Arduino and LEGO Mindstorms are two amazing development platforms pretty mainstream among robotics enthusiasts and even professionals, each having unique features making it better suited for one project or another, however solutions for bringing these together are surfacing at an increasing rate. Today we take a look at EVShield, an extension board for Arduino that enables you to connect and communicate with any Mindstorms sensors or motors via the I2C interface.
The project comes from OpenElectrons, a small company specialized in creating sensors and accessories various development platforms, which is run by the same team of engineers which created the better known Mindsensors, specialized in sensors and accessories for Mindstorms platforms.
EVShield is fully compatible with Arduino Uno, Duemilanove and Leonardo boards and connectors and it also allows for connecting additional shields via its own plugin connectors.
The shield supports all standard NXT and EV3 sensors and motors as well as most third party hardware from Mindsensors, Dexter Industries or HiTechnic. Since communication takes place over I2C it is also possible to create custom sensors and peripherals for your project. Programming is done via the Arduino IDE and a modular C++ function library that will integrate most motors and sensors on the market.
The EVShield design seems pretty refined, it has mounting holes compatible with LEGO Technic mounting bits, and a semi-opaque border illuminated by a full color RGB LED that can be customized through programming. There are also 4 buttons on the side of the board which are also fully customizable. The board also has programmable connectors for 6 standard RC servos.
The board accepts input voltages of 8 to 11.2 VDC, and any power source – e.g. battery pack, rechargeable battery – can be connected via screw terminals.
You can get an EVShield for a minimum pledge of US $59, for more pledges and information you can check out the Kickstarter campaign page.
Via Bot Bench