littleBits + Power Functions motors

Hello! I’m new to this forum and the Brickstuff products, so please excuse my ignorance here. :-)

I have a non-lighting project that involves Power Functions motors and the littleBits system. (If you’re not familiar with the latter, check out www.littleBits.cc.)

I’m trying to come up with a way to use a signal from a 5V littleBits circuit to control some (9V) Power Functions motors. 
 

My current assumption is that I will need to build an interface involving a DC relay. Some folks at the Bricks Stack Exchange site have posted other ideas. (See https://bricks.stackexchange.com/q/15798/8175.)

Are there any ready-made solutions or components in the Brickstuff line of products that might help me with this project?

If you have questions or need any clarification of what I’m trying to do, let me know. 

6replies Oldest first
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Active threads
  • Popular
  • Hi there, thanks for your post-- I'm glad you found our little corner of the Internet!

    We have experimented with LittleBits in the past, back when they first came out, so I have a fairly good concept of how their system works.

    What is it you're trying to do?  Can you share more details about your project?  We are currently prototyping some Power Functions motor controller boards that work with various voltages-- I'd think it would be doable to look at something custom that would take the LittleBits incoming voltage (5V) and convert it into Power Functions motor signals.  Our boards handle both forward and reverse control of the PF motors.

    The biggest challenge I think would be that you'd need a separate 9V DC power source for the PF motors.  Our system has inputs for this, but 9V is too high for the LittleBits system to use, so you'd still need a separate battery or power source for that part of the system.

    If you can share more details about your project, that would be helpful.  Thanks again!

    Like 1
  • Hi, Rob Klingberg. Thanks for the reply! If you are familiar with the littleBits motor and servo, you may know that they don't have much power or torque. I've also found them to be delicate; I've had some motors break when trying to do things that (I thought) wouldn't be too much.

    That said, I have a variety of LEGO Power Functions components, which I know are robust and can be used in a wider variety of ways.

    What I would *like* to do is have an easy, modular way for me and my kid to build  either our own littleBits creations, or modified versions of the standard littleBits projects. And I'd like to so without worrying that things are going to be under-powered or break. In a similar vein, I'd love to be able to more easily incorporate littleBits into our LEGO play without a lot of hacking.

    Does this answer your question?

    Like
  • EJ Mak Thanks, it does.  Sounds like you're looking for a whole new LEGO-to-LittleBits interface, which unfortunately is beyond what we can supply.  We tried working with LittleBits years ago, in hopes of getting access to their magnetic connectors, but they were not interested.

    Like
  • EJ Mak Have you seen these? 

    https://circuitcubes.com/collections/cubes

    Looks perfect for what you're trying to do, though not using PF motors.

    Like
  • Rob Klingberg Wow, that does look cool. I hadn’t heard of those before. But I still want to find a solution that will let me interface littleBits with Power Functions. At the moment, I’m going to try creating a custom H-bridge module to act as a go-between. 

    Like
  • EJ Mak Sounds good, I'm sure you're aware that Amazon has a number of ready-made H-Bridge modules available.

    Like
Like Follow
  • 7 mths agoLast active
  • 6Replies
  • 13Views
  • 2 Following