As for my 4yo, forget it. He is a builder, making very elaborate and complex constructions, the bigger the better. He would find suggestions absolutely uninteresting.
I didn't try to scan Technic legos (which he is fond of and make astonishingly complex contraption given his age). But it's an even more complex problem to solve.
I suspect work on the app was focused on recognition, which honestly is impressive. The second part, finding models, maybe need a bit of work ?
I would recommend at least having an option to "ignore color": it's nice to have a build that looks good, but overall most kids - including myself - like to build first.
MOCs library is not very big at the moment, but we did not intend to go viral either :)
The library of different builds will grow for sure!
This is hilarious and makes me wonder about the relationship of the value of going viral with the repercussions in going viral before you feel you are ready for it.
Great, lots more people know about the app.
Not so great, some people's first impressions are negative because of flaws that you are probably already working to fix.
Overall it is an impressive app with lots of potential to be even better.
We were hoping to start marketing alongside with the release of Android app )
A lot of these things start out as ideas or hobby projects too, so generally the app starts being built for iOS because why wouldn't you write it with the stack you're already comfortable with / can use your own phone to test it.
I don't necessarily think its always a conscious 'we must do iOS first', but if you own an iPhone already and do iOS dev at work...
Would be awesome! Actually thought that was what this was doing at first as well.
I'm a big fan of all Lego communities like https://www.mecabricks.com/ and https://www.reddit.com/r/lego/ and your Brickit just made my day. Thank you!
My 5-year-old likes playing with built models a lot, and also likes building with instructions, but not free building. More instructions for the huge pile of Lego we have, he would like.
My 3-year-old is pretty much exclusively into (often quite elaborate) freebuilding. Even when kids are super creative, it doesn't manifest in the same way.
For me there are definitely two kinds of Lego users. Those who struggle with the building instructions. For them following these is almost meditative.
Then there are those who don't and who have their own ideas. They will skim through the instructions and build the set once (if at all). And in general just welcome the addition of (new) bricks.
For me the resp. set served mostly as fuel for my imagination. If it was a spaceship, the next thing I would build was one. Just not the one in the set.
My dad built me a chest of drawers with lots of boxes for sorting Legos. And sorted them for me when he gave it to me as a present, for my 5th b-day. It was almost as tall as me at the time. I.e. I could just open and peek into the top drawer.
He also told me why it was important to sort the bricks again, after I deconstructed my opi:
I could let my imagination run free and find the bricks I needed quickly when building my next piece.
Before, when they were all a pile in a big box, very often the creative flow was killed by the annoyance of searching a pile of bricks for the one I needed. You start building something and eventually you just stop.
This thing looks like a tool for people who lack both. Sorted Legos and imagination.
Imagination and 3d visualization are different things. Some people enjoy refinement and improvement from an existing state versus starting from zero.
Having quick generation of ideas for small builds means you could focus on being creative at the scale of a whole scene or diorama.
I was a bit disappointed by the suggested builds, because they're small, but I also understand it's early on and a difficult thing to do.
Not vital, but I was surprised that it doesn't look for colors at all.
One thing I'd love is the same technology, but used to look for a particular part. It does that once you pick a build, but imagine building your own thing rather than suggestions and having the app tell you where you can find the piece you're looking for. If you're adventurous, you would even have a custom tray with a spotlight directed at your pile :)
I've been trying to take thousands of mixed parts back into their original sets and I was hoping this might be helpful. The technology itself probably would, but not packaged as it is for the moment.
All that being said: really well done!
I wonder if the tech could be used to take some pictures of a completed model, recognise pieces on the outside, guess pieces on the inside that would work and produce instructions for the model.
Lastly I won’t show this to my 5yo just yet because I love the things build by them from imagination only and I also think having to search for parts, maybe finding something else that’s a better fit or gives a new idea is an essential part of play
Exactly that pain brought Brickit to life!
Hopefully mobile team will manage to implement all the improvements that come from users :)
Do you have any figures on the error rates?
(but a great way to spend the holidays, reconstructing your old sets and having to order the missing pieces from all over the world)
Source: it was me with the team who did all of that.
