LEGO Robot Can Self-Build Its Own Tower Indefinitely

LEGO Robot Can Self-Build Its Own Tower Indefinitely

A LEGO builder has created an automated robot that could conceivably build its way to outer space.

Combinations can be tricky. Take robots and LEGO, for instance. When I think of robots I think of chrome-plated death machine with Austrian accents trying to kill me. LEGO, contrastingly, brings to memory boyhood construction sessions filled with smiles, laughter and a whole lot of medieval murder and betrayal (I got a lot of mileage out of that castle set). My mind just doesn't place the two naturally together. Even so, talented builders have proven on more than a few occasions that robotics and LEGO don't just make good bedfellows, they make great ones.

Take, for instance, the work of Hknssn (probably not their real name) who recently posted a video to YouTube of an automated LEGO robot that can build its own tower. Dubbing it "the LEGO space elevator," Hknssn's creation has the ability to stack pre-made building blocks that are fed to it along a pair of conveyors. What's most impressive about this is the fact that the design technically has no upper limit. As long as it has materials, it can keep building.

Which isn't to say it doesn't have limitations. Setting aside obvious things like space, materials and power, the current design doesn't move at the fastest clip. By Hknssn's own calculations its top speed is a mere .533 centimeters per second. In turn, it would take it more than 33 days to build a contender to topple the current record holder for tallest LEGO tower (36 meters), and a whopping 7,432 years to reach the limits of outer space. Even so, I'm personally left wondering at the viability of creating a larger version for things like actual construction work. Granted, the contractors of the world might not appreciate losing their jobs when robots start building our skyscrapers, but I'm sure even they'd be able to appreciate the awesome factor involved.

Source: YouTube

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For the record there already is a machine that biulds a tower beneath itself. Though it works by pouring and setting conrete walls floor by floor, and obviously it cannot work autonomously.

Anyway, that machine is pretty neat.

Considering you have to continuously load in pre-made pieces for it to build it, I wouldn't really call this an "indefinitely self-building tower". :P

Not denying that it is a really neat creation, just sayin'.

"Come, let us make bricks and burn them hard..." :P
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37Jlj0_FsZU

I've seen Lego's Mindstorms platform applied in some pretty cool ways; seems like a good introduction to robotics.

RJ 17:
Considering you have to continuously load in pre-made pieces for it to build it, I wouldn't really call this an "indefinitely self-building tower". :P

Not denying that it is a really neat creation, just sayin'.

It would never make it to space either. Agreed that it's still cool though.

A really cool, if maybe fundamentally flawed idea. Since the distance between the base and the top is constantly increasing, and you have to make that trip every two sections added to the tower (or perhaps you could increase it to every 4 sections if you expanded the building unit) you're going to reach a point where it's wildly impractical to keep building. Still, it's a really cool automation demonstration if nothing else.

They are also ignoring another problem with legos, the max weight that they can handle. Each block can only handle 500 pounds so when the legos on the top weight more then the bottom will collapse.

gigastar:
For the record there already is a machine that biulds a tower beneath itself. Though it works by pouring and setting conrete walls floor by floor, and obviously it cannot work autonomously.

Anyway, that machine is pretty neat.

was just about comment with this, there are tons of different ideas/machines that "self build" so to speak, but as anything that is autonomous it needs to be monitored and be fed details and have maintenance on it, and there will always be need for ideas and other manual labor for detailed or unique jobs, so it's not like anyone would be out of a job, just kind of shifted so to speak.

(anyone who's seen the road pavers or brick pavers that just drive down the dirt path and place the concrete/bricks knows what I mean)

not to take away from this, it is very cool, but just saying "oh noez, robots will steal all er jerbs!" is laughable.

Physics aside this is pretty cool.

StewShearer:
Even so, I'm personally left wondering at the viability of creating a larger version for things like actual construction work.

Have you by chance seen the TED talk of using giant 3D printers for construction that use a special protein enriched concrete that makes them more durable, lighter, and stronger than any current construction method? They estimated the costs of each operation would reduce the price of a 2 story home to under 30,000 dollars and reduce pollutants immensely.

I was expecting to see a machine that pulled bricks from a container and assembled the bits as well, but this is still cool.

The geek in me likes this.

The geek in me also wonders how tall this gets before even slight winds start to be a serious problem.

Someone make this design build faster. Then we can make a tower of Lego to watch shatter against the moon! >:D

 

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