Back in the day, LEGO spaceship sets used to come with these little wedge blocks painted with fake gauges on them. [James “Ancient” Brown] decided that wasn’t good enough. Thus, he took everything he needed for a functional artificial horizon, and stuffed it inside a single LEGO brick. Yes, it’s real, and it’s spectacular.
We featured [James’] electronics-infused bricks some time ago when they first hit the Internet. The basic story is that he managed to cram an OLED screen and an RP2040 into a silicone mold for a LEGO-compatible brick. His first iterations stunned the world, as they ran pretty monochrome animations that brought life to formerly-inanimate chunk of plastic.
Since then, [James] has been busy. He’s managed to squeeze an accelerometer into the brick form factor as well. That allowed him to build a LEGO piece which displays an impressively-smooth artificial horizon display, as you might find in an aircraft. He demonstrates this by putting the instrument on a LEGO craft and zooming it around the room. All the while, the artificial horizon accurately tracks the motions of the craft.
It’s an impressive build, and something we’d love to see included in future LEGO vehicles…even if they’re just 3D renders.
16 thoughts on “Working Artificial Horizon Built Into A Single LEGO Brick”
“The artificial horizon is even better than the actual horizon.”
Lewin pisses text, but he stops there. Always.
But it causes cancer in lab rats.
still waiting for a minifig head with a working camera.
Considering the smallest commercially available camera is less than the size of a gain of rice, [ the accompanying lens and processor are not a whole lot larger. ] I’d say, provided it’s powered from the torso or through the legs, it is technically possible, although certainly not cheap.
For sure, those little NanEyeM camera modules are ludicrously small.
Gotta love this project, tiny, elegant, classic. Great display 😃
Yeah, a “single brick” with more than 3 times the compute power of an IBM 360/75.
Costs less than 1/100000 of the original IBM 360 price and many, many times smaller too
So we could power a moon mission with a Lego brick. What an age, lol.
I can almost imagine the look of the person filming this.
I read this comment before watching the video, wondered what the heck you were getting at, watched the clip, then suddenly understood exactly what you meant.
I wonder if it is possible to fit a wifi microcontroller in there. The esp8684 is just 4x4mm but chip antennas call for lots of free space around them.
Plastic is free space… as far as the chip antennas are concerned.
But you have to put the other components somewhere.
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