Sony and Lego Team Up To Put Videogame Tech Into Lego Bricks

Sony and Lego Team Up To Put Videogame Tech Into Lego Bricks

The video shows Lego creations being controlled with a Dualshock controller, and moving on their own due to pre-programmed AI.

In an unlikely partnership, tech giant Sony and toy manufacturer Lego are joining forces to bring us Lego that is powered by videogame technology. "Lego is afraid of losing young customers to videogames and online entertainment," says the video presentation of Sony's computer science lab in Tokyo, "so the company is trying to make playing with Lego blocks more like playing videogames." The video shows Lego creations that have been implanted with a tiny motor being controlled by a Dualshock controller, as well as using cameras to move around by themselves with an in-built AI.

"The goal is to keep the pieces small and simple, so that children can use them with other toys." Sony says that the pieces track movement visually at the moment, but want to work on eliminating the use of cameras all together. Another cool little piece of tech is Sony's new "Lego actuators," which can cause pieces to collapse or explode. My eight-year-old mind is reeling at the possibility playing an augmented reality Lego Star Wars videogame, where my real-world tank and spaceship models explode upon being hit in the game.

The Sony lab also had some other non-Lego related projects on display, including a drone helicopter that is controlled by a user wearing a virtual reality headset. Basically, the person wearing the headset sees what the drone sees, and walking and moving around causes the drone to mimic the movement.

Another project is an augmented reality program that can animate and distort real objects in real time. A demo shows a real-life building turning to rubber, and a pop-up animated advertisement.

Lastly, there is a fridge that refuses to open unless you smile at it. I don't think I need to say anymore about that.

Source: Irorio (Japanese) via Rocket News 24

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Lego wouldn't have to worry about the competition if their prices weren't so darned high.

And yes, I am a 25 year old who still checks out the Lego section at the department store.

Shamanic Rhythm:

And yes, I am a 25 year old who still checks out the Lego section at the department store.

There's no shame in that! There's still a lot of cool Lego sets meant for adults. Lego is an all-ages toy.

I'd like to see my ten year old self build that!

I'm kind of suprised that Lego haven't come up with remote controls for toys or blocks for making them explode. They already have those Mindstorm kits that are basically a crash course in robotics, so maybe it's already possible and Sony just added their controller and a camera. In which case, meh?

And I think the fridge thing would be good if it denied access to fat people. Although I'm sure they'd find a way in anyway.

Now if they could only invent a box of basic Lego so you could make some imaginative shit again and put these pieces to actual use.

Mr.K.:
Now if they could only invent a box of basic Lego so you could make some imaginative shit again and put these pieces to actual use.

Or perhaps an electronic lego kit that is at most $20 at most.

Speaking of which, I'm going to ply minecraft now.

Shamanic Rhythm:

And yes, I am a 25 year old who still checks out the Lego section at the department store.

The only shame lies in not being able to do something awesome out of Lego.

Like a Lego V-8 block, or a Lego 3D sculptor, or lots and lots of Lego firearms.

Interesting, though not as cool as what I had in mind. I was thinking more along the lines of legos with metal contacts that you plugged into something and it could detect the shape by running an electric current through. Would be cool to build something out of legos and upload to the game and be able to use it in puzzles or just drive around.

Oh wow. I really like the idea of the "Lego actuator". I'm reminded of the Helm's Deep set which has a little lever behind the wall which, when pressed, launches the bricks into the air like in the movie when the bomb Uruk hai blows the wall up. Being able to do that remotely with the press of a button is just the first of many things I could think of. This is awesome!

A fridge that only opens when you smile?

What is this? Anti-grumpycat security?

HontooNoNeko:
Interesting, though not as cool as what I had in mind. I was thinking more along the lines of legos with metal contacts that you plugged into something and it could detect the shape by running an electric current through. Would be cool to build something out of legos and upload to the game and be able to use it in puzzles or just drive around.

That's actually how the old-style powered Technic models worked! You had to buy a special motor set to power these sets, but it came with bricks that were metal-plated in the bottom with studs that partially exposed the plating to make contact between bricks. It also came with blinking LED lights and a bulky controller that powered the whole thing!

That's cool and all, but what the people REALLY want is to be able control them with a Kinnect.

Mr.K.:
Now if they could only invent a box of basic Lego so you could make some imaginative shit again and put these pieces to actual use.

Bah! My best lego creations were from cannibalizing other kits. Still got one actually.

Shamanic Rhythm:
Lego wouldn't have to worry about the competition if their prices weren't so darned high.

And yes, I am a 25 year old who still checks out the Lego section at the department store.

The reason Lego is so expensive is that it is legitimately built to last a lifetime. The quality and craftsmanship of the bricks is so incredibly high that the pieces just DON'T break. And if they do, you can send them into LEGO and they will replace them for free

CriticalMiss:

And I think the fridge thing would be good if it denied access to fat people. Although I'm sure they'd find a way in anyway.

That wouldn't be hard; just make the floor around it a giant set of scales attached to the lock. Alternatively, just keep it in a room with a very thin doorway.

This looks like possibly the best thing ever. Lego Robot Wars anyone?

Steven Bogos:

Lastly, there is a fridge that refuses to open unless you smile at it. I don't think I need to say anymore about that.

Here I am, brain the size of a planet, and they ask me to be a fridge. Call that job satisfaction? 'cause I don't.

The drone thing reminds me of how they justified the third person view in the non Animus sections of AC3.

Extra fancy lego technic? Fair enou-

Oh, hang on, you are going to give kids a tiny remote controlled toy with a camera in it? Yeah, this is going to lead to so much trouble.

