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.