lego segway

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:

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Hat tip: Japan Times

Image credit: dunechaser/Flickr