Monday, April 30, 2012

TBs TechPoll 30 (Results) - What next?

The latest TBs poll was about the new flagships and new elements, that our readership would like to see released by TLG at the next seasons...
Exactly 450 have voted, along two weeks and we can't say the results are a big surprise. Among the options predefined, our readers elected:




As you can see the most favorite are:

  • Next LEGO Technic Flagship:
    It might be a fully motorized Back-hoe, another Supercar or a Motorized Fork-Lift.
    Other less usual models like an Aeroplane or a Vessel, were not among the top priorities of our readers. Interestingly these were exactly the type of models, most submitted by AFOLs to the Eurobricks TSSTS contest... :P
    Something like another large Tow-Truck, is definitely not gathering much enthusiasm around it.
  • New Technic elements:
    As for the hypothetical new elements, the PF Small motor is again the most favorite choice, immediately followed by some new pneumatic elements. A compact PF Electro-Valve for easier remote pneumatic circuits control, and longer Pneumatic Cylinders...
    Linear Solenoid Actuators, Integrated Pneumatic Compressors and Compact Programmable Bricks, were the least voted. But without further information about them and respective use cases, we may not drive great information from this.

Among our reader's comments about new elements, we got even other suggestions like:
  • Extensible (telescopic) shafts
  • Smaller PF Battery Box (6x AAA, with a form factor similar to 8881)
  • More variety on the actual set of Technic Panels, to allow for new shapes
  • PF LED Lights with flash or even programmable pattern (via definition upload)
  • New synchromesh gear sizes, for more realistic gearboxes and with less frcition
  • RF or BT control instead of IR
  • And of course... the return of our beloved Technic Figures...


It doesn't hurt to ask...

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Vampire GT - The Race Warm-Up !!!




Crowkillers' Vampire GT is racing towards the 10.000 supporters!
Many Technic fans have always claimed for more LEGO Technic Supercars, Where are you now?...



650+ votes so far and counting! If you have not yet left your support, do it now by clicking the images above or below and help turn the myth into a reality!
Voting is free, and CUUSOO site login is also available through Facebook.
We all can help the Vampire GT to earn a LEGO production review and hopefully make it an official set!



Spread the CUUSOO word, among every LEGO Fan you know.
Go and cast you vote as well!


Tomorrow you will know what's next and how you can Win one free Vampire GT model. Stay tuned!


In the meantime you can read the official comments from LEGO CUUSOO team, produced after gathering the first 500 supporters.

2012.04.17
Congratulations on achieving over 500 supporters! This is an exquisitely designed and executed original supercar that on its own merits deserves a place next to the LEGO Technic supercars we have produced to date. Your extra touches like the red chrome wheels, all-wheel drive, and gull wing doors make the model.

Best of luck on your journey to 10,000 supporters!

The LEGO CUUSOO Team


...or just take a look at the latest supercar designed by Paul, the Porsche 997 GT3.




Saturday, April 28, 2012

Week TechVideo, 2012 #17 - Piper Super Cub and other TSTTS winners

Eurobricks "To Sail The Technic Sea" (TSTTS) as finished and the winners were already announced.
As we can't interfere anymore, it is now the moment to highlight something that impressed me, regardless of all the fantastic models presented by the other contestants.

Daniel Martz (dhc6twinotter or avro200) entered with a Piper Super Cub (a two-seat, single-engine monoplane) plenty of complex functions and details.



Functions include moving ailerons, rudder, and elevator. Motorized functions include variable pitch prop, engine, flaps, drooping ailerons, and landing gear.


The detailed list here...
  • Motorized fake flat 4 engine and prop (variable speed controlled by rechargeable battery and throttle levers in cockpit)
  • Working ailerons controlled by left/right movement of joysticks
  • Working elevator controlled by forward/backward movement of joysticks
  • Working rudder controlled by rudder pedals
  • Working water rudders controlled by rudder pedals
  • Motorized flaps controlled by yellow levers in cockpit
  • Motorized drooping ailerons synchronized with flaps
  • Motorized variable pitch propeller controlled by levers in cockpit
  • Motorized retractable landing gear with locks controlled by lever in cockpit

And for the specs...
  • 2 PF M-motors
  • 2 mini LAs
  • 1 PF Rechargeable Battery
  • 1 PF Battery Box (AA)
  • Wing Span: 56in / 1.42m
  • Length: 47in / 1.19m
  • Height: 17in / 43.18cm
  • Length of each float: 30in / 76.20cm
  • Weight: 9.3 pounds / 4.22kg

These are the levers and controls on the cockpit (left) and the gearbox connections (right)


If it was not for the model itself, it should have been for the nice video realization and music.

