Smart Bricks: Giant Lego-like blocks for buildings

The idea behind Smart Bricks is that giant Lego-like blocks could be used to build houses, building, and bridges. Video below. (via Smithsonian)

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Seventh grader's Lego-based Braille printer

Shubham Banerjee, a seventh grader in Santa Clara, California, invented a Lego Mindstorms-based Braille printer called the Braigo. He's declared his intention to release his printer -- which costs about $350, much less than traditional $2000+ Braille printers -- as open source hardware so that it can be improved by a wider developer community. Read the rest

Lego Jackhammer Jill

Rob sez, "Got bored, so decided to try and build Jackhammer Jill with Lego."

Rob, you've spun the straw of boredom into Happy Mutant gold!

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Teaching TCP/IP headers with legos

A Hal Pomeranz from 2010 suggests a great way to teach TCP/IP header structure to students: he builds header diagrams out of legos, then mixes them up and has the students reconstruct them.

The use of color here really highlights certain portions of the packet header. For example, the source and destination addresses and ports really jump out. But there are some other, more subtle color patterns that I worked in here. For example, if you look closely you’ll see that I matched the color of the ACK bit with the blue in the ACK number field. Similarly the colors of the SYN bit and the sequence number match, as do the URG bit and urgent pointer field.

Actually I wish I had a couple of more colors available. Yes, Lego comes in dozens of colors these days, but they only make 2×8 blocks (aka one “Lego Byte”) in six colors: White, Black, Red, Yellow, Blue, and Beige.

So while I tried to use Beige exclusively for size fields, Red for reserved bits, Yellow for checksums, and so on, I ultimately ended up having to use these colors for other fields as well– for example, the yellow sequence number fields in the TCP header. Maybe I should have just bought a bunch of “nibbles” (2×4 blocks) in other colors and not been so choosy about using full “Lego Bytes”.

Since 2010, the lego patent has expired and cheapish wire-extrusion 3D printing has become a reality -- and there's cool procedural models for generating arbitrary-sized bricks and labelling them with arbitrary type. Read the rest

The Stratos jump, in LEGO

Lego reenactment of the Red Bull Stratos jump. Scale 1:350.

Occupy Legoland (with Lego QR code)

Adam Greenfield snapped this "Occupy Legoland" piece at OWS, including a Lego QR code (!). As Adam says, 99%, but 100% awesome.

Occupy Legoland! Read the rest