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A compact, high performance remote control system for LEGO® models. Embedded battery, precise servo control and awesome power.
A compact, high performance remote control system for LEGO® models. Embedded battery, precise servo control and awesome power.
A compact, high performance remote control system for LEGO® models. Embedded battery, precise servo control and awesome power.
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318 backers pledged $55,165 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

BuWizz - Remote Control and Battery for LEGO® Models project video thumbnail
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BuWizz - Remote Control and Battery for LEGO® Models

$55,165

318

Pre-Order Here: click

Stretch Goals

Stretch goal #1: ($75.000)

Ludicrous mode, Motor current measurement & Transparent upper housing with multicolor LED lighting. Each & Every BuWizz will be capable of powering LEGO models with ludicrous speed with 11.8 Volts output. Each motor's current will be measured and recorded in real time. This will enable various advanced functions - linear actuator end position detection, motor overload, collision detection and programming of sequential motions of several motors. The upper part of housing will be transparent. Lit with several RGB LEDs, It will be capable of changing colors. The LED function will be programmable - they will be able to indicate battery state, motor state, flash in various patterns - create light effects.

Stretch goal #2: ($100.000)

New housing colors and USB data connectivity - we will add several color options for BuWizz housing (colors will be determined based on demand). Data connectivity will enable connection to PC/Mac/Linux computers, Arduino, Raspberry Pi, etc. There will be an option for connecting external sensors. BuWizz will become a robotics and educational platform.

What is BuWizz?

We are glad to announce the latest innovation in the field of LEGO® models. Our remote control brick, paired with your smartphone, is the coolest thing that ever clicked into your LEGO Technic model or train. Operating via Bluetooth and working within a large range, your models will move faster than ever and exhibit the power of real RC models.

Meet BuWizz, the one brick to steer them all

As LEGO® fans, we wanted to have more fun with our models, more speed, power and possibilities to play with the models we construct. We were not satisfied with available solutions. We wanted the freedom to control several models with many motors at the same time and steer them with precision, power and authority. One should be able to drive models outdoors and enable them to climb over obstacles and defeat rough natural terrain such as grass, gravel, tree roots, etc. We set a goal and worked hard for two years to reach it.

What's in it for you?

BuWizz is a high performance yet compact controller for LEGO® Power Functions motors. BuWizz comes equipped with embedded battery and a Micro-USB charging port. A single BuWizz brick controls up to four motors. Smartphone or tablet controlled, it's super easy to setup and use. The App can control several BuWizz bricks in case you ever really want to build that monster model with 30 motors & lights you are dreaming about.

 

Out of the box setup

Saves your time, with no setup necessary, BuWizz just works out of the box. Insert BuWizz into your model, connect the motors and start the App. Auto configuration will take care of setting up BuWizz. You can, of course, change all the settings and store them for unlimited number of models.

 

Compact build

At only 8 bricks long, 4 bricks wide and 3 bricks high - BuWizz is compact (even smaller than LEGO AAA battery box), yet it replaces the LEGO® battery box and two LEGO® IR receivers. You can also embed the BuWizz brick deep into your model if you so wish and hide it out of sight. All you need is access to the Micro-USB charging port (which can also be achieved with a simple USB extension cable).

 

 

Responsive control with precise steering

Steer your models smoothly – LEGO PF Servo motor has 15 positions with BuWizz (not just left-center-right as with LEGO IR controls). Move the sliders on the touch screen fast and your model will respond to speed changes instantly, move the sliders slowly and the motors will follow your commands and change their speed gradually. Control with fast response was the drive behind BuWizz. Test it out, it feels sooo cool.

 

 

Delivers 2x the speed and 8x the power to any model

BuWizz is very powerful. It delivers two times more power and speed to each motor, so your huge & heavy 5000+ bricks creation will scream & roar and not just barely move across the floor. Each of the four outputs can easily power two LEGO XL motors at the same time. When all four outputs are used, BuWizz delivers 8x more power to the motors than any solution using LEGO battery box! Unleash your imagination and build the monster MOC you always wanted to, without worrying how to make it move and where to drive it.

 

Charges via Micro-USB

BuWizz has an embedded high performance Li-Ion battery and a standard Micro USB charging port. The battery lasts for hours of fun (depending on usage). When the battery eventually gets low, the App will alert you and you can charge it from any USB source. You no longer need to burden the environment with depleted batteries.

 

 

Be alerted when battery is running low

We have been there many times too – without warning, somehow the NiMh rechargeable batteries are always dead when you finally find the time to play with your models. We have this covered. The App will show you battery charge state so you will always know how much power remains.

 

Endless fun

In case BuWizz battery gives up before you do, you can charge it with any standard Powerbank battery even while you drive your model. No problem if you forgot to charge your BuWizz – just make sure your Powerbank is full.

