As a side-product of the robot ball that I am building now, I developed a quick-release box for the Mindstorms NXT 2.0. It has a nice trigger mechanism that you might be able to use in your own Mindstorms MOC. Check out this page for the design, more pictures and a demo movie.
Earlier, I made a truncated icosahedron (a football if you will) out of Technic Lego. A downside of the design was that the ball was not very strong. It would loose a bit of shape under it’s own weight, and a lot more if you pressed it. I developed three stronger designs for the hexagons (see below), but got distracted by other projects. Today, back on this track, I finished a new version based on the design at the far right. And indeed, it is a whole lot stronger. It can roll easily and even stand some pressure. Since the pentagons are not reinforced and there is a tiny bit of slack in the hinges, it still looses a bit of shape, but I think it’s within limits for my purpose. So, I will now continue with the interior, to make it a mindstorms-driven self-rolling robot ball, or ball bot, or whatever.
After making the simple tracks in early Technic, I wondered if I could get the mechanism ‘inside’ the tracks so it could also upside down? Well, that wasn’t that hard. Could it be even better, that the tracks would drive up to something, tumble over and drive away? A little bit harder. From the outside they look more or less the same, but on the inside sit quite different gear boxes.
The support for the star was already finished in December, but I was not happy with it. It could not hold a light and the way the pole was connected to the support base, was messy. Sometimes you need to put your mind to other things and then come back to suddenly see the light, or how it could be built in. And see how a change in one place can make things a whole lot easier in another… Perhaps you know what I mean. Perhaps not. Anyways, the star can now be put to shine somewhere. See here for more pictures and a free download of the design.
It’s kind of amazing that the 40 year old Lego 4.5V engine that had been idle for 30 years, is still running. Almost as amazing as that the old Lego still fits with the new. Actually, … that is more amazing, but I already had gotten used to that. Now, it was time to get the old engine humming again. So, together with my nephew N., I made this simple tracks vehicle. For more pictures, a download of the design and a video to prove that it indeed runs, check out this page.
Perhaps a bit late, but now at least you have some time in advance to build this star for next Christmas. Last autumn, I finally found a way to make a football with Technic Lego. Then, since Christmas was near decided to try to make an advent star. Well, I finished it just in time but too late to make some pictures and post it. For more pictures and a download of the design, check out this page.