Tag Archives: robot

Digital Doodoo

Our workers may be mythical creatures, but their turds sure aren’t. And that doesn’t even make any sense. Fortunately a reader has suggested this robotic street sweeper, which looks just the thing for removing Elf droppings for TLCB Towers. Finn Roberts (aka ORION_brick) is the builder, or rather ‘designer’ as this is a digital creation, although so good is the render it’s very hard to tell. There’s more to see of Finn’s cyberpunky cleaning robot on Flickr – click the link above sweep the streets on 2077.

High Tech LEGO Projects | Book Review

We like rule breakers here at The Lego Car Blog. Thus when No Starch Press offered us a sneaky peak into a book with ‘rule-breaking inventions’ written on the cover, we had a take a look! Well, one of our readers did, seeing as we don’t have a LEGO Mindstorms EV3 set in the office, and re-coding this site nearly killed us. However reader Wilson Luk is far smarter than we are, and a better writer too; check out his assessment of No Starch’s dangerous new book below!

Ahhhh Robotics…

For every new breathtaking advancement in robotics, 10 memes come out declaring the end of humanity (Boston Dynamics, I’m looking at you). LEGO appears intent on speeding up robotic dominance with the new LEGO Mindstorms 51515 Robot Inventor set, the much anticipated successor to the EV3 Mindstorms set. While the new set offers a bunch of quality of life improvements with its new app and native scratch and python support, no one can discount how the new Gelo build looks eerily similar to Boston Dynamics’ robot dog Spot…

Luckily, our topic today is a little more human-friendly. Grady Koch’s new book High Tech LEGO Projects demonstrates that there is still a ton of life in the older EV3 kit, pushing the boundaries of what the 7-year-old kit can do, without the whole world-dominance vibe.

No Starch Press has kindly provided me with a print copy for this review. My particular copy may be a pre-production copy as it has a bit of a raised splatter texture on the back cover. Nonetheless, the actual contents of the book is clearly printed on nice semi-gloss paper. Colours and text come out well, ensuring no issues following build and programming instructions.

High Tech LEGO Projects is the most recent book tailored towards EV3 users from No Starch Press. This time around, High Tech LEGO Projects introduces some basic circuitry and hobby-grade sensors to the mix, extending the capabilities of the ageing EV3.

A wide range of projects are covered in the 12 chapters of this book, with 2 extra projects available for download from the No Starch Press website. Each project showcases a different electrical component either to use with the EV3, or simply to add to one of your existing or upcoming lego creations.

Many of the projects will require extra pieces beyond what is provided in the EV3 Mindstorms set. Most of these can be found on BrickLink/BrickOwl, while many of the electrical components and tools can be found at local or online electronic stores.

Get comfortable acquiring the extra LEGO pieces, but don’t get too attached to them. Some of these projects are not for the faint of heart. The second project already has you drilling holes through TWO technic gearbox pieces! I can already hear the collective screams of agony right now. The first time I saw the picture demonstrating where to drill, my first reaction was to cover the eyes of all my Lego mini-figs.

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Mighty Minion

Minions is another new LEGO theme we don’t really understand, but one we’re sure will sell rather well. Ah, we think we understand…

Looking like some sort of cute War of the Worlds alternative reality, previous bloggee ianying616 has built the Minions their very own mech, complete with googly eyes and a mini-figure Minion sitting inside the domed head. And if you’re thinking “They’re really stretching TLCB’s brief with this one…”, you’re right – so here’s a Minion racing team too!

Head to ianying’s photostream via the link above for more Minions-based madness.

More Robots in Disguise

Alex Jones (aka Orion Pax)’s Transformers just keep coming! This has made the Elves very happy of course, as they now get to watch Transformers cartoons.

Following his previous appearances here at The Lego Car Blog in December and October of last year, Alex has constructed another swathe of transforming Autobot and Deception vehicles, from cranes and dump trucks to fighter jets and pick-ups. Each looks brilliant in both robot and vehicle modes, and can switch between the two by engineering so clever it makes our heads hurt.

We’re also re-featuring Alex’s amazing Optimus Prime build, as he’s now uploaded an image of the model in ‘roller base’ form, with more vehicles hidden inside!

You can see more of the awesome Optimus Prime build at Alex’s photostream, where you can also find the rest of his incredible Transformers back-catalogue. Click the link above to see more than meets the eye.

More More than Meets the Eye

The Elves are in a very buoyant mood today! Flickr’s Alex Jones (aka Orion Pax) has been uploading Transformers builds and such a prodigious rate that we’ve been handing out meal tokens like Smarties. And we’ve also been handing out Smarties.

These are a sample of some of his latest Autobot and Decepticon creations, following the first tranche we published here a month or so ago. Each is beautifully built and presented, transforms through some sort of magic, and can be seen – alongside a raft of other equally awesome Transformers builds not shown here – at Alex’s photostream.

Today’s creation reminds us of that bizarre scene in ‘Terminator Salvation’ where Christian Bale climbs on a robot motorcycle and rides it away. Why would it have controls for a human? Or a USB port? For plot convenience apparently. This ‘Motor-Droid’ by Flickr’s ianying616 asks similar unanswerable questions. Why would a tool designed solely to move a human about be built so that it can’t? And then what would its function be? We’ll try not to look into the logic too much because a) there isn’t any, and b) it looks so damn cool! A huge gallery of stunning imagery is available to view at ianying’s photostream – head there on your riderless motorcycle, wait no… Er, just head there however you like via the link above.

