Raspberry Pi's Build HAT helps students build LEGO robots

The Build HAT will set you back $25 and will work with all 40-pin GPIO Raspberry Pi boards.

Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi has launched a new product that would make it easier to build robots out of LEGO components. The Build HAT (or Hardware Attached on Top), as it is called, is an add-on device that plugs into the Pi's 40-pin GPIO header. It was specifically designed to make it easy to use Pi hardware to control up to four LEGO Technic motors and sensors from the the toy company's Education Spike kits. Those sets are meant as a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics) learning tool for young students. The HAT also works with motors and sensors from the Mindstorms Robot Inventor kit.

In addition to the Build HAT itself, the company has created a Python library that can help students build prototypes using a Raspberry Pi and LEGO components. Plus, Raspberry Pi designed a $15 power supply for the HAT that can also power the motors and sensors attached to it. The Build HAT will set buyers back $25 each, and it works with all 40-pin GPIO Raspberry Pi boards, including the Raspberry Pi 4 and Raspberry Pi Zero.

Those who want to make sure that their LEGO components will work with the HAT can also check out Raspberry Pi's handy list of compatible components. Finally, those who need a bit of help to get started can try follow one of Pi's project guides, which include a DIY game controller, a robot buggy that can be controlled via Bluetooth and a robotic face.