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•”Space Station in Space. Building a straightforward replica of the International Space Station from LEGOs in a couple hours might not seem that impressive here on Earth, but Japanese astronaut Satoshi Furukawa made the model last year while he was actually aboard the International Space Station. A video shows Furukawa fitting the parts together for the meta construction inside a sealed container. When he takes out the completed LEGO model and lets go, it floats in space. ‘I hope this experience inspires [children] to make greater efforts to study science and technology,’ he told CollectSPACE.com in an interview.”
•”Functioning Printer. Fourteen-year-old Leon Overweel produced an impressive working printer last year from LEGO Mindstorms, specialized kits with parts to build custom, programmable robots. Overweel’s PriNXT employed several motors and sensors to control a felt-tip pen. ‘The kid’s age and multi-language computer skills are pretty awesome,’ Webb noted. But other functional LEGO printers exist, including a whimsical one made in 2010 by the user Horseattack. Adorned with LEGO minifigs or minifigures, the ‘Lego felt tip 110’ was built and coded from scratch with a writing demon board along with homemade analog electronics and sensors. It even achieved 75 dots per inch.” More here.
•”Robotic Chess Set. Built by engineer Steve Hassenplug and his friends, Monster Chess is exactly the kind of LEGO creation it sounds like. Measuring 156 square feet, the enormous chess set cost $30,000 used 100,000 elements, 25 NXT intelligent bricks, a laptop, and took a year to construct. The pieces seem like they’re playing on their own, and when it’s one side’s turn, the raised horse legs on the knight pieces move in the air. Webb called the robotic LEGO chess game a regular crowd-pleaser. ‘It’s been at BrickFair AL the past two years and is slated to appear in BrickFair England, too,’ he added.” More here.
•”Rubik’s Cube Solving Machine. LEGO Mindstorms that connect bricks to robotics opened up new possibilities for great geekery. A prime example: Mike Dobson and David Gilday’s CubeStormer II, a LEGO machine designed to solve Rubi’s Cubes that uses a Samsung Galaxy running an Android application. Commisioned by theta British semiconductor company ARM, the machine broke the human world record in 2011 by solving the cube in 5.352 seconds. Webb cautions about relying too much on non-bricks, though. ‘Once you step outside actual LEGO, things get less impressive real fast,’ he said.”
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