September 05, 2013

Automating LEGO trains with Arduino

If you like LEGO, trains and Arduino - then the following project may cause you to burn some real time as it inspires and teases. Created by YouTube user "almihtyarjen", it's a LEGO train layout with three independently-controlled loops. An Arduino uses PWM (pulse-width modulation) to control the power to each loop - and as there are crossings the use of IR sensors helps detect train location and avoid accidents. Furthermore the system can control stopping patterns for the passenger trains and also use PWM to control train acceleration and deceleration. The demonstration and explanation are in the following two videos:

Creating your own version isn't that difficult - just consider the basic motor control and sensor use, and you're half way there. And we're on twitter and Google+, so follow us for news and product updates as well.

If you're making a similar project and need to control large currents with your Arduino digital outputs - you'll need a MOSFET. We've got you covered with out NDRIVE: N-MOSFET driver/output module:

This high-power N-MOSFET module lets you switch high-current loads using a tiny microcontroller. Perfect for controlling that set of traffic lights mounted in your living room! Works brilliantly for automotive projects such as switching high-power 12V lights and high wattage LEDs. For more information and to order, visit the product page

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