It's not every day you see something that makes your jaw drop, but today, while watching the video of the largest, most intricate Lego machine I've ever seen, mine did.
The machine, known as the Great Ball Contraption (GBC), was built by a Japanese mechanical engineer in his house over the course of two years -- a total of a whopping 600 hours in construction time.
The monstrous 5 ft x 21 ft (1.5m x 6.5m) machine boasts 17 modules that can process 500 balls for a length of 101.7 ft (31m) at a rate of one ball per second. I know, it's hard to wrap your head around it without checking out the video, below, first.
It's not just the machine's enormous size that impresses fans, but the individual modules themselves, which are described as follows:
Spiral lift T2
Elevator and coaster
Spiral lift T1 & step
Catch and release
Belt conveyor & pinball
5-axis robot S750
The video of the device in action is a whopping seven minutes long, but if you're in any way interested in Lego and mechanical engineering, you really must check it out.
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).
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".
The final showdown is under way in our first-ever Gadget Freak of the Year contest. Who will win an all-expenses-paid trip to the Pacific Design & Manufacturing Show? It's up to you, dear readers, to tell us.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.