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Video: The Incredible Lego 'Great Ball Contraption'

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naperlou
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Amazing
naperlou   11/5/2012 10:41:27 AM
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We have a game at home that is a bit like this, but nothing so elaborate.  I have been to Legoalnd in Bilund a couple of times, but this even outdoes what they have there.  I am sure the Lego people love this.  Think of how many blocks they sold.

Jennifer Campbell
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Re: Amazing
Jennifer Campbell   11/5/2012 11:15:11 AM
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When I watch this video, I immediately think of a game called Mousetrap that I had as a kid. Of course, this blows that away by miles, but we had some good times playing that game. 

Naperlou, I'd love to hear Lego's reaction to this project, too.

 

 

 

Charles Murray
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Re: Amazing
Charles Murray   11/5/2012 7:05:35 PM
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I agree, Jenn. The Mousetrap game was my first thought, too. It also reminds me of the contraption that used to be in the concourse at Logan Airport in Boston, except this is much more complex.

Elizabeth M
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Wow
Elizabeth M   11/5/2012 12:22:45 PM
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That must've been some labor of love for someone to put the time, effort and painstaking detail into such an ambitious project. Who knew you could do something like this with Legos! I'm impressed.

Cadman-LT
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Re: Wow
Cadman-LT   11/5/2012 1:37:43 PM
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Wow is right. Crazy insane is another way to put it! If he needs a job I think that video could get him a mechanical design job anywhere!

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Wow
Rob Spiegel   11/5/2012 2:51:54 PM
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Wow. This is a magnificent machine. Who on earth has the time to build something like this? I hope it's on display somewhere. I've seen a machine like this -- but not as elaborate -- in a science museum.

mrdon
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Re: Wow
mrdon   11/6/2012 3:10:02 AM
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Elizabeth M, I agree. It's quite ironic that a video on LEGO engineering was aired on Design News when in my Control Systems class I showed a couple of videos illustrating mechatronics applications using the LEGO NXT-Mindstorms kit. Such a cool video and I will definitely be showing this magnificent machine to my class next week. Awesome engineering!!!

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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Ideas for Revenue-?
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   11/5/2012 12:55:13 PM
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,,,and not ONE loose ball, rolling on the wood floor!  Then, at the point where the robot arm was taking shots at the hoop (and hitting about 90%) I burst out laughing!!   ,,, So much fun, just to watch!  Maybe the designer needs some suggestions on how to turn a profit on this ,,,,

1. Break up the modules individually and document as lessons in Automation.

2. Sell it to Disney. (heard they're in a "buying" mood; just paid LucasFilms $4B for STARWARS,,,)

3. (who's got an idea-?)

TJ McDermott
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I wasn't going to watch the whole thing
TJ McDermott   11/5/2012 11:54:47 PM
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I swore I wasn't.  Weak, weak, weak I am.

Any idea as to basic Lego part count in this video?  Not the motors, sensors, and controllers necessary from the MindStorm kits.  I'm talking about the basic static Lego parts.  They average about $.10 a piece (so a 500 part kit in the store should run about $50 in the USA).  I'm curious about what we just watched cost the builder.

I was fortunate to visit BrickCon in Seattle last month.  I saw a large-scale Hogwarts model in such intricate detail.  I think I was looking at close to a quarter-million dollars in bricks alone.

mrdon
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Re: I wasn't going to watch the whole thing
mrdon   11/6/2012 3:00:53 AM
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TJ McDermott, I watched approximately 3mins of the video and I was blown away by the shear complexity of the machine. There's a lot of cool manufacturing processes and automation techniques that can be learned by watching this magnificent machine in operation. What a cool video!!!

TunaFish#5
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Re: I wasn't going to watch the whole thing
TunaFish#5   11/6/2012 9:15:30 AM
TJ  -  my thought exactly -- or along the same lines, anyway.  These things ain't cheap.

I suspect this guy doesn't have a wife or kids.

jhankwitz
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Re: I wasn't going to watch the whole thing
jhankwitz   11/6/2012 9:48:22 AM
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Someone has way too much money and time on their hands.  I wonder who financed this project and how often they need to replace parts to keep it operational. 

TJ McDermott
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Re: I wasn't going to watch the whole thing
TJ McDermott   11/6/2012 9:52:27 AM
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It's the builder's time and money to spend; look at the wonder they've created in every viewer.  It's not a waste at all.

Ann R. Thryft
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Like a mega-Rube Goldberg contraption
Ann R. Thryft   11/6/2012 11:51:11 AM
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This made me think of one of Rube Goldberg's devices http://www.rubegoldberg.com only much more complicated than the ones he designed.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Like a mega-Rube Goldberg contraption
Rob Spiegel   11/6/2012 2:17:28 PM
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That's a great site, Ann. Interestingly, this gadget with the same video is the top item on the news section of the Rube Goldberg site. Apparently, this video has gone viral. It certainly deserves that.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Like a mega-Rube Goldberg contraption
Ann R. Thryft   11/6/2012 2:39:29 PM
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I noticed that, Rob. I agree, it deserves attention. Maybe this guy can now get married--or back together with his wife, depending on which of our commenters got it right.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Like a mega-Rube Goldberg contraption
Rob Spiegel   11/6/2012 2:59:39 PM
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In some ways, building this contraption is no different than preparing to climb Mt. Everest. Both activities require time, money, and dedication. Both deliver very little besides personal satisfaction. Perhaps the gadget offers the greater good since it can be shared, as with this video.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Like a mega-Rube Goldberg contraption
Ann R. Thryft   11/7/2012 2:17:19 PM
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I agree, Rob, on the amount of effort and its worthiness. Some of the comments, though, were pretty funny. I've been on both ends of the spousal disagreement about spending "too much" time at work or on a project, so I can relate.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Like a mega-Rube Goldberg contraption
Rob Spiegel   11/7/2012 2:25:08 PM
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Yes, Ann, I too have bumped into the spousal disagreement over projects. It's a fine line between serving your muse and serving your family.

