** Update ** – added the mock-up of the Control+ hub, corrected the L motor dimensions and added more information based on an interview
The LEGO Fan Media Days started yesterday in Billund and the lucky participants already had a very interesting session with the Powered Up team. As it was reported by The Rambling Brick and Brickset, the team shared a presentation about the Powered Up system and they had a chance to see some of the Control+ (Technic Powered Up) components we did not see previously. Make sure to check the articles linked above for the full presentation and all the photos, some of them used here for comparison.
I would like to quickly compare the new motors and the hub to the current Power Functions variants to see if there are any major differences.
First let’s see the L motor. For the first sight you might think that it has the same dimensions as the PF L motor, but after a closer inspection I think that the PU L motor is actually longer. The PF L motor is 7 studs long, the PU L motor seems to be 8 studs long (my first assumption was 9 studs but I corrected it based on some recent images).
I created a quick mockup in LDCad and I think the new PU L motor is
really 9 8 studs long which will make the adaptation of the old PF motorized sets somewhat difficult and also makes the new motorizations more challenging.
Let’s see the XL motor. There are quite a few differences between the PF and the PU XL motors, let’s compare to the photo first:
The PF XL motor is 5x5x6 studs and it has a barrel shape. The PU XL motor seems to have a 3x3x8 core, with a 1x3x6 shape on the top/bottom and a 3x1x5 shape on the sides. The overall dimension is 5x5x8, so it’s also significantly longer than the PF version. On the plus side it has several pin holes so it’ll be easier to mount it.
Now let’s see the Control+ hub. For the first sight it seems to be pretty big but in reality it’s not bigger than the PF AA battery box:
I’m not sure about the exact dimensions here, but I’d say
5x9x8 5x9x9 studs for the PU hub. The AA battery box was 4x11x8 studs (with the switch) so it’s approximately the same volume. The hub has 4 ports and it does not have too many pin holes, we’ll see how it will fit in the builds. Also created a mock-up for this one:
I still miss the servo motor – I really hope we’ll get a proper servo for the Technic line as the Medium Linear Motor could act as a servo but it was designed for the studded creations. If we check the presentation slides there was no additional motor listed:
According to a recent interview published by klemmbausteinlyrik both the new L and XL motors have position encoding, so in theory they can act as a servo. We’ll see if that means we don’t get a new dedicated servo at all.
Some other interesting facts from the same interview:
- About the PU – PF adapter – the main challenge is what the should do, should it has simple motor control or more advanced features. It also means a challenge with communication, if they create a simple adapter and people try to connect it with the IR receiver or the WeDo sensors it wouldn’t work so they need to be very clear about the adapter’s capabilities. This means the production of the adapter is still considered but not decided yet.
- Lack of rechargeable option for the new hubs – the possibility is there with the removable battery holder (although this does not give an option for in-hub charging). They need to consider a lot of factors like price, charging solution, localization etc. It is an open question that can change in the future.
- Boost will have the possibility to run a code on its own without the need of the app, this feature was needed for the new Star Wars edition. We’ll see if this means we can have some “set it and forget it” style apps running “offline” on the hubs.