...

Also, no to a fridge, or anything else that only works if you smile. Just no. You'll be pissed off, or just first thing in the morning, and you just want to get the milk, not deal with that crap.

If they're worried about losing people to videogames, perhaps they could go and make Lego Creator 2? Lego Creator was one of my favorite games of all time, and they definitely have the technology for a sequel.

thaluikhain:
Also, no to a fridge, or anything else that only works if you smile. Just no. You'll be pissed off, or just first thing in the morning, and you just want to get the milk, not deal with that crap.

Agredd. I'm not much of a smily person at the best of times, not being able to get a coke wouldn't make me want to smile.

Couldn't tiny lego camera drones be used to spy on people?

kailus13:
Couldn't tiny lego camera drones be used to spy on people?

Yup. Now, such things are around already, but not usually marketed to kids. Phone cameras need that annoying camera sound to tell people they are being photo-ed, for example.

martyrdrebel27:

Steven Bogos:

Lastly, there is a fridge that refuses to open unless you smile at it. I don't think I need to say anymore about that.

Here I am, brain the size of a planet, and they ask me to be a fridge. Call that job satisfaction? 'cause I don't.

All the doors in this spaceship have a cheerful and sunny disposition. It is their pleasure to open for you, and their satisfaction to close again with the knowledge of a job well done.

OT: This smacks of Lego trying too hard. I guess they're overly fond of the phrase: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Still, better to go the way of Sony over Microsoft, although I'm surprised Nintendo hasn't scooped this one up; it seems like a btter fit.

I still love Lego now and I'm 25. It's one of the few traditional toys that really has stood the test of time

Daemascus:
The drone thing reminds me of how they justified the third person view in the non Animus sections of AC3.

I think they justified the third person view by the fact that you're playing an action-adventure video game and not roleplaying as Desmond Miles.

I wonder if they plan to do some kind of Skylanders... excuse me...

*Cries horribly over current state of Spyro"

... kind of "buy the set, upload it into the game," kind of partnership, since this set only seems to be this partnership currently only is working in a single direction. Also Skylanders *sad sniff* is making boatloads of cash.

Steven Bogos:

Shamanic Rhythm:
Lego wouldn't have to worry about the competition if their prices weren't so darned high.

And yes, I am a 25 year old who still checks out the Lego section at the department store.

The reason Lego is so expensive is that it is legitimately built to last a lifetime. The quality and craftsmanship of the bricks is so incredibly high that the pieces just DON'T break. And if they do, you can send them into LEGO and they will replace them for free

Thats a really good point, I mean when was the last time anybody, no matter how fat, stood on a lego brick and actually broke the lego brick?

thaluikhain:
Extra fancy lego technic? Fair enou-

Oh, hang on, you are going to give kids a tiny remote controlled toy with a camera in it? Yeah, this is going to lead to so much trouble.

...

Also, no to a fridge, or anything else that only works if you smile. Just no. You'll be pissed off, or just first thing in the morning, and you just want to get the milk, not deal with that crap.

Man if I was in a bad mood and just wanted a beer or some milk or something out of the fridge and the fridge was like "cheer up prick" I think I'd crowbar the door off it.

Don't people usually put pictures of smiling people on their fridge

Steven Bogos:

Shamanic Rhythm:
Lego wouldn't have to worry about the competition if their prices weren't so darned high.

And yes, I am a 25 year old who still checks out the Lego section at the department store.

The reason Lego is so expensive is that it is legitimately built to last a lifetime. The quality and craftsmanship of the bricks is so incredibly high that the pieces just DON'T break. And if they do, you can send them into LEGO and they will replace them for free

This is unquestionably true. Despite some of the torture my 5 year old self inflicted on my Lego collection, I don't think I ever managed to break a piece.

If you can get to the critical mass where you have enough of a mix of Lego pieces to make whatever the hell you want, you're absolutely set. However, the road to childhood nirvana is paved with money.

Based on the tech i saw in that video, i await the news that a known terrorist was taken out by a drone strike that looked like the Lego Batwing.

The main issue would be picking up all those little bits afterwards so you can put them back together again.

Oh good... because legos weren't already way to damn expensive as it is.

So a lego RC car with camera in it. havent we seen how badly it ends up?

thaluikhain:

kailus13:
Couldn't tiny lego camera drones be used to spy on people?

Yup. Now, such things are around already, but not usually marketed to kids. Phone cameras need that annoying camera sound to tell people they are being photo-ed, for example.

In japan it is illegal to sell a phone who has the ability to turn of the sound when taking pictures. Thus they invented a silent photo app. i always though why would anyone be that dumb to make camera make mandatory noise. it is extremely annoying when you are in the clas and want to take picture of your blackboard and it then screams so loud the next class can hear it that i just took a picture. just fuck you stupid japan laws.

Cpacha: be nice
NO <grumpycat>

It's really nice to see these larger companies actually make use of their R&D budgets in interesting and new ways. Personally, if they're going to partner with Sony I'd also like to see some Sony characters appear in Lego sets as well.
But as someone who is quite fascinated by robotics and science this is the kind of thing that could drag me back to playing with all that Lego I totally don't have stashed away in the cupboard despite pushing 20...

Fridge that requires a smile. Before I get my coffee, I am not smiley. It's an interesting idea, but not a good one.

Mr.K.:
Now if they could only invent a box of basic Lego so you could make some imaginative shit again and put these pieces to actual use.

I second this notion. Why it so hard to understand that we want more parts to build our own creations with?

 

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