HiTechnic SuperPro Review

Just before Christmas I received the HiTechnic SuperPro Experimenter’s Kit and the HiTechnic MiniScope.  I was lucky enough to get some time over Christmas to have a play with the SuperPro and really enjoyed it.  The SuperPro comes with an array of electronic elements including a speaker, magnetic sensor, temperature sensor, light sensor and some LED’s. I went through the 9 experiments and felt that I learned more about electronics.  I especially enjoyed controlling the array of LED lights as I was soon able to modify the code (I was using RobotC)to make a Knightrider type effect (see video below).  The SuperPro comes with a solderless breadboard and a case full of cables to make wiring anything up very easy.  The quality of all the parts is very good.

If you are in to LEGO Mindstorms and want to learn more about sensors and start making your own, then this kit is the holy grail.  This board has more features than anyone could want.  You can even program the board directly using SuperProc C.

If I had to suggest improvements, I would probably ask for more information on how components work and why you need to use them in the certain experiments (e.g why do we use x resister in this example, why do we use a capacitor between these 2 pins).  I would also love to see an experiment which uses a non LEGO motors or a servo.  I think if you were clever you could setup this board to be many sensors in 1 (temperature, light, LED Array) and free up your NXT ports.

My next plan is to see if I can get a motor or servo working, maybe then moving on to a motor multiplexer.

I would like to thank HiTechnic for giving me this chance to try out this brilliant piece of kit.

Below are images of some of the experiments.

2012-12-16 21.38.00 2012-12-17 21.58.51 2012-12-26 19.26.35 2012-12-26 19.39.59


Christmas comes early at the Burfield household!

So Christmas has definitley come early this year for me and has come in the form of 3 wise companies!

The first of these was HiTechnic.com who sent me a SuperPro Experimental kit AND a MiniScope.  Both of these products where on my Christmas list for my wife to get me!

So the first of these products allow you to build your own circuits and sensors that can be used with the LEGO NXT (and a whole lot more).  It comes with a handy Experimenter’s Kit Handbook to take you through the basics up to some more advance stuff.  I will be doing a full review of this very soon and hope to build some very neat things!

The second product which has only been released recently is the MiniScope.  This is a full featured dual channel digital oscilloscope with an auxiliary 4 channel digital input option.  This is the perfect companion for the SuperPro because it will allow you to see what your circuits/sensors are outputting on your PC

The second of these wise companies was Matrix Robotics.  They make a metal building kit that is completely compatible with LEGO.  You still use the LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT as the brain however you plug the MATRIX Controller (supports 4 motors and 4 servos) into the NXT sensor port (amazing!!).  Don’t get me wrong, I love my LEGO and I believe that you can build most things out of it however, sometimes you wish there was a longer/stronger beam, a more powerful motor, servo support or that you want your model to be indestructible.

So what did they send me?  1 of each of their sets!!!! (yes I must of been a very good person this year!).  My plan is to build a few small models first and then build something epic!! Matrix Wheelchair, a Terminator? who knows!

So who was the 3rd wise company? The popular blog/magazine MAKE who featured my LEGO Wheelchair a few months back.

So what did they send me?  Well to answer that I first need to tell you that for Christmas I hope to get some Arduino stuff including a Mindsensors NXShield which will allow me to control 4 LEGO NXT motors, 4 sensors and 12 Mindsensors servo’s from a single Arduino.  Also the Arduino I hope to get will have ADK support so that I can control it via an Android phone.  Again, I am not moving away from LEGO, I love it however its always good to know what other options are out there that I can use with LEGO.

Knowing what I hope to get for Christmas, you can appreciate how happy I am to get what MAKE sent me:  Make: Lego and Arduino Projects: Projects for extending MINDSTORMS NXT with open-source electronics.  Another item that I had on my wishlist for Christmas!  Again, I plan to do a full review once I get my Arduino!


Well, I am going to have a very busy few months with this stuff!  Many thanks goes out to HiTechnic, Matrix Robotics and MAKE.

Merry Christmas