You can find additional photos from Daniel's flickr account and further explanations at the presentation topic from Eurobricks, inclusive the amazing engine with variable pitch mechanism.


The Piper became third in the TSTTS contest and I've chosen to highlight this one in first place, because it is probably the most technically advanced model on contest (as Daniel have used us with his amazing models). But of course we should also not forget the other creations the achieved a well deserved first and second places respectively.



So lets bring them also here briefly, specially because they are both very unusual LEGO Technic MOCs, thus worthwhile to take a look.

  • LEGO Technic Water Strider by slfroden (aka Splat), was first.





  • LEGO Steampunk Shark by legobodgers, was second.






And many other amazing models, were submitted to this TSTTS contest!



Friday, April 27, 2012

LPE car technology tutorials

Alex Zorko (nicjasno), has been producing some great videos for LPE Power, with tutorials about real car mechanisms and how one can use LEGO to mimic them with closer realism. Basically they're useful notes and tips on how to translate car technology from real life into LEGO.

So far we got four videos covering topics related with gearboxes and suspension setups:

    1. Gearbox plus clutch and how do they work (4+R example in the first tutorial).
    2. Caster angle (more about at: Wikipedia; RCTek)
    3. Kingpin inclination angle (more about at: Wikipedia)
    4. Simple multilink rear suspension

      Althought the suspension series is planned to continue with other interesting topics to follow, like: Toe In and Toe Out, Bounce (Bump) steer, Full front multilink setups, McPherson setups and so on...


      Below the four video tutorials released so far,









      However, this is not the first time someone addresses topics like these within LEGO cars. For instance, Sheepo's SuperCar 2011 "Porsche 911 (997) Turbo Cabriolet PDK" [1, 2] and his Modular Platform System (MPS) are very good examples of past work on these same subjects (Camber angle [3], Ackermann steering [4], Caster angle [5], Kingpin inclination and Multilink rear axle [6]).



      Subscribe Nicjasno YT Channel, if you do not wanna loose next tutorials!

      Looking forward to see the next LPE Power tutorials with you.

      Thursday, April 26, 2012

      Official box images from 2H2012 LEGO Technic sets

      TAFOL Eurobricks user, reported the first non-watermarked images from some of the 2H LEGO Technic sets at this Swiss LEGO online store.
      Namely he found images from the 9393 Tractor and 9396 Helicopter.


      The tractor will add to the variety of modern Technic panels in Lime color.

      As for the prices seen at this store we can see:
      • 9393 - 39,90 SFr.
      • 9396 - 129,00 SFr.

      The 9398 Offroader is also listed at the same store (although without any image) at the price of 249,00 SFr. (1 SFr. is approximately equal to 0,83 EUR and 1,10 USD).

      LEGO Fan Survey




      LEGO is conducting another survey. This time a large one and we as part of the LEGO Community were asked to spread the word.


      Dear LEGO fan,

      The LEGO fan community is important to us. To improve and support the LEGO fan community we have partnered with Aarhus University, Denmark, and DePaul University, Chicago, to carry out this survey. The survey is part of a large ongoing research project aimed at better understanding user activities and interactions in communities.

      We would greatly appreciate if you would complete the questionnaire (see link below). It will take you approx. 20-30 minutes. Please note that you must be at least 13 years old to take this survey.

      The survey ends by May, 17, 2012 (midnight GMT). All responses are strictly confidential. We will share the top line findings (in English) with you once we have analyzed the data.

      Thank you very much for your help!

      Kind regards,

      Jan Beyer, Community Operations Manager EU/Asia
      James Foulds, Community Operations Senior Manager, Americas/Australia
      Tormod Askildsen, Head of the LEGO Community Events & Engagement team


      If you have questions regarding the research, please contact Yun Mi Antorini (in English) on this mail address: Yun.Mi.Antorini@LEGO.com


      And below the surveys links, in four languages for you convenience (a Chinese version will follow shortly)

      The Orange Tachikoma

      Mahjqa's Ghost in the Shell (Tachikoma), hit 3.000 supporters.

      To celebrate, Peer acknowledged this mark with an Orange Tachikoma in a slightly different version.
      It is now tracked and exhibits some different ornamental/accessories.


