Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Mindstorms Robots Create Artificial Bone Samples

Created by: Scientists from Cambridge University
Found at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=WBEtUJmp05w
Details: Building artificial bones is a very time-consuming, tedious process. As explained in the video here, it requires dipping a sample into a mix of calcium and protein, rinsing it, and then dipping it into a mix of phosphate and protein. This process has to be done over and over again. Needing a quick way to automate the process, they turned to the education edition of the LEGO Mindstorms NXT kit. In something of a rare occurrence, the comments at the YouTube link above are actually helpful and explain more about how these robots were made. Most surprisingly, they were able to get the correct amount of precision out of the robots using the graphical language (NXT-G) that LEGO ships with the kit. Also explained in the comments: why there are three motors on robots that only have two degrees of motion (arm back/forth and winch up/down). Most impressively, one of the builders mentions that it was their first time using Mindstorms!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Portfolio of a Former LEGOLAND Model Designer

Created by: William Webb
Found at (different photos at each of these links:
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/williamwebbdesign/collections/72157629378391069/
MOCpages: http://mocpages.com/home.php/1053
Brickshelf: http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?m=LEGO-DESIGNER
Details: Shown here: a Titanic model built for LEGO Mexico to tie in with the movie of the same name. This is one of many models built by William Webb, who recently has been documenting some of his work for the LEGO company (which dates from 1997 to 2005). To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Titanic's voyage, he's offering to sell simplified versions of this particular model. His other work is well worth checking out, and covers the full range of LEGOLAND models.

You'll want to look at all three of the links above, as each one of them has some photos that the others don't.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Now THIS is Pest Control

Name of Model: Building a Better Mouse Trap
Created by: True Dimensions
Found at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/truedimensions/6794194078/in/photostream
Details: I love it when people use Lego to solve real-world problems, and this is a brilliant example. It works and didn't cost True Dimensions a penny. The mechanics and clever use of magnets to keep the door closed make it that much cooler.