When I was a kid I played with Legos – a lot. Lincoln Logs, too – but mostly Legos. They were great fun and I loved how they tickled my spatial brain. They also gave me another way to try for my father’s attention early in life. I didn’t see him much, so one of my ways to attempt connecting with him was to erect elaborate Lego projects and leave them on the kitchen table before I went to bed so he would see them when he got home from work. Once in a while, he’d leave a note telling me how cool it was or how smart I must be to make such a cool Lego deal. But this was quite a long time ago – when Legos were, well, just Legos. They had little people that connected in, some platforms, and a small assortment of shapes, colors and widths. But damn, they didn’t have IP addresses, local storage, and hosted services.
Seymour Papert – PopTech alum and founder of The Learning Barn in Blue Hill, Maine – pioneered the interfaces between these objects and computers with his Lego Mindstorms project. In fact, Seymour’s LOGO handled my first interactions with a color computer in 8th grade (in nearby Bar Harbor) on a TRS-80 CoCo if I recall correctly. Work like his – a lifelong dedication to empowering kids via technology – well, to say it played a huge part in my life and enabled me to succeed is a laughable understatement. Thank you, Seymour, very much.
In honor of Lego’s 75th birthday, DIYLife offers up a list of 23 superbly cool Lego projects.