The idea of the Great Ball Contraption is to take modules from many builders and combine them into one large machine. The modules need to find some way of moving LEGO soccer balls and basketballs from an input point to an exit are that passes them onto the next module. Some of them sort the balls, but in the end the eight-and-a-half-minute video above shows the orbs going around and around. That’s just fine with us, it’s no secret that we love machines that are overly complicated and may be completely useless.
It has been quite a while since we looked in on the world of automated Rubik’s cube solving. [David Gilday] built this one using LEGO Mindstorm parts. It uses a computer to calculate the solutions but unlike the standalone Tilted Twister, this creation can solve more than one type of cube. As long as the physical dimensions are between 5 and 6 centimeters on a side, the machine can solve 2, 3, 4, and 5 piece cubes. [David] wasn’t quite satisfied with that though. He built a separate machine to take care of the 6x6x6 cubes too. See both in action after the break.
Obviously you’ve got too much hacking to do right now, but that game of Tetris isn’t going to play itself. [Branislav Kisacanin] has you covered with his Tetris-playing robot which is build with LEGO Mindstorm pieces. The setup is actually pretty complicated. A Texas Instruments DM6437 video development board watches the computer screen via a webcam and calculates the next move. It then outputs that to a grid of LEDs which the Mindstorm watches using a light sensor. See it in action after the break and then take some time to check out our othervariousTetrisbasedhacks.
[MkMan’s] LEGO spider robot combines pieces from a Mindstorm kit with a few milled plastic parts. The legs are a locomotive concept called a Klann Linkage. They operate in pairs and convert the rotational force from one motor into movement for two legs. Here, a total of four rotating gears moves eight legs, besting the hexapods we saw a couple of weeks ago in both leg count and motor economy.
Each limb is made up of five pieces plus one base for each pair. That makes eleven pieces per pair and a total of 44 for the entire robot. [MkMan] milled these parts out of 3/8″ HDPE stock. He’s made videos of forward motion and turning which we’ve embedded after the break. Even on a polished surface the bot looks fairly efficient at getting around.
[edocronian] sent in this interesting mindstorm hack. [Harri] had several Super8 reels that he shot during the 80s. His kids put together this mindstorm NXT transport mechanism, and he did the rest with linux. The lego’s pull the reel across an Epson scanner, and some linux hacks run the scanner, identify the frames, and reconstruct the film. Unfortunately, [Harri] didn’t release any of the software hacks he used to pull it off.