Monday, August 17, 2009

Robotics Monday: Animatronic Music Box Dancers

Name of Model: Magical NXTree and the Crystal Palace Dance
Created by: Vassilis Chryssanthakopoulos (NeXTSTORM)
Found at:
We previously featured an animated Pirates tale created by this builder, but now the brilliant motorized antics are applied to this gorgeous music-box style bignette featuring dancing minifigures. The video and pictures from the site above do a good job of summing this up, but I thought this information found on the related YouTube page was worth sharing here:

Recently, my daughter Alexandra told me that there are no much LEGO Mindstorms NXT projects for girls. So, after building arcade games, pirates, Bionicle robots, Power Miners vehicles, stadiums and other motorized/automated models (that both my sons have much enjoyed) it was time to create something just for her.

The idea was to build a classic (but fully automated) music-box with a ballerina. With the time, the original idea has changed a lot and finally 14 LEGO minifigs have been NXTfied so to dance in front of a Crystal Palace. The actual chorography (synchronization/NXT-G programming) was based on the famous Blue Danube by Johann Strauss. During video editing I decided to use a royalty free tune, to avoid any undesirable (due to copyright) incident. Thus youll be able to see only a portion of my minifigs dancing skills.

Dedicated to my princess Alexandra! (and to all FFOLs!)

Visit for more pictures.

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Magic starts by pressing one of the transparent pink flowers which works as a secret button (NXT Touch Sensor). Then the two LEDs (one PF Light pair located at the base of the flowers stand) flashes and the music box opens (LEGO Pneumatics) by separating the NXTree construction in two pieces. After this, the Crystal Palace appears (Linear Actuator) and a center dance stage with 7 minifig couples is lifted (NXT motor) in front of it. The lights (7 PF Light pairs) of the Crystal Palace turn on, start dimming and then the dance commence.

The first (master) NXT Intelligent Brick which is mounted on the back of the box controls all the action. The brick is connected with one NXT motor, one NXT touch sensor, one HiTechnic IR-Link and one PF Light per using cable converters. Additionally, the master NXT brick controls PF Lights and Pneumatics via IR-Link and the slave NXT brick via Bluetooth. The second NXT Brick (slave) is responsible for the dance.

Elements of The magic NXTree and the Crystal Palace Dance:
-Two Intelligent NXT Bricks
-Three NXT Servo Motors
-One NXT Touch Sensor
-One NXT IR Link (HiTechnic)
-One Converter Cable for Mindstorms NXT
-Two Power Functions IR Receivers
-Two Power Functions Polarity Switches
-Three Power Functions M-Motors
-Eight Power Functions Lights
-Three Power Functions Extension Wires
-One Power Functions Battery Box
-One Linear Actuator
-Two Pneumatic Cylinders
-One Pneumatic Switch
-One Pneumatic Airtank
-One Pneumatic Small Pump
-One Pneumatic Pump (Manual)

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Thanks to my LEGO brother bazmarc ( who gave the title of this movie (The Magical NXTree and the Crystal Palace Dance).

The movie was filmed at Vitina, Greece ( issos/arkadhia/vitina/) on the 9th of August 2009.

Thank you ALL for watching and stay tuned (...or even better subscribe now) for more LEGO creations!

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