This highly-articulated LEGO Technic robot by Shadow Elenter uses 19 motors to move its wheels, arms, snippers and grippers to defuse, pick up, and dispose of a phony explosive payload. We’re not sure we’d use it for a real bomb threat, but we’re still impressed.
THE BEST Machines
It’s both a useful packing material and a wonderful plaything for fidgeters like us. Now go inside Sealed Air’s factory and see how they make their official BubbleWrap brand bubble wrap. It’s interesting that the first bubble wrap machine was designed to make wallpaper.
K’Nex builder Thibault Art shows off “Pluto,” an incredible machine that involves a number of lifts, rotating tracks, a turntable, and loops to move balls through its 8 different pathways. It’s made from over 19,000 parts, and took him 16 months to plan and build.
LEGO Technics and Mindstorms geek Munimuni Bekkan shows off a series of unusual devices they built trying to figure out the most efficient design for a machine which could drill itself into a bin of bricks. Drill-kun no. 6 works the best, but the one with all the gears looks the coolest.
An amazing LEGO Mindstorms build from the Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Science. This wheeled machine can approach the edge of a table, and lay down a bridge that’s sturdy enough for it to cross. Oh, and when it’s done, it packs the bridge back up.
LEGO engineering master Yoshihito Isogawa shows off a simple, but impressive creation. This circular train track has a ramp with an open end, and a pivoting motor drive in the center. As the train car increases in speed, it takes flight, and manages to nail the landing every time.
A brief look at the Pocket NC V2, an amazingly compact and precise 5-axis milling machine that’s small enough to put on your workbench. This desktop manufacturing marvel costs just under five grand, tens of thousands of dollars less than most 5-axis machines.
The guys from Lofty Pursuits got their hands on a rusty old candymaking machine from the 1800s, and fully restored it so they could use it to crank out some strawberry shaped candies before returning it to the museum that found it. Buy the actual candies they made here.
While mechanical metronomes have gone the way of the dinosaur for most, we still find these old school rhythm keepers fascinating. Mr. Smith’s LEGO Models shows off a build which uses Technic parts to replicate the functionality, complete with an adjustable interval.
To prove just how versatile cardboard can be, Houston-based Victory Packaging turned up to a tradeshow with a 16-foot-tall gear-driven sculpture reminiscent of the space travel portals from Stargate. This isn’t the only time they built something awesome with cardboard.
LEGO builder Daniele Benedettelli created a working miniature car assembly line. It can pick and place the requested body colors, then snaps the car together. The tiny factory was designed as a test bench for Eclipse Papyrus, a language for automation and industrial processes.
Berthil van Beek shows off one of the cooler LEGO Great Ball Contraption modules we’ve seen. This one uses a complex series of gears and chains to count how many balls pass through it. We wonder if he timed the balls just right, if it could actually work as a clock.
The latest in illustrator Steve McDonald’s series of intricate coloring books features an array of wondrous mechanical and solid state creations, including a space station, submarine, jumbo jet, and a pinball machine. Be sure to grab the matching set of colored pencils for gift giving.
Taking inspiration from the professional wire-bending machines used in factories, LEGO master Yoshihito Isogawa created this Mindstorms EV3-based machine which can be programmed with designs and then bends pipe cleaners into the shape shown on its screen.
Kids love to leave their toys lying all over the floor, and while most of them are innocuous enough, LEGO bricks can be downright painful under foot. The Brick Wall has come up with a solution – a LEGO Technic machine that sweeps up the pieces – at least on hard floors.
If you’ve ever tried to cut down a bush by hand, you know how time consuming the task can be. Pesky shrubberies are no match for this Fecon Bull Hog mulching attachment, which can shred an entire bush to the ground in seconds. Oh, and they can help with those tree stumps too.