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Robotics Toys Idle

Working Model Factory Made With Lego Robots 63

Posted by samzenpus
from the because-you-can dept.
kkleiner writes "In his continuing obsession with all things Lego, robotic, and awesome, Chris Shepherd recently constructed the Lego Quad Delta Robot System, a full working model of an industrial robotics line in a factory. The Lego Quad Delta Robot System has four flexing arms that can move in three dimensions, each equipped with a pneumatically driven gripper. Those arms pick up blocks moving on two conveyor belts marked with special light sensors that detect the block's position and color. The system can move 48 of these blocks per minute. Oh, and the whole darn thing, including the impressive support frame, is made out of Lego!"

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Working Model Factory Made With Lego Robots

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  • It looks neat, but it's just a color sorting machine? It doesn't actually put anything together.

    "A factory (previously manufactory) or manufacturing plant is an industrial building where laborers manufacture goods or supervise machines processing one product into another. "

    • were also, essentially, sorting machines.

      they counted census cards, and sorted them into stacks.

      • But were they considered "factories"?

        Even the base Lego NXT kit comes with color sensors for sorting things by color. Don't get me wrong, it's very cool. Just not a new thing or what the summary makes it out to be. Although that doesn't exactly seem unusual...

        • by decora (1710862)

          i mean within 50 years. if first products were in 1890s.

          you could argue the first 'real IBM' was in the 20s when Watson took over.

          anyways.

  • It's overly complicated for what it does. Sure, it looks neat, but c'mon, four huge arms to color sort some boxes?
    • by Wiarumas (919682)
      Agreed. Very neat, but not up to my robot expectations when I've seen dog, Watson, etc...
    • by Dails (1798748)

      Of course it's overly complicated, it's made from Legos. Engineering students build a tiny bridge out of pasta; that's too small for what it does. Point is it shows understanding of concepts and ingenuity in using materials and conditions which are less than ideal. I'm very impressed.

      • Someone talented enough to build such a thing from LEGO(R) bricks is certainly talented enough to use real materials. Anyone who limits himself to LEGO(R) bricks is merely limiting his ideas to what a multinational corporation deems acceptable. What the hell kind of nonconformist does that?

        PS never call them "legos". LEGO is a registered trademark, and LEGO(R) bricks are the components that the LEGO company produces. If you're going to conform, then bow to your corporate masters like Obama bowing to H

        • by Kyont (145761)

          Anyone who limits himself to LEGO(R) bricks is merely limiting his ideas to what a multinational corporation deems acceptable.

          You're kidding, right? He didn't limit himself because LEGO sent thugs and told him it was the only thing he could use. He limited it to those for an interesting intellectual challenge (and perhaps, a better chance of getting Slashdotted).

      • by locutus53 (578585)
        Just because it's made from Legos doesn't mean it has to be complicated. What it shows is that the builder likes making something more complex than it needs to be. In the real world, in a real factory, fewer moving parts, smaller space requirements, and higher efficiency will win out over a monstrosity like this.
        • by PFI_Optix (936301)

          You see overcomplicated. I see multipurpose. Sure you could build a high-speed color sorter that is much smaller and more efficient, but this guy built something that could be used for a lot more than sorting colored blocks. As a proof of concept and early prototype, it's quite good.

        • Just because it's made from Legos doesn't mean it has to be complicated. What it shows is that the builder likes making something more complex than it needs to be. In the real world, in a real factory, fewer moving parts, smaller space requirements, and higher efficiency will win out over a monstrosity like this.

          YouTube - MythBusters Rube Goldberg Machine [youtube.com]

          Just because it's made from random crap doesn't mean it has to be complicated. What it shows is that the builder likes making something more complex than it needs to be. In the real world, in a real warehouse, fewer moving parts, smaller space requirements, and one man simply pushing Buster off the rocking chair by hand will win out over a monstrosity like this.

          PS. ever think maybe he built it for FUN and not for EFFICIENCY? It is a color-sorting lego robot, you

      • It was made in 1784 by Monks from St Thomas the Redeemer. It lasted several years until the Visigoths burned it down.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Looks like most of you never saw a Flexpicker* in action http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9oeOYMRvuQ [youtube.com]

      *or any other similar fast sorting robot for that matter, I don't own ABB shares

  • I don't know of any other childrens' toy that can also be used for producing working versions of master theses. Well, maybe an erector set...but I don't even think they make those anymore.

    • They do make Erector sets still. My son has one. Also it is Lego not Legos. You don't add an 's' to make it plural.
  • it's neat, and pretty interesting it's also colour smart. Must be a sloooow news day. I mean, it's not like all the Christians are out mourning the loss of Christ or anything. Wait a minute... :)
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Christians don't really mourn the "loss of Christ" on Good Friday. It's actually more of a day of celebration.

      (Off-topic post, sorry. Hope this doesn't explode into yet another /. religious debate. Just sayin'.)

    • by BizzyM (996195)
      Holy shit! Christ died??!!
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I'm out of a job at the block sorting factory :(

  • This is cool, but clearly what needs to be done is to build a lego replicator. Surely it's possible to build a factory out of lego that can build a wide variety of lego objects, including a copy of itself.

    Then you just feed it a bunch of parts, wait for the exponential growth to kick in, and then you can cloudsource assembly of many lego models. You could sell the (the models or the factories) for a little over the cost of the constituent legos + electricity and still make money.

    • This is being done with other forms of replicators. The problem with legos is they aren't really sturdy material.
      • by wurp (51446)

        Links?

        • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RepRap_Project

          http://www.fabathome.org/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page

          I also remember reading about another project I cannot find that actually DID achieve the ability to manufacture all the parts but the electronics from the original machine. It could only make things with limited materials though.

          • by wurp (51446)

            Thanks for the links.

            I have a MakerBot (a repstrap machine), so I'm familiar with the philosophy. Unfortunately you can only make about half the $$$ value of the machine with another machine right now. (And in fact it's much cheaper to buy molded versions of the printable parts).

            I'd be interested in hearing more about your replicator if you happen to find the reference. I have vague notions that I heard of a CNC & chip fab lab designed at MIT to be self-contained and manufacture a wide variety of thi

    • by Dails (1798748)

      LEGONET begins building at a geometric rate and becomes self-aware at 0214 EST April 22 2011.

  • Still not a cool as this one [makezine.com] which is also made entirely out of legos.
  • That is, until, it decides to terminate the meat bag that keeps mixing up the colours.

  • The block sorting lego robot arms are pretty cool and all, but this lego monster machine is by far a lot more entertaining and worth every minute of it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWd3vgLaA_M [youtube.com]

    Well, at least to me cause I'm a nerd. =p
  • What I've always wanted is a machine that you dump all your legos into and it sorts them by color, not just special blocks but any lego piece. Another sort that would be very useful is by type: short beams, long beams, small panels, big panels, wheels, axles, gears, technic beams, etc...

  • is Lego. No 's' required.
  • To take the blocks from the bins and place them at the beginning of the belts? Man, what a slacker.
  • Ok people, the reason this is cool is because he replicated a specific type of factory robot called a 'pick and place delta robot', not because he couldn't think of any other way to sort the blocks. This type of robot is the fastest way to sort and place objects that are coming down a conveyor belt at random intervals and placements.

    The fact that the submitter made it sound like you were going to be watching a manufacturing robot does not make this less impressive.

    Check out a video of how a real delt
  • I expected to see a little shiny endoskeleton looking around in confusion while a small blonde figure hides behind a stairway.

Statistics are no substitute for judgement. -- Henry Clay

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