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Awesome Color Scanning LEGO music machine
Last year Kristien bought me a package of Lego Mindstorms on ebay. The thing that gets me excited about Mindstorms is that it allows me, software guy, to write code that isn't restricted to the pc. The first thing I built is a (ta-daaam) Lego Music Machine. The idea is simple: the machine functions more or less like a scanner, except that in stead of creating an image from the scanned information, sound is generated. Here's a demo:


To build the software, I used lejos, a JVM that replaces the Mindstorms firmware, thereby allowing one to write java programs for the RCX (this is the Lego brick that hosts the Mindstorms computer). Programming a Lego robot isn't always a smooth affair. Uploading a program to the robot takes some time, and especially debugging can be very tedious (the RCX's screen limits one's debug messages to 7 digits). Those things aside, I really enjoyed using lejos, and I'm very grateful to the makers of it. If you're interested in the code, you can find it here. There are some 'lego songs' in the the_fast_tapes section of this site.