Thursday, February 2, 2012

News from Nuremberg ToyFair

Fresh news! - Via EuroBricks we came to an article at Nürnberger Zeitung, about LEGO news from the famous ToyFair running in this beautiful city.

The highlight with a great photo, goes for the 9398 4x4 Crawler to release in the 2H.

We can now clearly see the one of the new motors in the front axle and another identical on the rear axle. Looking at these I risk to say these are the servos and not the driving motor which stays in the middle. Or is it the other way around...
As I've guessed some posts before, we finally got a more suitable mounting solution, with pin-holes at likely every motor's corner, resulting in the squarer form factor observed. Motor size seems to be something like 3x4x7 (WxHxD) protruding half stud vertically from the side pin-holes. Or is it 3x5x7!?
Nevertheless, a very convenient size, I'd say!
Let's wait and see also about speed and torque and proportional control, or not.

There is definitely something large in the center which should be the other new motor. PF L-Motor

Crawler is using the same shock absorbers as in the 8110 Unimog. Guess the light conditions where this photo was taken, won't help fans to get better impressed with the color scheme chosen, but I've still my hopes high.
As for the street cost, 170€ is the price tag mentioned in the article and so I guess it should refer to Germany.


Colors look much more convincing here,

And it runs fast enough!

I like the pyramid obstacles.

Will add my further thoughts later! Likely tomorrow... as I have a LEGO event to setup tonight, in which I've been working for some time now.


R0Sch said...

I don't know how to respond to the post about the 4x4 Crawler, but I stumbled upon this page which clearly shows the new funktions of this beautiful LEGO Technic set. It seems that it's also from a toy-fair in Germany.

Hope someone posts this asap.
Best regards,

Anonymous said...

Look at this...

Anonymous said...

and this...

java.lang said...

Nice video. Seems to confirm return-to-center steering.
Somehow both, the steering and the propulsion, seem quite fast to me. Hard to tell if it will be able to climb steep hills...

@picture: I think I'm able to clearly see one of the new torque-tubes in the back. The new portal gearhubs will surely be present too, so at least Lego reused those parts in another set.

Why is the axle which is attached to the motor in the front tan colored? Some new color scheme?

java.lang said...

Sorry for the double post:
Can anone enhance the image enough to confirm the tire dimensions? Couldn't read them properly here... ;)

java.lang said...

Again me:
In the beginning the guy from LEGO sas:
"Allradlenkung bzw auch Allradantrieb, und zwei kraftvolle Motoren, das ist kein Problem über diesen Parcour hier zu kommen"

This loosely translates to:
"Four wheel steering and four wheel drive. Two powerful motors. It's no problem to master this course here."

The german version sounds like he refers to two motors for drive, even though the image seems to suggest that the two motors on the axles are for steering.

TechnicBRICKs said...


Yep!... That's still a possibility.
Definitely I can't decide what it is for now. Either think one way, or the other next... :P
The new box image, doesn't help much, either!

The speed and power on the video, supports the theory it could have two motors for drive instead!

Allanp said...

I'm still not quite convinced those two motors are the servos. I might be wrong but the gearing to them suggest to me that they are the drive motors. Another thing is that the shape of the outer case of this motor does not really make sence UNLESS that is the shape and size of the motor inside, which is a very common shae for a motor. IF this is true then there does not seem to be alot of room for internal gearing. Like I said I could be wrong but I sure hope i'm right in thinking this is the new L-motor and that it has a high output speed. Whatever motor is powering the steering, it seems to be working very well, though it does not look to be propertional at this point, too soon to tell on that. Ooooooh the suspence!

A.E. Kooiker said...

Looking at the video I mention two things:

It looks like the steering of the front and rear axles are mechanical connected. I think this synchronization would not be possible with two independent motors.

Secondly the steering doesn't look like servo-controlled but only 'full left'/'full right' with a centre function. This corresponds with the IR-remote controller which looks like the current available one.

Al together this set doesn't have the specifications of a technic set. It is a simple RC car without gearboxes or other interesting mechanics I would like to see in such a set.

