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New: Dexter Industries dLight

LED Light for LEGO MINDSTORMSDexter Industries have unleashed another sensor into the wild, the dLight.  I sort of ran my mouth a little, when I released my previous version of the Driver Suite by mentioning it then.  However, it’s out now and available from the Dexter Industries website.

Dexter Industries dLightSo what exactly is the dLight?  Other than a name that springs to mind many a dLightful pun, it’s a very cool, fully configurable RGB LED system that you can control from your NXT.  By controlling the levels of red, blue and green, you can create virtually any colour you can imagine.  Not only that, you can also control the blinking frequency and the duty cycle of said blinking.  So for example, if you like to create a turquoise blinking light that pulses for 100ms at a rate of once every 2 seconds, that’s totally possible.  The dLight system is made up of 4 units, one master and 3 slaves, which you can daisy chain to the master.  The only difference between the master and the slave units, is that the master unit has the NXT connector.  The wires you see in the image on the left are the ones used for daisy-chaining.  You can substitute your own, of course.  The standard ones are about 10 cm long.

How does it work?  Each unit has an address from 1-4, the master’s address is always fixed at 1, but the slaves can be configured separately.  Address 0 is special and is like a broadcast.  Each unit address translates to an I2C address, that you can make a call to.  You could assign an individual colour to each light and then send a broadcasted command to all of them to start blinking at the same time, at the same rate.  Pretty nifty.

Aswin, who worked on the development of this sensor, together with DI, made a cool video of it:

So if you’re looking to spruce up your creation, these would definitely make a great addition to your collection!

About Xander

Xander Soldaat is a Software Engineer and former Infrastructure Architect. He loves building and programming robots. He recently had the opportunity to turn his robotics hobby into his profession and has started working for Robomatter, the makers of ROBOTC and Robot Virtual Words.