FAST and SLOW speed modes

In FAST speed mode, BuWizz delivers 2x more power to each motor, enabling them to spin faster. Your models will run faster and have more power to climb obstacles.

Retract the gear on your plane, move the barrier or convertible roof. BuWizz is the only solution that moves the LEGO PF Servo motor between positions very fast or very slow or anything in between – you decide. Check the video below to se the difference between "Fast" and "Slow" modes.

Tracked vehicle steering

If you have ever tried it, you know steering a tracked vehicle can be a hassle. Drive your tracked vehicle like you would any “normal” vehicle - with forward-reverse & steering control sliders. BuWizz will do the rest and send appropriate control signals to left and right track motors.

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Studded or studless? 

BuWizz can handle both worlds with ease. Bottom & top surfaces have studs for connecting BuWizz to studded designs. The 4 pin holes in the corners enable BuWizz to be integrated in studless models.

 

The app

BuWizz works on Android and iOS devices. Designed for ease of use, both platforms support automatic pairing and setup of your BuWizz brick(s). We are developing several fully customizable skins - here are just two of them:

Dimensions

BuWizz has the same footprint as two IR receivers. You can swap those and use it instantly. It mostly fits inside the models, yet you have to rearrange a brick or two sometimes :-) We believe BuWizz is the most useful brick. A brick to control compact and complex LEGO creations. The possibilities are truly endless.

 

You need to see this video:

How we developed BuWizz

We got the idea for BuWizz back in late 2013, created some simple prototypes and tested them at local LEGO user group meetings during 2014.

Serious development started in 2015, when we decided to add a battery to BuWizz since this was the only way to achieve the desired performance. Months of development, testing, changes, more development & testing, etc. followed. We changed the internals and external design and added pinholes. It was hard work but it was also fun and now BuWizz is ready! 

 

 

 

BuWizz beta testers

We thoroughly tested the prototypes and gathered feedback from several beta testers. Here are some of them and their opinions:

Sariel: "performance is excellent!" Here is his video review.

Nico71: Here is Nico's video review (in French). And review on his website.

Philo: "I mostly tested on 42030 Volvo wheel loader, worked remarkably well!"

Designer Han: "I really like it! "

Jurgen Krooshoop: "Allthough the App is still very basic, it works pretty well. It didn’t crash 1 single time."

Crowkillers

 

Timeline

After successful Kickstarter campaign, we will set in motion the process of manufacturing BuWizz. We need to order the plastic moulding tools from our suppliers, order all the electronic components, and start the production at our external supplier.

 

Technical Data

Battery

  • Battery type: Lithium Polymer (Li-Ion) - rechargeable
  • Battery capacity: 7.5 Wh 
  • Charge rate: 5 W (5 V, 1 A) 
  • Charge time (20-80%): 1h 15 min

Perfomance

  • Max current per channel: 3 A 
  • Max power per channel: 30 W (HIGH speed mode)
  • Max power total: 45 W 
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth Smart (BLE)  
  • Range: up to 60 m
  • Dimensions: 8 x 4 x 3 bricks

Speed mode voltages 

  • SLOW speed: 4 V
  • NORMAL speed: 7.5 V
  • FAST speed: 10 V

Software support

  • Android version: 4.4 and up 
  • iOS version: 9 and up  
  • open Bluetooth communications protocol

Comparison to LEGO batteries

  • BuWizz output voltage is regulated and stays constant regardless of load (either 4, 7.5 or 10 V). Maximum (all channels combined) output current is 4.5 A. 
  • LEGO Li-Ion (8878): output voltage drops when battery gets discharged, depends on load. At 50% capacity, 1 A discharge, voltage is only slightly above 6 V. Maximum current: 1.5 A for 5 seconds (before protection trips).
  • LEGO AA battery box (8881): performance depends on AA batteries used. At 750 mA discharge, voltage is about 6.5 - 7 V. Maximum current: 1.5 A for 5 seconds (before protection trips).
  • LEGO AAA battery box (88000): performance is worse than AA battery box; voltage at 750 mA is 6 - 6.5 V. Same current limiter as AA battery box

Excellent documentation about LEGO batteries and extensive test results can be found on Philo's website. Thanks Philo!

