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Lego Mindstorms DJ 72

jagger writes: "How often have you heard someone at a party say, 'Oh, change the music, nobody is dancing to this song!' Well, that problem is now solved with this lego dj that detects whether the dance floor is hopping or not and also responds to hand motions from people in front of its camera."
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Lego Mindstorms DJ

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  • I was going to go there, but was turned away instantly with a cold sholder by them requiring a cookie. Of course this lead to an instant rant to the about respecting peoples right to not have each and every move tracked.

    I think I'll join in with the mis-information compaign.


  • The porno applications of this device are staggering. Dirty Nurses [] isn't working for you, it'll know and pull up the SSK [] divx-cd for you.
  • by cr0sh ( 43134 ) on Wednesday September 20, 2000 @03:26PM (#765426) Homepage
    I like the product, and it has an excellent price for what you are getting, but I would be willing to pay $150-200 if it was wireless. Heck, it would be more useful if it had a longer cord - but wireless is truely where it would be great.

    Imagine creating a web-cam bot that could roam around the house (at least until its batteries died) under control from a web page based interface!

    I guess until they do this, one will have to cobble together thier own wireless cam solution (maybe one of those X-Cams mounted on the bot)...

    I support the EFF [] - do you?
  • by Frijoles ( 16015 ) on Wednesday September 20, 2000 @05:00PM (#765427)
    What would be interesting would be to combine the CueCat scanner and the Lego Mindstorms. For instance, I am sitting at my desk. In my cd-player, which has a massive sound system, I want to change the CD. Instead of getting up to do it, I scan in a bar code related tot he CD I want to hear. The robot changes it for me.

    I am not sure how either of these two devices work (yet), but the fusion of the two could be kind of cool.
  • Imagine a Beowulf cluster of these!

    No, seriously... you could probably take over the world or something.

  • ...and you think Lego robotics is cool, then come out and visit for Fear of a Bot Planet [], the 6th Annual, Lego Robotics Contest-an unofficial, unsponsored event...


  • I got my Lego Mindstorms for Christmas 1998 but I haven't used it much. I think I will take it out of the closet and hack around with it.

    Visual Basic is a good way to program your Lego Brick. You install the Mindstorms OCX and then you can do what you want. There is a big PDF manual too. This way you can control the RCX with more precision.

    I have compiled some links to Mindstorms pages and direct links to files for those who fear the cookies.

    SDK info []

    PDF Manual []

    Sample Program []

    SDK 2 Beta file+docs. Cool stuff []

  • Heh...oh, crap, I just had to respond to that, but really have nothing to say to it. :) I'll go cry now.

    -David T. C.
  • I've always wished there was good software lego out there... I mean, there's Mindrover (, but you don't have the customizability... you pick the base and choose the parts. I like to build the base :-). Also those Lego games (like racer) are OK, but their interface for putting blocks together is a pain... as if it's designed for a console (probably 'cuz it is :-)). Anyone know where to find a good lego software simulator?

  • Wow, cheese-tastic! The ambience of a pound-a-pint-a-lager club in your very own home!
  • The lego DJ that detects what kind of mood you're in and responds by dispensing the appropriate drugs.

    Right next up some banging house, lets hit up with some speed...

    Ezer Goode Ezer Goode E's Ebenezzer Goode - The Shamen
  • funny, works for me
  • you are definitely going to the wrong types of parties... maybe you should try to go to the ones that make it a point of advertising that there is NO ALCOHOL (wink wink nudge nudge)

    as for skipping.... the kick ass CD players that DJ's use are so anti-skip its silly...

    and the stability of a 30 lbs. 1200 spinning vinyl with an actual physical contact point of the needle is amazing... 1000's of decibels and no skippy...

    anyway - in summary ... if you are concerned about these things... especially the drinking... you arent going to the right parties... :-)


  • by MWoody ( 222806 ) on Wednesday September 20, 2000 @03:27PM (#765437)
    All right! Now we've replaced the band, we've replaced the DJ... In a few years, we'll finally be able to replace those blasted dancers! Behold, the party of the future: perfect and pristine.
  • by MaximumBob ( 97339 ) on Wednesday September 20, 2000 @03:27PM (#765438)
    Actually, you probably won't have to use the Lego Mindstorms programming language if you don't want to.

    I am not a mindsorms owner (IANAMO), but I believe that there have been ports of several languages to the platform. For example, there's an old /. article [] that discusses one.

  • If it's just registering pixel changes, then I presume a few flashing disco lights or even a sad disco mirror ball would count as motion or "dancing". Too bad he didn't describe any in-situ testing; I'm guessing it doesn't really work at all except under the most controlled circumstances.

