The LEGO Group is among those companies actively pushing the boundaries of toy technology, and we’ve seen the results of their own breakthroughs such as the impressive LEGO Boost line that’s already set to receive a new wave of product sets compatible with it.
This time around, it looks like LEGO has something in the works that will redefine the way we play with the usual LEGO brick. Over the previous weekend the company had been holding the LEGO World Expo event in Copenhagen, and one of their highlights is a tech that enables builders to create brick controllers to operate flying “mini-drones” moving in unison.
This tech was cooked up by The LEGO Group’s own in-house research team in its ongoing directive to conceptualize new enhancements to the entire LEGO playing experience. A systematic routine setup is added to a shaped controller made out of LEGO bricks. To this are added brick-sized sensors for control. Watch the demo below.
The sensors send control signals to a series of quadcopter mini-drones in a cube-shaped frame. As seen in the video, when the operator moves the butterfly-shaped LEGO controller, the drones all rise and assume a butterfly formation, “flapping” its wings in sync with the controller’s movements.
Such precision movement in the remotely controlled drones was made possible by gyroscopes that help maintain their balance as they hover, ascend and descend in midair. Their formations are dictated by how the brick sensors were positioned on the controller, and on how said controller was positioned by the operator.
The “flying brick” electronic system was made by LEGO in collaboration with a research team from Queen’s University. There’s no timetable on when such tech might be integrated into a later LEGO technical product line like Power Functions or Boost, but it’s a good indicator of possible things to come.