THE BEST Machines

LEGO Bomb Disposal Robot

LEGO Bomb Disposal Robot

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.

How Bubble Wrap Is Made

How Bubble Wrap Is Made

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.

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LEGO Motorized Hoist

LEGO Motorized Hoist

It’s not the fastest or most efficient way to lift an object, but we’re still duly impressed that Brick Experiment Channel was able to successfully lift an 88 kg (195 lb) hunk of stone using a single LEGO Technics motor, gears, and string.

There’s Waldo Robot

There’s Waldo Robot

The Where’s Waldo books have a simple premise – look for the bespectacled, striped sweatered, knit-capped Waldo among a sea of people. If you don’t have the patience to find Waldo yourself, Redpepper’s AI-powered robot arm will take care of it for you.

LEGO Cross-country Skier

LEGO Cross-country Skier

LEGO fanatic Jason Allemann continues to add to his collection of sweet brick-built automatons. His latest construction is a mechanized cross-country skier who effortlessly glides across the smooth LEGO snow below his tiny plastic feet.

Insane K’Nex Ball Machine

Insane K’Nex Ball Machine

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 Digger Experiments

LEGO Digger Experiments

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.

Bridge-building LEGO Robot

Bridge-building LEGO Robot

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 Technic Flying Train

LEGO Technic Flying Train

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.

Pocket NC V2 Milling Machine

Pocket NC V2 Milling Machine

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.

Making Victorian Strawberry Candy

Making Victorian Strawberry Candy

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.

LEGO Technic Metronome

LEGO Technic Metronome

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.

Animaris Mulus

Animaris Mulus

Kinetic sculptor and Strandbeest inventor Theo Jansen shows off one of his coolest builds, a wind-powered walking machine that pulls an undulating caterpillar-like body behind it. The name means “Mule” but we don’t quite see the resemblance.

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Custom LEGO Pinball Machine

Custom LEGO Pinball Machine

Bre Burns of Renegade Bricks shows off Benny’s Spaceship Adventure, a pinball machine for LEGO purists. She built it from over 15,000 LEGO, Technic, and Mindstorms components, and no glue, screws, or other trickery was used. More at Brothers Brick.

Cardboard “Stargate”

Cardboard “Stargate”

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 Car Factory

LEGO Car Factory

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.

CNC Engraving Photos

CNC Engraving Photos

When combined with software that converts images into halftone or other artistic patterns, a computer-controlled engraving machine can produce some really impressive images by varying the depth of its carving bit. CNC user Jānis Šatrovskis shows off the technique.

LEGO Breakfast Machine

LEGO Breakfast Machine

Now that The Brick Wall has cleared the snow and swept the floors, he deserves a hearty breakfast. Good thing he’s an expert LEGO builder, and was able to fabricate a pair of machines to cook up and serve some crispy bacon and a sunny-side up egg.

LEGO Ball Counting Machine

LEGO Ball Counting Machine

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.

Fantastic Machines Coloring Book

Fantastic Machines Coloring Book

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.

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Pipe Cleaner Bending LEGO Robot

Pipe Cleaner Bending LEGO Robot

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.

LEGO Brick Sweeper

LEGO Brick Sweeper

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.

Furrion Prosthesis Exo-mech

Furrion Prosthesis Exo-mech

Supposedly, Furrion’s 15 foot-tall mechanical exoskeleton will eventually be used in mech racing competitions. At this point, its still slow and clunky, but we’d still love to have one to stomp about in because it just looks cool.

Bye Bye Bushes

Bye Bye Bushes

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.

Working LEGO Zamboni

Working LEGO Zamboni

After building a functional LEGO snowblower, The Brick Wall shows off another amazing custom LEGO machine. This one can smooth out lumpy, snow-covered ice and make it slick enough for minifigs to skate on.

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