More Than Meets the Eye

It’s a happy day for the Elves here at TLCB Towers as a number of them found these brilliant Transformers Autobots by Flickr’s Alex Jones (aka Orion Pax). Normally this would have led to an Elf fight, but in a rare moment of Elven cooperation they approached us with their finds collectively, in the hope that Transformers cartoons would be played. Their peaceful approach has been rewarded, with the discovering Elves duly awarded a meal token each and all Elves here at the Towers now contentedly watching Transformers cartoons. You can thank Alex for the harmony via the link above, where you can find his excellent transforming Ironhide, Cosmos, Powerglide, Mirage, Hoist, Jazz, Blaster, and Bumblebee Autobots.

Walking Through Flowers

Pictured walking through flowers like some sort of mechanised hippy, Andreas Lenander‘s ‘Rankan – Tripod’ is well outside of the collective knowledge of TLCB staff. Whatever this is for though, it’s a thoroughly brilliant build. Click the link above to make the jump.

Huwbot

We have no idea what this robot is or what it does, but seeing as it’s towing the world’s most dangerous vehicle filled with LEGO and it looks a little bit like Futurama’s Fatbot, we’re posting it here. Because we can. It comes from Eero Okkonen of Flickr, it’s been built for a Brickset competition, and there’s more of it to see by clicking here.

Not a Car

Neither of the two creations featuring in this post are cars. Which means our explanations are likely to be mediocre at best. So, on to the explanations!

First up (above) we have Marco Marozzi’s ‘Ma.K 7 Anti Riot Urban Mech’ which looks terrifying enough to quell any dissent. Maybe we should ask him to make a bigger one for us to control the Elves with here at TLCB Towers…

Second, and following on from his build that featured here last month, we have Blake Foster‘s ‘Prickly Minnow Assualt Craft’ which features two enormous ion cannons mounted above and below the tiny cockpit, inside which a fantastically aggressive mini-figure pilots the controls. And we totally knew that and didn’t just rob it from the description.

There’s more to see of each build on Flickr via the links above, and we’ll be back soon with a car and a proper description…

Fight Club

The first rule of Fight Club means we can’t tell you why these boxing robots from The Secret Walrus are here, but there’d probably have been an Elf fight had we not featured them and we’ve just had the office carpets cleaned. See more at the link.

House Spider

Lego Tachikoma

We rather like house spiders. They eat flies and other pests and are a rather elegant design in their own way. Sadly we’re probably in the minority by safely capturing them and releasing them outside TLCB Towers, as most people tend to prefer smushing them. This one would be harder to smush though, and it’s even more useful than its arachnid counterpart. Over to the blurb from the brochure;

“The Yogamabara Mechanization M-400 Multi-Purpose Shell is a commonly used type of shell. It’s very fast and agile. It gives the host AI the ability to follow its client around any ground based environment and has a full range of standard tools, like laser cutter, hydro spanners and standard data sockets to name a few. Its animal-like form gives it personality and this has made Yogamabara one of the biggest manufacturers of Personal AI Shells.”

You can place your order for a new M-400 courtesy of Oscar Cederwall on Flickr. Or alternatively you get get a really big glass and a piece of paper, capture it and release it outside. You know it’s the right thing to do.

Mech Monday

Lego Police Mech

We don’t often publicise mechs here at The Lego Car Blog. This is mostly because we’re a car blog, but also because we know absolutely nothing about them, and we’d look silly.

So here are two mechs…

We’re actually publishing these two builds because whilst they are both clearly superb creations, they demonstrate the very best in presentation too, with outstanding photography and editing – something that can be applied to any genre of building.

Image quality is the most common reason for creations suggested to us here at TLCB not to meet our criteria, with even the most brilliant of builds rejected if photography is poor. However clean backgrounds are super easy to achieve using natural light and 50p worth of coloured or white card, successfully removing shadows and other visual distortions. Just take a look at Marco Marozzi‘s ‘KZ1 ma.k mech below to see how successful this approach can be!

The other option is a cunningly photoshopped image. These are much harder to achieve but gosh do they look good if done right! Red Spacecat shows us how to do it properly with the stunning image above showing his KA-9 Police Support Unit in action dispelling civil unrest on the streets.

Both of today’s builders demonstrate the very best in presentation and there’s more to see of each build and the amazing images in which they’ve been captured via the links in the text above.

Lego Ma.K Mech

The End is Nigh

Lego WALL-E and Eve

WALL-E; the last surviving cute robot on an abandoned Earth tasked with tidying up the mess we made. Disney-Pixar’s masterpiece melted hearts around the world in 2008, but a decade on in 2018 several pieces of news have emerged over the course of the year that make us sure we’re heading ever closer to the grim reality depicted in the movie.

The world is in the midst of a mass extinction crisis, CO2 output has risen for the first time in 4 years, and our oceans are filling with plastic.

We don’t yet have cute little rubbish-collecting robots like the Wall-E and Eve pairing built by Flickr’s Luis Peña pictured here to help, but there are a few very easy things that we can do to lessen our impact upon our environment. Turn things off, recycle everything we can, and switch Google for Ecosia. Each year around 300,000 visitors arrive here at The Lego Car Blog directly via a search engine. If they all arrived via the tree-planting alternative Ecosia that would be a lot of trees!

To find out more about what The LEGO Company is doing to reduce its environmental impact click here and to see more of Luis’ brilliant Wall-E and Eve builds click the link above.

Omnidroid

Lego Ma.Ktober Mech

Oh crap. It’s another annual building bandwagon of which we know absolutely nothing. Ma.Ktober is the current flavour of the month, and as we can’t even begin to decipher it we’ll head straight to the ‘This looks a lot like one of Syndrome’s early robots in The Incredibles’ thought that popped into our heads when we saw this.

It comes from SweStar of Flickr, and whether it is a Syndrome Omnidroid or not, we do have to admit it does look rather cool, especially with that missile mid-launch. If you’re into Ma.Ktober you can check out more of SweStar’s creation at his photostream via the link, and if you like The Incredibles you can do the same!