Monday, June 30, 2008

2H 2008 TECHNIC sets, generaly available from S@H

A few days after getting available for the US market, today the new TECHNIC sets for 2nd half 2008, became also available for every other country where S@H is present (no pre-order release in these).

See below the prices for every country and how they compare. Interesting to see that despite the price differences visible, there are other factors behind currencies exchange rate (e.g. market factors).
The price variation among the different sets, is also not linear. See for instance how comparatively "cheap" is the 8297 in Denmark (despite being among the countries where LEGO is more expensive in absolute value) and the 8293 in US market. On the other way, how expensive an 8297 could be in countries like Ireland and Luxembourg, while other sets in these countries have comparable prices to remaining countries.





France MetropolitanEUR34,9959,9979,99109,99






United Kingdom






New Zealand






United States






Please note that these prices were manually gathered from S@H website, so data displayed is susceptible of human error.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Week TechVideo, 2008 #26 - 3-Joint Robotic Hand

This week something beyond TECHNIC again. But... I got amazed when saw that at and had to post it here either. ;)
A robotic hand that mimics your own hand movements. 3 HiTechnic Gyro sensors are attached to your hand at specific points and measure the movements angular velocity.
Continuous integration of readings allows to determine absolute position angles, so the NXT motors rotation angles could be set the same way.

Author left us the code here. :)

This work was preceded by a simpler version with one single sensor, that is able to reproduce your fingers movement.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

2H 2008 TECHNIC sets available from S@H US for pre-order

As announced by Paul (Sariel) at Klocky today, the new TECHNIC sets for 2nd half 2008, are already available at S@H (US) for pre-order.

They are expected to ship on July 11th, with prices as listed below:
  • 8293 - $29,99
  • 8294 - $59,99
  • 8295 - $89,99
  • 8297 - $119,99
These are coincident to the prices anticipated here at TBs , and still inline with my forecast for for the European price ranges, here.

Monday, June 23, 2008

TBs TechPoll 04 - Which type of new PF elements, would you like to have next?

I was mailing with Paul (Sariel) about this post from his 'S Tank', and sharing one idea I have for a TBs Poll to come...
This just pushed me to release that poll immediately...
Yes, usually when speaking about something in my plans, I feel compelled to go forward. :)

So the pool is about which new PF elements would you most like to see released by LEGO in the new sets to come?

I wrote 'sets' instead of 'TECHNIC sets', because we already saw some PF elements at Creator and City sets.
Also we are going to have new PF elements with the next Train system and for the moment we already know something about what to expect,

  • A 4x8x4 rechargeable Li battery
  • Newly designed RC handset with speed control capability
and on the next August/September TECHNIC sets,
  • PF Linear Actuator (not an electric part)
  • PF Lights
  • PF Pole Reverser

So, what would you like next?
I start the pool, with mine and some commonly known wishes,
  • A mini or micro-motor (i.e. the S-sized PF motor)
  • A PF Electric Pneumatic Valve
  • An integrated PF Pneumatic Compressor
  • New PF looking, Touch sensors
  • ...other (add comment or e-mail)

If there is something you would like to add, please just write down a comment to this post or send me an e-mail (available through my Blogger profile on the TBs right sided column).
Because I can't add a poll option at Blogger without loosing all votes to the moment, I will collect the suggested ideas for a new poll, to launch later (after suggestions validation).
Also because of that and to collect as many ideas as possible, I'll leave this poll open for longer than usual - 3 months. :P

Poll is also open to multiple selection votes, so you can choose all the elements you would like to see available for us to play with. ;)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Week TechVideo, 2008 #25 - Sariel 'S Tank'

This week another pair of videos from Paul (Sariel), where he shows and explains in detail his 'S Tank' working principles (left side video).
The 'S Tank' itself pretends to be a Stridsvagn 103 tank from the Swedish army.

Nice video! 'S Tank' features:
  • Full pendular suspension
  • Pneumatically tilted hull (forwards and backwards)
  • Pneumatically lowered front blade
  • Internal compressor with autovalve from Paul's design (once, posted here)
  • Subtractor driven with PF XL motor, steered with PF motor
  • Detachable side skirts
  • Detachable rear fuel tanks
  • Moving commander's turret & gun

One of the most interesting video parts, turns to be the explanation from the driving and direction mechanisms, and how it was achieved with a subtractor on the drivetrain design (something I should return to, in more detail later on).

Meanwhile take a look to Paul's 'S Tank' photos more in detail, at his BS folder.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

TBs Calendar

As you may have noticed this week, TBs got a Google Calendar* where we intend to publish all the major scheduled LEGO events or large public exhibitions worldwide.

Anytime, if you notice there is something important missing, just add a comment or sent me a note by e-mail (available through my profile) and it will be added.

