    I like to think of it as “free-form soldering.”

  12. James Munns says:

    Terminology updated. Thanks Gilberti and cantido.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 96,725 other followers