Monday, October 11, 2010

Robotics Monday: The Duck Family and the Bad Rat (NXT Animation)

Name of Model: The duck family and the bad rat
Created by: Family Vuurzoon
Found at: and
Details: A dutch family with three generations of LEGO enthusiasts recently built this set of animals. A brilliant mix of NXT robotics and more traditional LEGO sculpture techniques, these life-size animals act out the action in the video above. It seems like there are never enough animations that use this technique instead of stop-motion. Here, we see the animals run around in a fairly realistic manner, down to the mother duck laying an "egg" (a ball from the NXT 2.0 kit, previously known as a Bionicle Zamor sphere) and the rat taking it to eat. A surprising amount of detail went into the robots here - check out the MOCpages links above to read more about them and see photos of the source material. Also of note (but I'm not aware of more of a close-up than in the video) is some of the background scenery - the life-size squirrel sculpture and duck's nest look great too.

Some tape (vinyl) was used to cover some of the NXT parts and make the NXT colors blend in well with the rest of the models. Further "cheating" was used to make the smaller ducks work with power functions motors and a battery set-up small enough to fit inside them (they're controllable through IR - which presumably is controlled by a third party NXT IR adapter). There's another video that explains how the ducks are made.

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