Tuesday, December 7, 2010

LegWays, and the Non-LEGO Ways to Drive Them

Name of Model: SegWayVsLegWay.m4v.mp4
Created by: jmbjorndalen
Found at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3p8A-rn2ZA
Details: This spectacular and self-explanatory video has started making the rounds lately on tech blogs. It's a great idea that seems like it should have been tried sooner - taking a LegWay* and trying to use unusual (but more intuitive) devices to drive it. They try a cell phone before settling on a Wii Balance Board, which turns out to be just the thing to give you that SegWay experience - as long as you don't mind not going anywhere.

*: So apparently we've never actually blogged a "LegWay" before. The term is a portmanteau of "LEGO" and "SegWay", and is used to describe any LEGO-based robot that balances itself on two wheels. Some quick Googling turns up one of the earlier ones as Steve Hassenplug's design, but for some reason the photos on that page no longer load. Naturally, we should have covered that RCX-based robot first, but from what I gather nobody reads half the things I say and you're all here for the pictures anyway (so dedicating a whole "day" to a model only documented in text form probably wouldn't be a great move). The next step would then be the NXT-based LegWays, which I honestly cannot find any good excuse for not having blogged previously. In a way, that's really the model of the day, since the actual LEGO construction here is similar to any other LegWay design using a HiTechnic Gyro.

Of course, a robot is only as good as its programming. Anyone could have built a LegWay and connected something else to it via BlueTooth, but the maker of the 'bot shown up above actually did.

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