Sunday, January 21, 2018
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Pixy for LEGO Mindstorms EV3

Pixy is a collaboration between Charmed Labs and Carnegie Mellon University.(Photo: Charmed Labs)


Pixy is robot vision made easy. It’s a fast vision sensor for DIY robotics and similar applications.

You can teach Pixy an object just by pressing a button, so it has lots of different applications.  It’s capable of tracking hundreds of objects simultaneously and only provides the data you are interested in. Plus, it’s simple and quick to get started. It connects directly to your Arduino and there are no tiny wires – Pixy comes with a cable to plug into Arduino.  No Arduino? No problem! Pixy has a number of ways to talk to to other devices.  

Recently, Pixy’s creator, Austin, Texas-based Charmed Labs, added LEGO Mindstorms support: Pixy (CMUcam5) for LEGO. Pixy LEGO uses custom firmware that speaks the LEGO sensor protocol.  A special cable is provided that plugs directly into your LEGO brick. Pixy also seamlessly integrates into the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Environment and becomes part of the LEGO visual programming environment.  They provide software blocks for Pixy that make writing LEGO programs as easy as drag and drop. You can save Pixy’s parameters, including color signatures, on your computer and restore them to your Pixy or even copy them to another Pixy. 

To get you up and running as fast as possible, the manufacturer offers free software libraries for Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and Beagle Bone Black. Pixy also makes your life easier by only sending the data you’re looking for.

At Charmed Labs, they believe that everyone benefits when ideas are shared, so they offer free and open source everything, upholding  the Open Source Hardware principles. Look for new developments in the making!

Pixy for LEGO Mindstorms EV3 is available at Robot Shop for $69.