The Internet has brought a lot of advantage to life, not the least of which is access to really cheap electronic parts. [KarelK166] was buying cheap geared motors for projects, but they didn’t easily work with Lego blocks. He found an easy way to adapt them and–lucky for us–decided to share.
The process is pretty simple. The gearbox has two screws and an elastic band holding it together. Once the gears are exposed, you can drill a hole in two of them with a 4.8mm drill bit. This might take a little practice since the gear needs to hold still, but you also don’t want to crush the plastic teeth. You also need to enlarge a hole in the casing, but that’s easier to clamp down in a vise.
Once the holes are in place, you can put a Lego axle in there and reassemble the gearbox. Attaching a Lego plate with epoxy is the last step. We would have been tempted to use a larger plate and build an H-bridge and maybe a sensor for an encoder right on the plate.
This might be just the ticket for those pair of self-lacing shoes you want to make. If just drilling some holes in an off-the-shelf motor isn’t enough of a hack for you, you can always build your own motor.