Program LEGO Robots in Python with Snekboard

This all-in-one board lets you build CircuitPython-controlled robots using LEGO Power Functions motors and switches.

Jeremy S. Cook
6 months agoRobotics

Several months ago we featured the Snekboard, an open source LEGO control board, with the promise of an upcoming Crowd Supply campaign to allow you to buy your own. Well, that day is here, and you can now purchase one for $79. The question then is why a Skekboard over other available official LEGO and DIY options?

The answer is that a Snekboard, by creator Keith Packard, provides everything you need to start programming LEGO robots in Python. With a SAMD21G18A at its core, the board can be coded in CircuitPython or the Snek language that offers “a gentle introduction to Python and robotics.”

Board power comes in the form of a LiPo battery, with charging circuitry and provisions to drive up to four LEGO Power Functions motors or servos. It also includes eight GPIO pins, along with two addressable RGB LEDs and a single blue LED.

At 48 x 48mm, the board is conveniently the size of 6 x 6 LEGO studs, and an optional baseplate enables it to snap onto a robot like a normal brick. There is also a cable set option, which should be useful if you don’t want to worry about connections. While some might want to make their own robot from scratch — or build on the board’s design files found here — as an educational tool or hobby platform that provides everything you need, the Snekboard looks like an excellent option.

Jeremy S. Cook
Engineer, maker of random contraptions, love learning about tech. Write for various publications, including Hackster!
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