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Identify LEGO Parts with PIQABRICK

There is an interesting LEGO-related product on Kickstarter right now that I thought our readers might be interested in. PIQABRICK was made for LEGO fans, especially those with large LEGO collections and those who regularly buy/sell at LEGO marketplaces like BrickLink.com and BrickOwl.com. PIQABRICK basically allows you to quickly identify LEGO pieces by placing them in a special recognition box. More info below.

PIQABRICK is made by an Italian company named GETCOO, founded by brothers Stefano and Claudio Berti, two tireless and inventive nerds who specialize in artificial intelligence and computer vision for industry and cultural tourism. They have been using computer vision technology to recognize various objects, and now they want to apply this same technology for identifying LEGO parts. The creators have been in touch with various LEGO fan sites and communities, and even sent out some sample products for beta testers (see their demonstration videos further below).

PIQABRICK relies on DART (Direct Acquisition and ReTrieval), GETCOO’s proprietary artificial intelligence. PIQABRICK is made of two parts: the PIQABRICK BOX and the web dashboard. The first one consists of a USB camera and LED (to provide the correct illumination) mounted on top of a box made by LEGO bricks. The box has precise dimensions (16×16 brick units wide and 12 brick units tall), but it is fully customizable by the user with his/hers own bricks (as long the internal dimension are kept, the color of the bricks does not matter). The PIQABRICK BOX is connected to a PC via USB and does not require any installation. To identify a brick, down to its ID and color code, just put it into the box!

The web dashboard controls the camera in the PIQABRICK BOX for the brick identification. Once the brick is identified, the dashboard provides the links to the LEGO marketplaces to easily buy/sell the brick and to manage the personal inventory. With PIQABRICK, LEGO lovers can save time in the brick identification and personal inventory management. The computer vision speeds up the buying/selling activity at specialized marketplaces. With less time needed for searching, sorting and inventorying, more time to play, build, and have fun! Here are some specs:

  • PIQABRICK identifies any brick down to the ID and color code
  • PIQABRICK speeds up identification with computer vision
  • PIQABRICK identifies minifigs as well
  • PIQABRICK suggests similar bricks (by code or color)
  • PIQABRICK provides “appear in” functionality (list of sets in which a brick appears)
  • PIQABRICK provides “rebrick” functionality (list of sets one can build with the bricks in his/her inventory)

I really like the concept of PIQABRICK, as the two most common questions in LEGO fan groups and communities discussing LEGO are “Can you help me by identifying this part?” and “Do you know which set this minifig/part belongs to?” Still, I was wondering how well PIQABRICK works. There are many LEGO parts that have several different versions with subtle variations, and there are also colors that are very close to each other (i.e. old gray/new gray, old brown/new brown). Would PIQABRICK be able to differentiate those? And I was also curious about how precisely do you have to place the pieces in the box; can they be turned upside down or sideways? As you will see in the beta tester reviews below, PIQABRICK has no problem identifying parts with subtle differences in color and shape, and it isn’t picky about how you place the pieces in the box either. Watch the reviews below.

Pretty impressive, isn’t it? If you’re interested in PIQABRICK, check out their fundraising campaign on Kickstarter. The page provides more information about both the hardware and the software used for PIQABRICK. And, if you would like to participate in the campaign and get your own PIQABRICK, there are various pledges you can select from. At the time of this writing, the campaign is over the halfway point in its fundraising goal, but there are only a few more days left. I backed this project myself, and I hope they reach their funding goal! It would save so much time in sorting and cataloguing LEGO parts! Visit the campaign page here: PIQABRICK ON KICKSTARTER

What do you think? How do you like the idea of PIQABRICK? Would you find it useful for sorting, buying, and selling LEGO? Do you have any questions or concerns about the product? Feel free to share and discuss in the comment section below!

{ 30 comments… add one }
  • Master Builder November 15, 2019, 10:31 AM

    The project is now 82% funded and has 8 days to go! I think it will be most beneficial to bricklink sellers or those with big collections. I hope it gets funded.

    • saki November 15, 2019, 12:36 PM

      83% now. I think there is a good chance they will reach their goal. Did you guys watch the videos? It can even differentiate old and new gray!!

      • Håkan November 15, 2019, 4:56 PM

        Pretty impressive, but I guess the results could depend on the yellowing involved… Some colors such as gray, white and blue are highly prone to yellow…

      • SergeiS November 15, 2019, 5:26 PM

        The campaign is at 84% now. It’s inching to the finish line.

        • kingcobra November 15, 2019, 11:24 PM

          85%!!

          • Am Kaboom November 16, 2019, 5:09 AM

            86% and the technology is amazing with so much future growth available.
            I don’t doubt this will be able to distinguish between yellowing of piece and not.
            I have been a backer since the single digit support.

            Its also a no brainer for anyone who is NOT a reseller or has a store to know what their inventory is and have it all in one spot. Export into a spreadsheet and give to insurance company. I’m looking forward to it because it encompasses several functions of lego bricks sites into one. What sets it appears in, other colours, rebrickable sets from existing parts.

