After last year’s BrickFair, I decided I wanted to be more involved in the event. I stepped up as the “Movie/TV/Book” theme coordinator to help set up the tables and get things organized. After wishing my grandmother a very happy 100th birthday, I flew out to Washington, D.C. Once there, it was time to join the other Lego builders and get to work.
I built the original Touristbot for BrickFair 2009. The concept was simple enough, a LEGO Mindstorms robot that could take pictures at the event. Although the execution was slightly more complex than it needed to be, the robot was a success and took hundreds of pictures at BrickFair and subsequent events. Unfortunately, with thousands of pictures taken, the moving parts slowly wore down and it was time to restart and rebuild.
The MINDdroid app is a remote control app for Lego Mindstorms. Based on the way the phone is held, the car will move forward, backward and turn by working two motors. By pressing a button on-screen, a third motor can be triggered to perform an action, like firing a weapon or working an arm. The [...]
As a member and co-founder of the New York based Lego User’s Group known as I LUG NY, I have the opportunity to to display my Lego sculptures at many events, including First Robotics conventions and the World Maker Faire. The Lego Group is reintroducing their community windows in their stores, and when I LUG NY volunteered to do the windows in the New York and New Jersey stores, I jumped at the chance to display in Lego’s flagship store in Rockefeller Center.
In preparation for the World Maker Faire, I attended a mixer for the different makers who would be displaying their different creations at the faire. When I met Alicia there, she became excited that my polo shirt happened to have a penguin on it due to the penguin mascot for Linux (of which my shirt was not). When Maker Faire approached, I wanted to have at least one new piece to display and Tux became it.
As a fan of Geoff Johns’ Green Lantern, when I was seeking ideas of things to build, it was only natural to build the Green Lantern power battery that Hal Jordan uses to power the ring with which he battles evil and foes such as the Sinestro Corp. Of course, it wouldn’t be worth building if I couldn’t power the ring like Hal, so the inspiration was born.
This past weekend, I was talking to Patrick about the Lego TARDIS I built because he had seen it featured on Syfy’s Blastr.com. He read my write up, but didn’t understand what I had meant by the SNOT technique or why I did it. In my original post, I tried to keep an even balance for both neophytes and AFOLs, but I wanted to go more in depth on how the technique works.
Earlier this summer, I was trying to think of some new ideas to build for the upcoming BrickFair. At the same time, I was watching the new series of Doctor Who and the two ideas came together. An amalgam of the Doctor’s time travel device and the Lego bricks with a technological twist was the goal.
In the 10 years of Lego robotics, it has come a long way. From the original RCX to the modern NXT, the things that can be created from these kit have become, far more advanced. Creating everything from walking robots to Great Ball Contraptions, people have created some amazing things, but what happens when people want to create beyond the limitations of the Lego Mindstorms?
With the good time I had with my buddy Lee at BrickFair 2009, I decided I wanted to go back for the 2010 edition. Unfortunately for me, Lee took a new job and was unable to attend this year. Fortunately for him, that job was with Lego in Denmark and this was supposed to be his last weekend in New York. Instead, late in the evening Thursday, my friend Mike and I hit the road for some good ol’ Lego fun.