Friday, October 31, 2008

Week TechVideo, 2008 #44 - Moon Rover

This week, take a look into another video from Sariel. A LEGO Moon Rover, this time.

This is a model with large amount of functionalities proper from a vehicle of this kind. To accomplish it, this rover features 8 PF motors remotely controlled through 4 IR receivers, 3 linear actuators, 4 PF light sets, 1 PF switch and one non-LEGO wireless camera for on-board video transmission (like a real planetary exploration vehicle).
The camera addition is a very interesting combination which could add lots of fun and playability to many TECHNIC models.
It is the same kind of camera I use in my LUG events, inside trains to give a inner City perspective from the front of the locomotive, while running through the layout. Always something which raises the attention and interest from visitors.
It was also used at LEGOWORLD 2008 for the live video broadcast, attached to the fully remote controllable 8294 Excavator arm, so it could be positioned into a large number of angles. However this was not working properly at that time.

Rover also features: 4 driven pendular boogies for great mobility; camera pod with 180 degrees rotation and 75 degrees elevation; arm with near infinite rotation and 40 degrees elevation; a gripper to grab objects.

More photos from this model, on Sariel's BS folder.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

New box art for the 1H2009 TECHNIC sets

Several box art for the new 1H2009 sets have been popping-up everywhere. And the TECHNIC sets were no exception.

See them below and delight!

Unfortunately, can't read what the new "2 something 1" orange logo is about (zoom also doesn't help), but probably it means "2 models in 1" for each new set.

TBs TechPoll 06 (Results) - 2008, 3rd Quarter - Favorite week TechVideos

TBs poll for '2008, 3rd Quarter Favorite week TechVideos' have already finished some days ago, with 85 votes after being open for 10 days. Here it goes the results.
Poll objective was to let you choose your favorite videos, from those weekly presented here during 2008 3rd quarter, at section 'Week TechVideo'.

No ex aequos for the first time.
As in the last one, the winner of this poll is a video from Sariel. This time, the video for his magnificent Diwheel.
It seems enough for Sariel to have a video on the list, to win the poll.

Below as usual, the: 1st, 2nd and 3rd most voted videos.

#1 - "Week TechVideo, 2008 #39 - Diwheel'"

#2 - "Week TechVideo, 2008 #35 - Power Functions Steering Wheel"

#3 - "Week TechVideo, 2008 #30 - MAN Dump Truck" from Michael Andersch

Congratulations for all the winners!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

8259, Dozer Mania

It is not new, that we will get a new Dozer in 2009. Not as big as the 8275 in 2007, but instead a very small and cute model this time (in the style of the small yellow machinery, that we are used to, in the TECHNIC theme).

Don't know exactly why, but it seems some got crazy with it and took themselves the challenge to reverse engineer it.
In fact the model is really appropriate for such challenge. It is small/big enough, nice looking and at the same time the initial available image hidden enough details to make it a real challenge for the most experienced.

Because I've been following this from the 'back stage', can tell you which came-up first.

- Martyn Boogarts, from Duiven/The Netherlands (contributor to 'The NXT STEP' blog and member of the MINDSTORMS Users Panel - MUP2), made the first Dozer replica very early, from one single picture.

In addition to the set replica, you can see also a blade motorized version of it (amazing for the scale).

- Mike Hatton (Parax) from Nottingham/UK, later made also his own interpretation, with minor differences (most likely due to stock availability constrains).

See more of these here.

- And finally Alexandre (AVCAmpos) my co-blogger from Lisbon/Portugal, came with his interpretation and also made some animated stepwise instructions (see more here).

...this is giving me some ideas for the future...

Want a full view around the real model? See it on the previous Photosynth post.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Still the new 1H2009 TECHNIC sets, at LEGOWORLD 2008

As you know, the new TECHNIC sets for 1H2009, were publicly shown for the first time, at LEGOWORLD 2008 in Zwolle (NL).

Next to them, there was a video from TLG, which goes through each model and its main functions.
Below the register, I made for you (a TBs reader called my attention for a similar video at YouTube, but this one here includes all the new models).

Below also a few more photos for some of these models (8261, 8262 and 8264), with different close-ups.

From left to right: Monster Truck front wheel steering; Quad-bike motor close-up;
Dumper Truck photo showing where the less obivous 'T-Beams' are (4 in total, just for the rear side).

For those who wanted to know whether the new Dumper Truck (8264) got a piston motor under the bonnet or not, here you have the picture...

No, it doesn't!
There is something inside that seem to be BIONICLE parts, but which I wasn't able to identify at the time...
With the help of Ryan we think there is good chance for being these.

Friday, October 24, 2008

A new TECHNIC axle to come?

Some time ago, Ryan (anonymous) raised a question in the comments to this post, suggsting we may be getting a new 9L TECHNIC axle, coming soon with the new 1H2009 sets. Namely within the new 8261 (Monster Truck).
At that time it was no more than a possibility, but an unlikely one, as we wasn't able to get a definite conclusion from the images available. It could be also have been a combination of shorter gray axles (3L+3L).

Yesterday, Ryan came to me with a new and very good hint. As you can see from the image below, taken from 'Measurements sheet' on the B-model instructions for the 2H2008 sets, there is a reference to a 9L 'Light Bluish Gray' (LBG) axle.