John Lennon claimed his marriage broke up over the time he was spending making Sgt. Pepper. He said looking back that Sgt. Pepper wasn't worth losing a marriage over. That marriage was doomed anyway, but still it's an interesting comment.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Like a mega-Rube Goldberg contraption
Ann R. Thryft   11/7/2012 2:36:49 PM
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Lennon's first wife was not a co-creator and fellow artist, like his second wife Yoko was. I think that can make a big difference: if spouses have similar, or at least parallel, interests they can understand each other better. OTOH, if my husband built that LEGO contraption or went off to climb Everest I'd have a lot to say about it.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Like a mega-Rube Goldberg contraption
Rob Spiegel   11/7/2012 4:24:24 PM
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Yes, the difference between Yoko and Lennon's first wife is that Yoko went to work with him. That solves a lot. So, if the person who built the Lego contraption had a spouse, perhaps they worked together on it.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Like a mega-Rube Goldberg contraption
Ann R. Thryft   11/8/2012 12:33:54 PM
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Good point, Rob. I hadn't envisioned the engineer and his spouse working on it together, so much as her having a better understanding of his passion if she were a like-minded engineering or creative type. But I still don't want one in my living room.

Charles Murray
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Re: Like a mega-Rube Goldberg contraption
Charles Murray   11/13/2012 6:40:31 PM
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I understand your point about not wanting this in your living room, Ann. That's what garages are for.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Like a mega-Rube Goldberg contraption
Ann R. Thryft   11/14/2012 12:37:40 PM
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Yes, garages are good for those projects, unless they're already crammed full of stuff.

Charles Murray
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Re: Like a mega-Rube Goldberg contraption
Charles Murray   11/14/2012 6:49:14 PM
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One of the best parts of this video (there are actually many "best" parts) is the sound.

Droid
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Re: Like a mega-Rube Goldberg contraption
Droid   12/4/2012 9:29:44 AM
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YES - absolutely love the sound..  No bad music in the way - just the wonderful sound of an engineering marvel.

etmax
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Re: Like a mega-Rube Goldberg contraption
etmax   9/9/2013 12:21:43 AM
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Doesn't anybody find it just a little bit hard to believe that this is stting in someone's house in Japan???? The average japanese home wouldn't leave room for bed with this :-)

Just joking, this is absolutely brilliant I wonder whether he was inspired by the game Mousetrap (of which I still own one - like to use it to teach people the KISS principle), my guess he's probably not married (unless his partner shares this passion) but definitely doesn't have kids or pets lest he lose his marbles ((pun intended).

Anyway, my hat's off to him

sabina
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Re: Like a mega-Rube Goldberg contraption
sabina   11/9/2012 1:47:45 PM
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Rob, it has gone viral because my four year old grandson has watched it now about 2 million times!!  Seriously, he's fascinated with it and after about the 30th viewing I thought I'd had enough — but I still find myself stopping as I walk by and watching with amazement at the contraption.  Such creativity.  But we have renamed some sections of it "Archimedes Screw 1, 2, etc."  :)

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Like a mega-Rube Goldberg contraption
Rob Spiegel   11/13/2012 12:24:02 PM
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That's a great story Sabina. Sounds like your grandchild may be heading toward an engineering career.

Chuck_IAG
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nearly speechless
Chuck_IAG   11/6/2012 12:33:15 PM
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I'm almost speechless.  So did this guy's wife leave him before, during or after construction?

bobjengr
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INCREDIBLE LEGO
bobjengr   11/11/2012 2:56:05 PM
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TJ--I agree but then I was absolutely fascinated by the complexity.   I would love to know the thought processes that went in to the planning phase of the project.  LEGO must really love this one.  It has to be a hit just about anywhere viewed.  I don't do the U-Tube or Face Book thing but has the video been shown on these two social outlets?  Any one know?

 

cvandewater
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Re: INCREDIBLE LEGO
cvandewater   12/5/2012 3:56:01 AM
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@Bob: The embedded video posted here on DN is linked to Youtube, so yes.

Calcfan
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Iron
Great Ball Contraption
Calcfan   11/26/2012 12:50:29 PM
Leggo machines are commonly used for specialized life testing.

All that processing and the balls were not counted or sorted.

 

X < > Y,

 

Richard

Droid
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Santa - Christmas is comiing!
Droid   12/4/2012 9:31:16 AM
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I'm mid 40's and wouuld still be excited to see a lego set like this under the tree!

OLD_CURMUDGEON
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LEGOLAND, FLA
OLD_CURMUDGEON   8/12/2013 10:25:00 AM
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We went to LEGOLAND here, not too long after they opened it, from the abandoned CYPRESS GARDENS attraction.  It was OK, the grandkids enjoyed it, but the park is dedicated to one goal..... SELL Legoland products.  The displays are nice to look at, AND interesting from a technical viewpoint, to see the interconnectability of all the pieces.  And, I understand through local radio & TV announcements that LEGOLAND has completed (earlier this year) a massive expansion of the park.  I wonder where they've added the additional attraction parts, since they originally did preserve the northern end of CYPRESS GARDENS, which included the topiary, floral gardens, and, Esther Williams' practice swimming pool.

Maybe we'll venture back again, but we'll have to pick an opportune time.... AFTER the unrelenting heat & BEFORE the inundation of the annual "snow birds".

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