Credits to BuWizz team

Roni Leben - making it happen (team leader)
Roni Leben - making it happen (team leader)

 

Kajetan Kovač - typist & coder (software design)
Kajetan Kovač - typist & coder (software design)

 

Sandi Romih - wielding a soldering gun (hardware design)
Sandi Romih - wielding a soldering gun (hardware design)

 

Lovro Sambol - slide ruler expert (CAD design)
Lovro Sambol - slide ruler expert (CAD design)

 

Matjaž Ferenc - rulers & pencils (design, UI graphics)
Matjaž Ferenc - rulers & pencils (design, UI graphics)

 

Melissa Cerić - color crayons (design, web design)
Melissa Cerić - color crayons (design, web design)

 

Žiga Godina - the messenger (community manager)
Žiga Godina - the messenger (community manager)

 

Peter Irman - killin' it behind the lens (photography)
Peter Irman - killin' it behind the lens (photography)

 

Robert Reinhardt - adult supervision (mentor & startup consultant)
Robert Reinhardt - adult supervision (mentor & startup consultant)

 

We want to thank many other people, who helped with the project so far.

We want to thank the Kickstarter team for making this possible and all the press for covering our product. A big thank you for backing our campaign and supporting the project we all believe in.

Origin of BuWizz name

BuWizz is an imaginary name. Means nothing. Or something. Bluetooth. Battery. Better. Upgrade. Wizard. BuWizz. Makes your models whizz by. You decide what BuWizz means.

Disclaimer

We are a group of enthusiasts and we created BuWizz as an enhancement to add more fun and enable new possibilities with LEGO models. We tried hard to differentiate BuWizz from LEGO products, but to maintain compatibility, some similarities are unavoidable.

LEGO® is trademark of The LEGO Group, which does not sponsor, authorize or endorse us or this project in any way. All Trademarks are property of their respective owners.

 

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Risks and challenges

We feel confident enough to show you and deliver this very special brick. BuWizz is set to ship inside this year and our plan will be fairly easy to accomplish, if we are fully backed. We need to prepare plastic moulding tooling for production, set up the assembly line and create the first batch with support of our external partners. Possible risks include manufacturing and logistic issues, but we already accounted for possible delays in our schedule. We also need to "polish" the App, both iOS and Android versions, where we have full control over development.

So here is our challenge: We commit to our dear backers to fulfil the orders and deliver rewards inside this year. Specifically, the early bird batch will ship in November. This is a promise we will look forward to fulfilling. The main shipment will follow in December, when BuWizz will enter the market.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Coffee pledge

    We thank you sincerely for your support, regardless of the amount. We will e-mail you something special - it's still a secret...

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    Pledge $89 or more About $89

    Early Bird Special

    One-time-only special offer! 1x BuWizz brick.
    Be among the first in the world to get the BuWizz brick as a reward for your pledge.

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    Pledge $119 or more About $119

    The BuWizz brick

    This is it. 1x BuWizz brick.
    Get BuWizz brick out of the first production batch as a reward for your backing. Thank you sincerely!

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    2x BuWizz Early Bird Special

    2x BuWizz brick.
    Be among the first to get TWO BuWizz bricks and back our campaign.

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    Pledge $199 or more About $199

    2x BuWizz Double Special

    2x BuWizz brick special offer.
    Get two BuWizz bricks for your generous support.

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    Pledge $229 or more About $229

    2x BuWizz!

    2x BuWizz brick.
    Get two BuWizz bricks for your generous backing

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    Pledge $339 or more About $339

    1x BuWizz + LEGO Volvo 350F

    Don't have a suitable LEGO model?
    Receive the LEGO 42030 Volvo 350F Wheel loader + one BuWizz brick as a reward for trusting this project. Includes instructions for installing BuWizz. Build, play and have fun ;-)

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    Pledge $349 or more About $349

    BE THE FIRST - GET BUWIZZ NOW!

    1x BuWizz PROTOTYPE + 1x BuWizz brick
    Be THE FIRST in the world to get a working BuWizz prototype NOW!. Become a reviewer or beta tester if you wish. We'll also send you one additional BuWizz brick from first production batch.

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    Pledge $429 or more About $429

    4x BuWizz!

    4x BuWizz bricks.
    Get four BuWizz bricks for pledging a larger amount. Equip several LEGO models with Buwizz or have fun with your friends and family.

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    Pledge $899 or more About $899

    10x BuWizz Special

    10x BuWizz bricks.
    Get ten (10) BuWizz bricks. Equip several LEGO models with Buwizz or have fun with your family, friends, fellow AFOLs or become a distributor.

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    Pledge $999 or more About $999

    10x BuWizz - Friends & Family

    10x BuWizz bricks.
    Get ten (yes, 10) BuWizz bricks. Equip several LEGO models with Buwizz or have fun with your family, friends, fellow AFOLs or become a distributor.

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    Meet the BuWizz team

    This is the most special pledge. Come to Ljubljana, Slovenia and meet the BuWizz team! We'll dine & entertain you for 2 days and give you a tour of not only our labs but also Ljubljana & Slovenia! Plus you will get a special autographed version of BuWizz brick!

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Funding period

- (30 days)