Alessandro Bartoli said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alessandro Bartoli said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alessandro Bartoli said...

Very advanced color scheme including black, orange, white and red in the axles. I am not fully convinced by this color scheme, even though I appreciate the effort to innovate by TLG.

The shape of the model is nice.

Too low clearance below the axles and too small wheels.

It would be great - but very unlikely at this point - if TLG introduced a new specific to crawling kind of wheels for this model!!

KWigboldy said...

I think the middle engine is for the steering. The little motor on the axle does not seem to connect with a Gear Rack on the front. I think the little motor is for the drive, both front and rear, and steering is powered by one motor in the center transferred mechanically through the torque tubes to steering racks on the axles.

Mark Bellis said...

Looks like the form of the drive motor is 3-wide x 4-high x 5-deep, with a 3x3x2 bracket on the front, in keeping with the ones for Linear Actuators. The bracket provides the side-facing holes for the front motor mount, to complement the rear holes in the motor casing. I suspect there might be an axle extender inside it, such that there might be a 2M axle into the motor (or a 1M axle protruding from the motor, leaving more space for gearing inside the motor casing), with a 4M axle carrying the 12-tooth cog, which might be the tan one.
The reason the steering seems to be moving to the end stops and the middle only is that the person demonstrating it is using a bang-bang controller. It remains to be seen what the response of the servo motor will be to a PWM input from a train controller - whether its position will be proportional (either linear or logarithmic) to the duty cycle of the input.
At 23 seconds, evidence that the steering motor is the middle one. As the rear wheelset has tilted, its steering has been affected. This seems to be the only way to get different steering angles from the front and rear wheels as they are usually the same angle from straight.
At 27 seconds, see the 8M axles with cross blocks onto possibly the new 5-hole cross block that I assume connected to a short rack piece in the middle under the motor. See also the 12:20 gear ratio in the chassis. There is another 12:20 in the reduction hub, seen later.
It might be that the 12-tooth cog seen on the front has a 20-tooth cog beneath it but I suspect another 12-tooth cog under it, so no more reduction. The motor speed must be 9/25 of the speed required for that size of wheel, with torque to match. Given that the name of the set is "Crawler" we should not expect it to break speed records, but the motor speed and torque combination looks encouraging nonetheless.


Marin said...

I'm pretty sure the visible new (L) motors are drive motors and I think the smooth LBG piece in the middle of the chassis visible on the first picture is the RTC-block (a new piece as well). Also torque tubes and portal-hubs are visible on the first picture.

Marin said...

I'm also curious about these live axles. No Panhard rods are visible (which doesn't mean they don't exist).

Alex Campos said...

@Marin: I believe a Panhard rod isn't needed here because the combination of the torque tube and a link on each side of the live axle connecting it to the chassis allows the axle to move vertically (pitch) and tilt (roll) but not moving sideways (yaw), which is also the function of a Panhard rod.

Marin said...

@AVCampos: Right, it's a 5-link live axle, I missed it. I'd still like to hear thoughts about my motor and RTC theory described a few posts above.

Mark Bellis said...

It would not be difficult to make the servo motor return to centre actively.
The PF system has a PWM signal on C1 and C2 and fresh power on 9V and 0V.
Therefore the servo motor could include a servo chip to take the PWM signal and set the motor current such that its servo position was in proportion to the PWM: positions of +/-1 to 7 or centred for zero (float and/or brake). The 9V and 0V pins would be used to send power to the servo chip (they are unconnected in the M and XL motors).
If it is done this way then the servo chip and motor would be all one piece as an off-the-shelf module. I would not expect an RTC module to be separate (like the hockey player block some of us have used with the M-motor). If it does include a servo chip on a PCB then that would be one reason why it is so large!


Krika99 said...

I wrote a little something on flickr, and I agree with Mark. the 2 axle mounted motors are used for drive, with the center motor being RTC.

Menno Gorter said...

So far I think Mark has the best points of view. ;-)

nxtinventor said...

these legos break so easy, why not get a competition grade crawler like an Axial XR10? far more fun and durable. Not to mention probably 100 times more powerful motor.

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