* This idea came from one of the projects being proposed at the 08/09 LEGO Ambassadors Program. As I offered to work on that with others, decided to give it a try here.
It is a subset from the overall idea, so I can get a preliminary and practical insight on the project and how it could be achieved.

Friday, June 20, 2008

TBs TechTOC 04 - Sun Glasses

Summer solstice will happen this year on June 20th at 23:59 hours UTC (i.e. today), and there Summer starts!
More sunny days and time to spend on open air activities (like a good Truck Trial ;) )

You could find many LEGO glasses designs online and many of them being TECHNIC, but I liked particularly these sunglasses,

Cool!? Build yours and get a new look for the summer. :P
More images and instructions (as if they were really needed...) at BS.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

LEGO Ambassador - 08/09, Building Challenge #1

As part of the LA Program, we (Ambassadors) were challenged to build a standard 8x8 vig, which should represent our interests within the world of LEGO building and community.

So, I took the opportunity to build a TECHNIC vig. :P
It names
"What Will You Make?", was inspired by the Ambassadors Program logo and it represents one LA addressing the community to explain the propose and use cases for a new part from the 2008 TECHNIC lineup (a TECHNIC Beam 1x2, with Pin Hole and Axle Hole).

Since TECHNIC is my favorite theme, but I'm in the Program for the whole range of fans (even DUPLO ones...) and so that you won't think it is a TECHNIC Ambassador speaking to the TECHNIC Geeks, I've combined several themes parts to represent AFOLs and LEGO diversity like: TECHNIC, DUPLO, System, a Jack Stone minifig representing a KFOL and one Belville lady, attending the explanation too. ;)

On the right, a resembling 'LA Logo' close-up.

For the complete set of pictures, refer to the respective link under my Brickshelf folder.


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Week TechVideo, 2008 #24 - The Flush

For the AFOLs that have memory problems and use to forget... also for those most distracted or just too lazy!

Here it is an idea to use your LEGO MINDSTORMS, the RoboFlush. ;)

Take also a look into the detailed article about RoboFlush at BattleBricks (instructions included).
Don't replay it too much, so you won't waste too much water...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

MOD for 4x4 Off-Roader

Last weekend I was at an event from PLUG, where we had an exhibition stand at EXPOEVASÃO 4x4, an Off-Road and Extreme Sports fair.

So we took there, some Sets and MOCs related to the event subject.
Since the new TECHNIC Off-Roader (8297) is not yet available, I decided to make a MOD from the old 4x4 Off-Roader (8466) to make it more actual and PF looking.
See below a few photos o top of a real Off-Road beauty and the full set of photos at Brickshelf.

Basically all the TECHNIC Panels were replaced by black ones, suspension colors were changed, tires were replaced by their correspondent 'TECHNIC Power' version, seats got some orange parts to give them a more Power Functions look and some other minor cosmetic changes were also applied.
Although no powered functions were yet introduced to this version, which was only a style exercise.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Week TechVideo, 2008 #23 - LEGO DigiComp II

In the sequence of the post "GBC at Fana'briques LEGO event", Brian Davis commented about how he got so taken by the GBC idea, that he ended building a computer inspired on that.

According to his words, now he just need to make it compliant with the standards , to fit into a GBC scenario.

See below the video from this great exercise for a TECHNIC building,

This is a LEGO version of an old "marble logic" computer called DigiComp II (DC II). You can find more info (photos, plans,...) at Brian's Brickshelf folder.

The finished model weighs about 4,5Kgs (10 pounds) and uses 14 simple switches, 21 flip-flops, 8 half flip-flops, and a ball release mechanism. Later Brian built a slightly improved copy at the request of a museum, for public display of DCII.

You may find a more detailed and complementary info directly from DCII video description at YouTube.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

And the nominees for Ambassador are...

Last Tuesday, LEGO announced at LUGnet the selected nominees for the "08/09 LEGO Ambassadors Program". Guess who has his name on that list?

Well, if I'm reporting this here, I'm sure you already know… Fernando (Conchas), TBs' main driver, was one of the nominees from our LUG (PLUG) and he was selected to be part of this program.

This year, Ambassadors were chosen not only based on country, but also on LUG. Fernando was selected as PLUG's representative, but of course he'll surely also represent the TECHNIC fans in general, as this is one of his main interests regarding LEGO.

I wish Fernando a good work for the next year, and give him my congratulations for his nomination. I'm sure both LEGO and its fans will benefit from his presence in the Ambassador Program.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

More detailed pictures for 8293

New pictures available at LEGO Cache, show in detail some elements from 'Power Functions Kit ' (8293) elements.

On the left you may find a more detailed image from the new PF lights (despite shown with shortened cables), while at right you may compare new parts cable lengths.

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