Sunday, January 13, 2008

Robotics Monday: Automatous Braiding Machine

Name of Model: LEGO Braiding Machine
Created by: Thomas Johnson
Found at: http://web.mac.com/aklego/LEGO_etc./LEGO_Braider_Photos.html#grid
Details:
Remember that automatous knitting machine? Well, that builder has been at it again, and has now built a fully functional braiding machine that uses only a single motor and battery box for power. I'm not really sure how this works - for some reason my computer won't play the video that's been posted - but if it's as clever as the knitting machine was, then you just know it's got to be a real treat. It's interesting to note that the construction is a bit more "modern" looking this time out, relying on studless beams instead of the bricks we saw in the knitting machine. You might recall that the LEGO TECHNIC line shifted from featuring Technic bricks (with studs on top for stacking) to Technic beams (which are smooth and studless) a few years back (Wikipedia has a good description of this topic). If not, don't feel bad - I think it's safe to say that more Technic bricks were manufactured in the 20 years or so when Technic beams didn't exist. That's right, kids, when I was your age, we didn't have studless Technic beams! We had to find ways to make our robots go uphill both ways in the snow without studless beams, or even programmable bricks! Which brings us back to why machines like this one are so interesting in the first place - not needing newfangled programmable parts (I guess the "newfangled" gambit is moot at this point, though).

EDIT: The video is now on YouTube.

1 comment:

Tom Johnson said...

Thanks for the nice write-up. I've posted the video on youtube for those who are having trouble with my site:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=pZW15Uc-00U

Regards,

Tom