- extreme number of objects on single photo, typical number of visible pieces in large pile is 1500-2000
- extreme number of classes in multi-class classification, there are ~1000 most common Lego bricks and up to 30000 classes if you include rare bricks and different patterns
- really hard data labelling: one photo can take up to a 5 work days to label
Also you mentioned data synthesis. How would this be possible? Unless your suggesting that you rendered photo realistic piles of Legos and used trained on them because if that is the case, please do a write up of the project. I can't imagine more interesting way to generate training data.
I would estimate that any innovation like this that encourages people to pull out and play with their Lego strongly increases the chances that they'll sell new sets to those people.
I can’t see the menu and opening times for half our local cafes and restaurants, can’t see what’s on for local events in my town, etc etc.
But still, does anyone know why video quality on Twitter is so bad?
We routinely get various lego build books from the library, but it's frustrating how almost every build requires a few critical pieces that we don't have. It'd be cool if this app could tell you if there's some set or kit or odd-lot pieces we could buy that would suddenly make a large number of builds available.
It seems almost intentional that each set has several rare pieces that can not be found in other sets.
This is to add exclusive value to each set. Look at bricklink.com and find an expensive set, and you'll always find one or two pieces that are a unique color or completely unique to the set that are astronomically high in price. The original Millennium Falcon UCS set for example has two grey (I forget which specific grey) ladder pieces to highlight the engine, and those are the pieces that were most expensive last I looked.
Very cool, I expect I'm not alone among HN's audience in having grown up building legos and continuing that hobby as an adult. Sending this to my parents to see what happens if they point it at one of the boxes of random bits left over at home. Fortunately I can send this tweet because they do not use instagram.
Edit: I see that in the time it took me to post this comment I became the third or fourth person to have registered the same complaint. Apologies for the clutter.
iPhone 6 would be very slow for a pleasant experience. If I'm not mistaken.
We use iPhone 8 as a "low end device" for testing.
Latest iPhones are performing extremely well on this task
I'd pay money for this on the Android store for my kids to use it!
How are you sourcing instructions for Brickit?
Show HN: Lego Brick Scanner – open-source Boilerplate
Also, can you disable "show builds with missing pieces"?
Tho, I’m not sure how well it would really work for approx 10k pieces, as there’s not really enough flat space in the house for them to be spread out.
Anyway, he’s off to play with the app for a bit.
I don’t have a single complete set anymore … but I do have happy nieces, which I vastly prefer :)
I really dislike this future of choosing between different options, rather than creating new ones.
You don't have to use the app, you don't have to use Lego, you don't have to do anything. You can even bunker yourself up and never communicate with the outside world if you want. Just stop being so negative with people's cool apps. Please.
From a technology perspective its very cool, but it doesn't appeal to my childhood love of legos
I realize HN (including downvotes) can be frustrating sometimes but the solution is not to double down with dramatically worse posts.
Do you think that playing Mozart or Beethoven on piano ruins the imagination of a potential composer? That just isn’t how it works.
(thanks to the person who posted an alternate link, but it's weird that I can't view the video linked on their homepage)
Just download the app and core functionality is ready to be used.
Will forward it to product guys
Meta: this had gotten much better in late January, but is back to where it was again.
If it was a regular Instagram post of a video, people could view it without logging in (just tested in an Incognito window).
But yeah, probably better to self-host, or at least put it on YouTube.
I'm honestly curious why people do this, and I've never gotten a satisfactory answer. iPhone market share is 15% at best while Android is 75%. It seems like releasing an iPhone-only first iteration kneecaps the enterprise out of the gate. What am I not understanding?
Looking at it as iOS vs Android isn’t correct because Android is a fragmented mess.
This looks like something that evolved from a side/hobby project, so it must've been made for whatever devices that devs themselves use. That's it.
Edit: Downvote all you want, throwing details behind a paywall isn't helpful. I can only assume that the app requires me to login with Facebook or some other nonsense. If you can't share the basics without a login to another service then maybe you are not legit, or maybe you just don't look like you know what you are doing.