      On flickr, Peer also released a new video few days ago, featuring this tracked version of his Tachikoma (Trackoma), after "painting" a bit on Adobe Premiere...




      Sometime earlier, at the 2.000 supporters mark, the Tachikoma also got the first official comment from LEGO CUUSOO team as copied below.

      Congratulations on achieving over 2,000 supporters so quickly! This is a gorgeous model of a Tachikoma. You've thought out the features and the construction quite well. It's aesthetically pleasing and looks very playable and fun.

      Best of luck on your journey to 10,000 supporters!


      The LEGO CUUSOO Team

      Now it still needs another 7.000 supporters to Go!


      In the meantime, as mosst as certainly expecting, the "The Winchester - Shaun of the Dead" has got a "No Go!" from the formal LEGO review.

      Sunday, April 22, 2012

      Week TechVideo, 2012 #16 - Tic Tac Toe

      Because of posting policy of one single video per week, many interesting models don't fit the specific time that I find them, laying then in my 'to post' folder almost forever in many cases...

      But because this section doesn't live only of new creations, I decided to bring up today one model with some time, that some should have seen already highlighted in other famous LEGO blogs months ago.
      A LEGO Tic Tac Toe play robot, using one single RCX, made by Arthur Sacek back in 2004 and later relived in a YouTube video by its author, at the middle of past year. 



      The utilization of the RCX with a compressor and other pneumatic elements, makes it even more interesting.

      You can find additional photos from this robot, at Arthur's website.

      Friday, April 20, 2012

      A kind of Technic Baseplate


      Beyond some Technic models proposed on CUUSOO, there are also other AFOL's projects you may support at diverse platforms.


      Now we have a kind of Technic Baseplate (MinuteBot Base) being proposed by Lasse Mogensen and Soren Jensen, from Denmark. This could become useful as proposed for instance to the construction of robotics based on LEGO MINDSTORMS. It extends a LEGO beam into a rectangular plate with 21 x 30 holes.

      This is an idea currently running on Kickstarter to raise funding. Kickstarter is a service that utilizes crowdsourcing to raise funds for your creative projects.

      Here’s how Kickstarter funding works (great explanation by Laurens, via Robot Square)
      Kickstarter is a way for entrepreneurs to raise initial funding for their business.  For this particular project, the designers need to have a specialized plastic mould specially manufactured for them — which is very expensive. On the other hand, once up and running, the production cost per plate is relatively low. This means that if they know upfront that enough baseplates will be sold, the price per product can be kept low. So, if enough people pre-order the product, production can start.
      You pre-order the baseplate by making a pledge to the project. This means you support the business, allowing them to purchase the expensive mold and start making baseplates. In return for your support, you get one of the produced baseplates. Note that you only pay once production really starts, so there is no risk for you as the buyer. If funding doesn’t succeed, the project fails, but no money changes hands.
      In short — To get one of those base plates, pledge (pre-order) to the project here, and you only pay if production starts (and you get the product).


      Below you can see the Kickstarter video where Lasse explains the whole idea behind this project.



      The physical dimensions (L x W x H) of a MinuteBot Base are: 240 x 168 x 8 mm. and the weight is estimated to be around 135g. The material is ABS (maybe with some glass fiber added to increase stiffness).

      The project requires $11.000 pledges to get a Go and there are now still 31 one days left, for this to have a chance. Actually it is already 33% funded, but there are still another 67% waiting for you!



      Pledge if you would like to have one or more MinuteBot Bases.

      Sunday, April 15, 2012

      Week TechVideo, 2012 #15 - An helping hand

      Ulf Andersson from Sweden, sent me some information about a project he has been developing - The Andersson Helping Hand (Andersson´s Hjälpande Hand), as he calls it.

      This project aims do address the needs of people that lack enough strength to hold/grip an ordinary drinking glass - What many of us take for granted, is for people with aches or disabilities to hold/grip, an impossible obstacle in every day life.
      People with shakes, are left out to plastic mugs where both hands are used to grip the mug - which reminds of mugs for children, and that´s not worthy for an adult person.

      This Helping Hand has been developed with the purpose to help people suffering from diseases like: arthralgia, fibromyalgia, rheumatism or milder motor disorders such as milder shakes.


      The Prototype
      A working prototype was developed and tested with LEGO. A final product is intended to be manufactured in metal or plastic (the arm construction and the tower construction) and in stainless steel (the glass platform). The Product is to be used by the kitchen table and/or by the kitchen sink.



      For more detailed information, you may also read from the full Product Description written by Ulf, here.


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