Forget the Olympics: Lego and Twitter Power New Digital Games

The London 2012 Olympic Games may be just around the corner, but this year also marks the start of Digilympics, a new interactive Arduino-powered "sport" that you can get involved with via Twitter, all without having to leave your couch.

Digilympics, a two-week-long event created by hardware hacker Sam Cox, features teams from the U.S., Canada, the UK, and Japan. However, the teams are not made up of your usual athletes; instead, they're actually teams of Lego minifigures, all of which are trying to sprint along a specially-made running track.

Each Lego minifigure represents one of the participating nations, and to make one move you just have to send a tweet to that athletes' Twitter account to show your support. An Arduino board is programmed to scan Twitter for any new relevant @-replies that mention the teams. The tweets trigger a signal to spin motors, which move the teams forward down the track.

An infrared beam set across the finish line ready to detects the winner, at which point the game resets and the Lego athletes get ready to run again. A tally is being kept noting how many times each competing nation wins a race, as at the end of the two weeks one nation will be awarded the Digilympics Gold Medal.

If Sam's name sounds familiar, we have featured some of his other hacks here on GeekTech in the past.

A 24-hour live stream of the relentless Lego-Twitter action can be viewed on the projects website. So why not fire up your Twitter client of choice and get tweeting your support.

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