What would it be doing there, if we weren't to get some in the near future?...
Unfortunately this topic came up again already after I have left LEGOWORLD, so again can't confirm it in front of the real models.

Nevertheless some investigation work on the pictures I took there, seems to bring important clues.
We already knew that the bent beam under the 8261 seat, is 9 wide at that point (as a trained eye can easily realize from the photo below, on the left). From the photos we still can't be sure there is a 9L axis in there, but we know there is a good chance for it.
However the most important evidence cames up, when you look in detail to the axle termination inside the bent beam. The axle termination is obviously not a production part, but one the was broken (bottom right image) from something larger.
The strange thing is that we don't have any LBG larger axle to be broken into a smaller 9L axle (maximum actually know available is 7L).
Either LEGO TECHNIC Designers have indeed access to such larger LBG axles, or they have used a combination between 3L, 5L or 7L axles and broken one to get the desired length.

A similar evidence seems to be found at the new 8262 (Quad-Bike). Again a trained eye, could also recognize a good chance for a 9L axis below the seat on the left image below. Once more the axle seems to be broken at its side (right image below).

This time the combination of smaller LBG gray axles doesn't seem to be the case, so it cames probably from a larger LBG axle. Could it mean an 11L axle is also on the way out...

One way or another, if there is really a new 9L axle to come, it was not yet available from the production line, at the time the displayed models at LEGOWORLD were built.

Week TechVideo, 2008 #43 - MGBC @ LEGOWORLD 2008

As promised in the original post, I've added today the MGBC video that I made at LEGOWORLD 2008, for the MGBC setup.

In order to avoid it to become totally unnoticed, also made it as one of the TBs Week TechVideos.

Once more, this was a large setup prepared by: Eric, Gerrit, Martyn (robotica) and friends. MGBC stands for 'Much Greater Baller Contraption', 'Much large GBC' or 'MINDSTORMS GBC'. Instead of the usual GBC setups with the small football balls, the goal is to move large MINDSTORMS balls (52mm) around and instead of an average of 1 ball/sec cadence, it features about 2 balls/min.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Some more stuff, from LEGOWORLD 2008

Just a short post on some detail images, about the large TECHNIC panels, appearing ont the Dumper Truck (8264) which includes six of them.

And why not to show here also,... an 8294 (Excavator) MOD that I brought with me, to exhibit.
It features 5 integrated PF M-Motors, PF lights e 3 IR Receivers for fully remote control (left and right tread groups, cab rotation, boom and bucket plus dipper arm).
And of course, the rubber belts.
But wait a few days more, and you will see more about anti-slipping solutions for TECHNIC treads.

Anyway, still some improvements required on this MOD.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

See MGBC live from LEGOWORLD

This year, Eric, Gerrit, Martyn and friends prepared an MGBC setup for LEGOWORLD.
And, what is MGBC, you asks. MGBC is an expansion (in the fully sense of the term...) from GBC concept and stands for "Much Greater Ball Contraption" or "MINDSTORMS Greater Ball Contraption".

It uses MINDSTORMS balls at a much slower transport rate than standard GBC. About 2 balls per minute.
See below one photo from the actual setup running at LEGOWORLD.

Do you want to see more!?
Ok, take a look to this post, today from 13:00 PM to 15:PM (GMT) to see LegoWorld MGBC in action, at TechnicBRICKs live video channel. Then it will be repeated Monday and Tuesday at the same hours (occasionally you may find it streaming at different periods, but most likely I won't be here following the chat.).

Live video on top and live chat room at bottom. Tell us what do you think.

As alternative, you may follow it directly on this URL.


Yesterday afternoon arrived at LEGOWORLD 2008 in Zwolle (The Netherlands). It is a first time visit and it was amazing to see so many many LEGO and fans in the same place.
It was also fantastic to meet some with whom I've established contact through TBs in person for the first time.

First I took a general overview of the exhibition, to see what was shown for each building theme and to meet some persons. Later I made a 2nd round to see more in detail those TECHNIC points of interest, which caught my eye at first.

Eric, Gerrit, Martyn (robotica) and friends prepared a surprise, which was an MGBC setup (stands for 'Much Greater Baller Contraption', 'Much large GBC' or 'MINDSTORMS GBC'). Instead of the usual GBC setups with the small football balls, the goal is to move large MINDSTORMS balls (52mm) around and instead of an average of 1 ball/sec cadence, it features about 2 balls/min.
See in the photo and video below.

The MGBC video, was added to this post.

Last Update: 2008.Oct.24 05:22 GMT

It is a new sort of TECHNIC beam indead!

Well... it seems in the end, there is really a new beam part being introduced in 2009.

As suspected before, but on the wrong set a the time... there is a new 'T' shaped 3x3 beam.

There will be several of them (6 at least - 4 on back and 2 in front) within the new PF Dumper Truck (8264) and also some at the Monster Truck (8261), both to be released next January. So apart from new large yellow TECHNIC panels, these models have more surprises for us.

The new models, have them in black, but hopefully we will see later them in other colors as well.
Below, I cand find these new parts applied to the upcoming TECHNIC sets.

Used at Monster Truck (8261) in the leftmost photo, and Dumper Truck (8264) on the next two.

... yes I know, the photos are not so good.

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