    Still, you've got to applaud the changer itself, which is a nice bit of lego robotics.
  • Actually, one of the predesecors(sp?) was a garbage truck, that ran on UPC/Barcodes, if you wanted it to go forward and then left, you showed it a particular barcode, it was primitive and simple but it was before the mindstorms RCX block.

  • Yes, I know. They're third party programs. (Lego actually supports third party software... What a concept!) I usually use NQC. However, the camera needs software to handle the vision system. Unfortunately, there does not yet exist any third party software to handle this and it will likely be a great while before there is any.
  • Who would have thought of building a lego DJ? Maybe at a party like this one [] (where we're having a "lego playroom" AND hot DJs? Perhaps some lego building raver got inspired?
  • You misspelled "Space Channel 5". HTH.

    "Up! Down! Left! Right! Shoot! Shoot! Shoot!"
  • I so agree. Paul Oakenfold is god and none shall mess with him...even Legos.
  • Thanks, man!
  • give me a break oakie couldn't cut a fluid mix if his life depended on it. trust me...i know. i've seen him in person 3 times. he's horrible.
  • I have a picture of Larry dancing (by himself) to the reggae band that was out at the OS convention in Monterey. Pretty funny.
  • Damnit.. that is one sick and twisted game. Pretty cool.

    All I could seem to pull off though, were "taco grab", "crap" and "fast break"
  • "How often have you heard someone at a party say, 'Oh, change the music, nobody is dancing to this song!' Well, that problem is now solved with this lego dj....[snip]
    1) If your DJ is lame enough they can't figure out no one's dancing, they deserve to be replaced with a Lego animatron.
    2) Sarcasm aside, this is ingenious. I'd use one myself at a party: not so I can take half-hour breaks from DJing, but to give the party attendees something extra and interactive to play with.
  • To continue the off-topic thread... I completely agree. While I occasionally find cookies to make life much better (Slashdot preferences, for examples) and occasionally find java(script) to be fundamentally cool on some sites (like superbad []) and absolutely adore some of the Flash/Shockwave/Whatever-that-is animation I've seen, I find it completely annoying when the site breaks down because of dependence on these things-- a properly designed CGI backend should be able to check for browser version or a prefs cookie and build HTML for your needs. Unfortunately this isn't a standards issue. There is no standard that says that a site or page should be usable without cookies or javascript. The standards merely govern implementation of those things so that they are annoying in the same way on every site.
  • I know he practises his live sets a lot. So we don't really know how much talent he's got in the old mxing department.
  • Lego do have a software Lego - I forget the name at the moment but it does exist (at least, I bought one in the UK about 2 yrs ago).
  • by Rader ( 40041 )
    I wonder what software they run to get the hand motion recognition
  • Neat idea. Someone should apply this idea to an MP3 based jukebox so that the most expensive and tempermental part of the setup (the robot arm) can be avoided.

    Betcha a cheap webcam and some neat software can be spliced together for under $90 to do it. Your choice of music is only limited by the size of your harddrive, or the size of your internet connection.

  • Run a restaurant and unsure how to get food from the kitchen to your diners' tables? Check out the Dining Optimizer, which brings food to patrons on small, remote controlled wheelie things. Said things note looks of impatience on diners' faces; monitor foot-tapping; do coke.

  • ...i suppose. usually people are too drunk at parties to care. or maybe just the parties i go to =] of course there are often problems with floor bouncing (the detection method it uses) incurring cd is that so great? oh well mp3s are better for playing at parties anyway, especially because if you get a request and don't have the song, you will in a matter of seconds.
  • Can it adjust record speeds, and synchronize with the finesse of Paul Oakenfold?
  • So what does it do when you flip it off?
    Change the song to "Warm Leatherette" and call the bouncer?

  • Ha! Yeah, right. The best artificial DJ for my money is, always has been, and always will be Buddy Lee(you need flash). []

  • yeah, I know they're mostly for kids and stuff but i've been always been a big lego fan, mostly because you can do a lot of things with them, but also for other reasnos. anyo ne know of any sites with lego news? :>
  • What if you're playing musical chairs? It would just ruin the whole game.

  • ...can you go this one better, and program a Mindstorm to scratch your vinyl?
  • Goddammit, my hand hurts now.

  • "No cookie.
    To access this site your browser must be accepting cookies."
  • My browser even accepts cookies. I run Guidescope [], which filters some stuff, but I don't have it set to block cookies. Lego just rejected me too, with the same message (essentially, Lego told me to go pound sand because I don't accept cookies).

