[M-byte] wrote in to tell us about the Lego Synchro Drive. Although not a new hack, this autonomous vehicle is quite amazing in it’s simplicity. Using only one motor turning at a constant speed, this device is able to navigate obstacles by simply turning.
As [m-byte] was quick to point out, this is a simple task using modern electronics, but this drive is made using only Lego Technic parts. The machine’s motion is quite pleasing. When it hits an obstacle, the outer rotating ring stops, allowing the casters on the bottom to switch direction. One could see this invention coming out of Leonardo da Vinci’s notebook (minus the Legos).
Check out either of the embedded videos after the break to see this device in action. If you’d like to build one yourself, follow this link for very well illustrated directions.
If you would like a quick refresher on the mechanical side of hacking, check out this Mechanical Engineering Primer.