            Also love this is not just a design stage, they have it working for hardware fasteners and now bringing it to lego. It’s actual functioning units, just needing to be mass produced vs sourcing company and materials to make it.

            • LEGOJeff November 16, 2019, 9:26 AM

              That’s a good point about insurance. Something I have been meaning to do.

            • legofan November 16, 2019, 12:26 PM

              87% this morning! Six days to go! If you guys are on facebook or other social media, share it. Make this happen!!

              • Master Builder November 17, 2019, 12:47 PM

                90%, five days left!

                • supermario November 18, 2019, 6:53 PM

                  It’s at 99% and still has 4 days to go! 😀

                  • LEGOJeff November 19, 2019, 12:23 PM

                    And….. support goal is achieved!!

                    • admin November 19, 2019, 4:14 PM

                      Yeah, I saw that too! Pretty awesome! 😀

  • Peter November 15, 2019, 11:34 AM

    Question. What happens if they don’t meet their goal? I like this project, but I can’t afford to support it right now. I see it says it’s all or nothing, so if it is not funded by next week, it won’t happen?

    • admin November 15, 2019, 12:49 PM

      I was told that they do have a backup plan in case they don’t reach their Kickstarter goal. They strongly believe in and committed to this product. But those of you who can, please support it now. It would mean Piqabrick could come to the market faster and you can have it by early next year.

  • Legostuff14 November 15, 2019, 11:46 AM

    The one thing I wish Lego ( or Lego fans) would come up with is a book to understand the Lego lingo. From the brick type to building techniques. 🤔 when I talk to other builders and they use a terminology of a brick building technique I don’t understand it. I don’t want to seem out of the loop of understanding the Lego lingo. Basically I don’t want to seem dum, because I ‘ve been working with Lego for so long it’s kind of a need to know if I need certain bricks to build sets of my own. (Moc. ) I know that one . Lol.

    • admin November 15, 2019, 12:47 PM

      Have you looked at The LEGO Builder Guide? It’s an excellent book, and very useful too. It’s technical, informational, and written for AFOLs. I learned quite a lot from it. I’m not sure if you can find it locally, but here is the link to the Amazon listing: https://amzn.to/2NQ4hX3

    • Martin November 15, 2019, 1:49 PM

      I could see this being useful. I don’t think I would use it personally, but it looks like a good product. Now, if it could scan more than one item at a time, that would be perfect.

  • brickmaster November 15, 2019, 2:16 PM

    I could certainly use this. I hope it gets funded. Do they have all the pieces in their database? Or are they using bricklink’s or some other?

    • Håkan November 15, 2019, 4:08 PM

      They had their own database and were dependent on their users uploading pieces voluntarily, if I recall correctly…

    • admin November 15, 2019, 11:18 PM

      They are building their own database. They already have a good percentage of the parts uploaded (they have to be scanned from all sides), and their goal is to have 90% of all pieces uploaded by the time the product is ready to ship.

  • Legostuff14 November 15, 2019, 4:29 PM

    Thank you, admin. I copy the title down of the book i’ll go and for it at some point. Talking about Parts, pieces and minifigures. I just put together the people camping pack (from a year ago). The accessories ,the faces they’re hair pieces and the detail is so amazing.

    • admin November 15, 2019, 11:19 PM

      I have that set too. It’s a great mix of minifig parts and accessories! First I thought it was kind of expensive, but it was actually worth it. 🙂

  • J S November 15, 2019, 6:45 PM

    This would be great for minifig collectors like me. Just scan it and add to your inventory and you could easily spot duplicates. Right now, I just have 1000’s stored in tubs.

    • Håkan November 15, 2019, 8:19 PM

      Duplicates might not necessarily be a problem, otherwise. They could be useful as army builders or as civilian passer-byes…

      (Although you could easily end up with a bunch of Batmans (Batmen), Indys and Lukes…

      • admin November 15, 2019, 11:20 PM

        Batmen… we should use that more often. 😀

        • Håkan November 20, 2019, 1:07 PM

          Currently, I guess Spider-Men might be more common than Indys, as well…

    • admin November 15, 2019, 11:20 PM

      Yeah, this will be great to clear out backlogs like that, whether you just want to catalog them for your own collection, or for selling them.

  • Mav.Weirdo November 15, 2019, 10:48 PM

    I wonder how well it deals with non-Lego parts. There are some Lego pieces whick require really bright light and a microscope to verify if it is Lego or not. It would be nice to have a tool that could tell me if something is Lego.

    • admin November 15, 2019, 11:21 PM

      Hm… that’s a good question. Some fake LEGO pieces are pretty close.

  • John3.16 November 16, 2019, 11:44 PM

    I’m so excited about this project I could scream! I’m certain it will save me hours on identifying heads and torsos alone! I wonder how it goes on stickered parts? Has anyone seen a review or comment about that? I saw it identify printed parts so I presume it will do ok with the stickered ones too… here’s hoping! 🙂

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