    Lego, not only is your cookie block stupid, IT DOESN'T EVEN WORK! Oh, and you would happen to be using this cookie stuff to be monitoring kids under 13, would you?
    This post sponsored by the American Obstetrics Society:

  • going to the trouble of posting a story like this
    takes priority over masturbating. Well then,
    Legos story out of the way for this week, guess
    we're all on the edge of our seats for some real
    dishes about some wood-popping anime, eh?

  • The disk changer is an impressive piece of robotics to build out of Legos. Note that it really does grip the disks, rotate them, and put them in the CD player tray.
  • With enough Lego Mindstorms that shouldn't be a problem. I doubt I'd find the dancing legos as attractive as I find the girls, though.

    Hey, for all we know, the mindstorms might unite and have parties when we're not watching! I know I haven't been using mine for a couple of months. I don't even know if they are still in their box!
  • How long will it be before that mindstorm DJ is downloading MP3s and burning his own CDs?
  • Lego, not only is your cookie block stupid, IT DOESN'T EVEN WORK! Oh, and you would happen to be using this cookie stuff to be monitoring kids under 13, would you?

    The server is most probably in Denmark so danish law applies (maybe, it might also be the law in the country the surfer is in, or the law in france if anyone should build anything remotely connected with nazism).

    This means that they are not allowed to correlate the information they get with anyone else without the express permission of the person the information is about, EVERYTIME they want to share data with anyone. But it also means that the age of 13 is NOT the divider between when your a kd with special protection, and when your not (i believe its either 16 or 18).

  • Give 'em a hit of E and a bottle of water and they'll be dancing in no time. Hehe!!!
  • Yeah, but it has a lame building interface... also I didn't think it had very many electronic, gear or Mindstorm features... BTW, has anyone tried LegoDACTA? It's pretty cool but it is damn expensive.

  • well 've built a huge house-sized athlon processor out of legos. I even used metal paint to make the circuits conductive, so it really processes! You should see the disk drive, man its huge!
  • What would be interesting would be to combine the CueCat scanner and the Lego Mindstorms. For instance, I am sitting at my desk. In my cd-player, which has a massive sound system, I want to change the CD. Instead of getting up to do it, I scan in a bar code related tot he CD I want to hear. The robot changes it for me.

    And here I thought I was a karma whore.

    This is the least useful concept I've seen all day. If you're already sitting at your computer, why would you want to open a booklet or drag out a sheet of barcodes, and scan something, when you could far more easily develop either a native app or some web-fronted CGI in <language-of-your-choice>? The latter would take you only brief moments to implement, maybe a day if you tied it to a db backend to store all your CDs and tracks and such.

    I curse to death (or at least obscurity) the moderator who modded you up for mentioning CueCat and Lego Mindstorms in the same sentence. They just don't get it.

    I bet you could have gotten at least two more points if you'd put "Post-Columbine" in there, too.

  • boy oh boy are there some djs out there who could learn from this - the ones who are so into what they're playing that they don't notice that they are the only ones...
  • I was actually thinking of the possibility of using one or more of the Mindstorms light sensors to emulate a CueCat. Instead of starting a new thread, I looked to see if anyone had thought of using Mindstorms with CueCat. Your idea, although not related to mine, uses both toghther.

    This is how the Mindstorms CueCat would work.

    It detects light/dark by how much light is reflected back from its LED. I don't know if it would be precise enough to scan the bar codes though, because the bars might be too close together.

  • by Grant Elliott ( 132633 ) on Wednesday September 20, 2000 @02:58PM (#765477)
    I got my Vision Command the other day, and I must say it is pretty impressive. The camera is actually pretty descent and the Lego studs make it the coolest computer cam out there. The software could stand to be more powerful, but at the price it's pretty good. Unfortunately, you are still stuck with the lousy Mindstorms programming "language." Also, the camera's observations are unchangable and execute continuously (ie. you can't detect motion in the upper-left corner now and look for blue later). You also can't observe two things simultaneously. However, the abilities that it does have (observe movement, color, light and interact with the RCX) are quite versatile. I expect Lego to be updating this software in the future and this idea has a lot of promise. Overall, this is probably the coolest thing to come out of Lego since the original computer interface in the 80's. For under $100 (including camera, software, and a good assortment of pieces), you'd be crazy not to buy it.
  • Sure. You can Lego news at this site [].

  • ...and if still no-one's dancing, it goes to the "crappiest lowest-common-denominator novelty tracks of the 70's and 80's" CD (featuring Mickey, YMCA, Blame It On The Boogie and their ilk) and leaves it on repeat for the rest of the night :(
  • Like, er, me [].

    Let's see the Lego DJ do that.

    - A.P.

    * CmdrTaco is an idiot.

