At a two-day open house event, Sony researchers showed off some of their work, including the result of a partnership with Lego. Check ‘er out:
What you see is called Toy Alive, a lovely convergence between programming, hardware hacking, robotics, video games, and toys. The Toy Alive bots are controlled with Sony Playstation controllers. Like most basic robotics toys, Toy Alive contains LED components and small motors. They also include tiny webcams.
The bigger picture is that kids can start to see their toys not just as something to play with but as a platform — something interactive that they can use to create and manipulate, not just experience passively.
Lego has long been in the business of encouraging creativity in ways that appeal to the nerd/gamer set. Last year, the company captured out collective, nerdy imagination with the Lego Minecraft set. More recently, we’ve been captivated by the Mindstorms robots from Lego.
And in keeping with the whole toys-as-a-platform motif, take a look at these video game-inspired Lego projects:
Lego Bioshock Big Daddy
A Big Daddy and a Little Sister from the game Bioshock. A guide to making this set, written by the creator, Imagine_, can be found at Instructables.
Source: Instructables - Imagine_
Valve's puzzle game Portal may be immortalized in brick form if this Lego Cuusoo submission gets enough backers. Best get voting. There's cake.
A staggering array of characters from Nintendo's Gamecube classic Pikmin, all created by Filip Felberg. I'm terrified to think how long they took to build.
Source: MOC Pages - Filip Felberg
Lego The Legend of Zelda
This Legend of Zelda Lego concept has received 10,000 votes on Lego Cuusoo and may well become reality, providing both Lego and Nintendo give the go-ahead.
Source: Deviant Art - Mingles
Lego Starfox Arwing
An Arwing, from the Super Nintendo game Star Fox. DeviantArt user archus7 says he tossed the model in the air to take this 'in-flight' shot.
Source: DeviantArt - archus7
Lego Castle Crashers
The Behemoth, the developer of PS3 and Xbox 360 game Castle Crashers, has got behind this Lego Cuusoo proposal, created by czar. Currently with just over 800 votes, it still needs plenty more support.
Source: Lego Cuusoo - czar
Lego Eve Online Rifter ship
This Rifter ship, also by czar, is inspired by the massively multiplayer online PC game Eve Online. It is currently under official review at Lego Cuusoo, having gained 10,000 supporters.
Source: Lego Cuusoo - czar
Lego Technic Starcraft 2 Siege Tank
A huge Lego Technic Siege Tank, based on the PC game StarCraft II. It features infra-red remote control and a working cannon. Wow.
Source: MOC Pages - antti hakala
A fierce looking Gyrados, from Pokemon. This creation has been submitted to the Lego Cuusoo site and is waiting for more support. No sign of a Magikarp, thankfully.
Source: Lego Cuusoo - retinence
Lego transforming Nintendo robots
A transforming robot Nintendo Gameboy, Tetris cartridge, and NES Zapper. The batteries even double as weapons. What's not to like?
Source: Lego Cuusoo - vonbrunk
Lego Super Nintendo
This Lego Super Nintendo has a working light and space for a cartridge. Just don't expect it to actually play Super Mario World.
Source: MOC Pages - brick master
Lego Minecraft extension
The first gaming project on Lego Cuusoo to reach production, initial supplies of Lego Minecraft have sold out very quickly. This model was created to show the potential of combining multiple sets.
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Hat tip: Japan Times
Image credit: dunechaser/Flickr