  • by jjr ( 6873 )
    This just another cool hack from lego. I love mindstorm it allows you to be creative in so many ways it is amazing. This would be great a any party just for as a conversation piece alone.
  • by TBHiX ( 26224 )

    Man, this guy had way too much time on his hands. And maybe a few too many Lego Mindstorms. I mean, who in their right minds would build such a thing?

    Needless to say, I am in envious awe. Bravo!


  • Well, I guess that doesn't enjoy us protecting our privacy, as they require that cookies be on to view this site. Ah well, no legos for this hacker.
    I noticed
  • that fine line between 'way too much time on your hands' and 'genious.'

    If Bill Gates had a nickel for every time Windows crashed...
  • When I go to this link, thanks to junkbuster my cookies are blocked and I get this:

    No cookie.

    To access this site your browser must be accepting cookies.

    Why oh why do they make these pages cookie dependant? Howabout javascript? Just as annoying and even more common. God forbid I should want to web browse with Lynx or something else without javascript support. The cookies really annoy me. I *might* be able to understand wanting to track people around your site or whatever, but damnit, it shouldn't totally preclude viewing the page! Tons of sites do this.. is not alone. Try or a hundred others. Why don't people follow standards? There are reasons they exist!


    sorry for that tirade.. but i'm just not going to look at sites like this anymore.
  • Bah - What's the gee-ohh?

    "Sorry! This game won't run on Windows NT"

    Since when has Shockwave not worked under WinNT...

    No Buddy Lee for me...

  • by _Sprocket_ ( 42527 ) on Wednesday September 20, 2000 @04:17PM (#765487)
    So what is the cookie they MUST have? TRUE / FALSE 1919535331 SITESERVER GUID=34d4da85c2fb830daf6ff0ea7d1d7bbc

    Feel free to add that to your, and your friend's, cookie.txt file. :)

  • The ultimate site for lego news is probably []. It's where all the cool lego'ers hang out :)
    ~luge (lugnet member #482 [])
  • by Anonymous Coward
    You started the 7th thread on the topic.

    Is it really hard to load the page at threshold 0 [], use your browser "find" feature to look for the word "cookie", and add your worthy comment in a corresponding thread?

    And remember, what you write is archived forever by slashdot, so people will laugh at you forever unless you moderate yourself down, as redundant.

  • I am totally right with you, even though this is not he right article to speak about this, me too am tired of all those non intelligent, boyish comments that so many slashdotters make. And all that hate toward microsoft, aol or the companies suing napster is often driven by what is called up here in canada by a teen crisis, or teenager who are always complaining about Bouhou... napster is being sued, or boohoo, nintendo shut down another n64 rom site. I can't beleive that moderators some time give these people a higher score. Yeah sure, I can browse at 3, but still, I'm still going to see lot's of irrelevant remarks or people laughing at someone else's comment. This has to stop and Slashdot is not the place it used to be. And now, go ahead, and rate me offtopic, or flamebait. Someone (and I've been thinking doing it myself) should write an editorial on slashdot to criticize it's readers and make them think of what their community is starting to look like to professionals and the public in general. If not, Slashdot will lose the credibility that it once had, and ultimately, it's readers.
  • by Backline ( 202972 ) on Wednesday September 20, 2000 @03:06PM (#765491) Homepage

    what happens when it gets 30yrs old?

    Does it get overweight, short, loud, annoying, lose any trace of wit and intelligence it may have had in its 'younger years', and play mediokre venues to chat up hundreds of women a nite and finally pull the dirtiest 'famous for fifteen minutes shag' girl, and ends up getting her famous for only 15 seconds then collapsing in a 'coronary waiting to happen' type slouching pile on the edge of the bed?

    Good, cos I hate DJs who do that (PS sorry for the rant, I been listening to some asshome DJ on Radio 1 here in the UK and he been pissing me off

  • Yes, just like at the airport, you too could have your very own automatically flushing toilet with this technology.

    Heck, you could even take the video feed and 'stream' it out to the web.

    Coming soon:

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 20, 2000 @03:09PM (#765493)
    *Man walks up to the camera, gives it the finger*
    Command interpreted, beginning the purge function... activating lasers... targetting... targetting... target acquired...
    Lasers firing.

    Complaint remedied.

    Even scorpions dream, Boone... give it time...
  • "Dance"? I'm afraid I don't understand. Oh, wait! Isn't that something you do in Bust-a-groove?
  • The lego site requires cookies support; I was unable to view it while Junkbuster was active.

    Is anyone out there mirroring the content for this site?



In less than a century, computers will be making substantial progress on ... the overriding problem of war and peace. -- James Slagle