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Since our visit coincided with Obon Main holiday related to the ancestors , when almost everybody is on holiday in Japan, the crowds were ensured.
We went up the elevator to the floor where the Discovery Center begins. We found, as in other Discovery Center that I visited, some rides and a miniland reproducing Tokyo.
Obviously the rides are more for children than for adults, although we tried one of them, where we had to shoot the. Obviously we got the typical photo of the ride Then we went to miniland Tokyo. There were reproduced the most typical elements of the city such as Tokyo Tower, Rainbow Bridge, Asakusa Temple, Shidownloada crossing road, the shopping district of Ginza and Tokyo Skytree.
Every 5 minutes the atmosphere changes from day to night and vice versa. The Buildings illuminated at night are really attractive.
After miniland we just took a look to the other rides we decided to not try some of them to not disturb the children and we also saw an extensive play area with thousands of bricks for kids to unleash their imagination and build. Obviously all the decoration was made with bricks.
Surely we missed hundreds of details as our brain could not process them all. Our visit was quick, not to disturb the activities of the center. We reached the end of the visit to the latest must-stop for any Discovery Center: I also got a coin stamped with an engraving of the LDC Tokyo, and some special little goodies of the center.
In our conversation during the visit, I was interested in some aspects of the center. Anyway there is one day every month when they do a building workshop with LEGO for adults. The favorite attraction for children is the Kingdoms Quest it is the ride we tried. The Discovery Center was very crowded that day. There are no plans to expand the center. Obviously I was interested in things I can not easily get in Spain, so I picked up a couple more shirts, and something that I had long pursued, and had never been able to find in Europe: That day in the afternoon we met our friend Maiko, and we dined with her and her husband.
He was so kind to find a place for dinner near our hotel, so as not to risk us getting lost. In this case we went to a small traditional restaurant that was in a basement near JR Shimbashi Station, an easily recognizable place as there is a great steam engine.
In this case there were 8 AFOLs: And again I was fascinated by the quality of the models shown there: A symphony orchestra, a hot dog, a beer mug, an accordion, cars, airplanes, wicks, interstellar cruisers Yoshihito brought a dog that was motorized with remote control. Like in Osaka, I brought the micro scale Sagrada Familia, and offered one to.
Yoshihito-san and another to Yoshikazu-san as thanks for their kind help. Meanwhile, Yoshihito-san probably confused by the beer, made me sign the issue Hispabrick Magazine in which his interview was published. But, he is the protagonist!!! While understandable, it was a pleasure and an honor to be asked to sign it, and I did it willingly. With the stomach recovered, compared to the Osaka dinner, we were able to enjoy Japanese cuisine and I must say that everything was delicious.
It is true that when testing something new, I was surprised by the taste or texture, but then I found it tasty and ate more. During the dinner, all MOCs went from table to table so we could all watch and chat about building techniques, as well as other issues related to LEGO, or broader issues of culture and likes of each of us. Delia was especially grateful for this fact since she could talk about topics that were not boring for her I must say that many of the ideas I got in Osaka about how is the hobby in Japan were corroborated in Tokyo.
They have almost no public events and due to the lack of space in the houses of the fans, they tend to build small MOCs, very detailed and easily removable and storable. When they can not show the MOCs live, they come with albums or tablets to show you the rest of their constructions. There are some smaller groups in various parts of Japan, but they have a tendency to group and then disappear. In this case we went to a small street, beneath the train tracks of the Yamanote line, where we could enjoy some typical skewers and continue with the talks.
Some fans, like Masahiro Yoshihito are related to education, and we were discussing how children live experiences with bricks, and also about some tricks to keep their attention, or to provoke a smile. At the end of this second dinner we went back to the hotel very grateful for all the attention they gave us and the kindness with which they explained their way to live the LEGO hobby.
Kazufumi Okazaki,. From a small piece you can build an entire model, only with imagination. Also some children continue with the hobby as they grow, and are inspired by models of the brand to create their own models.
Okazaki recognizes they can not compete with brands like Bandai. Although Japan has been immersed in an economic crisis for more than two decades, it seems that this does not particularly affect the sales.
The one that struck me was one that encouraged children to build railcars in Kyoto Station. They got over children assembling their car, and put them all together in a very long table, which had a remarkable visual impact.
Also noteworthy was that they did some events after the earthquake of March 11, to recover the illusion of the affected children. Is a traveling exhibition for Asia, and Mr. He had worked a lot with us. He loved the students and we have to honour him in the future and continue what he started, especially as far as events are concerned, which helped many fans, and also many children, which were inspired by him here in Japan.
But for me the saddest thing is that I can not see him anymore. Finally Yoshikazu Saito talks about his experience with Naoesan: He was a big person, with big dreams.
It really can be said that he did not build for himself, but he build from a new point of view to make the people who saw his models happy. I think of him as a teacher, a benefactor and as a very good friend.
Due to the combined weight of the two of us, the coaster almost flew off the rails! Finally, I would like to do a tribute to someone who, unfortunately, did not get a chance to meet, and who passed away a few months before our visit. I asked three people who knew him well to explain who he was and why he was so special. He really was a pillar of the LEGO community. A kind, outgoing, and helping person that always tried to do as much as he could for others. When presented in exhibitions, the visitors can make music with it, and it also has some minifigure-spectators, bringing the dimensions and scale of a kind of factory in miniature to the machine.
It took me a lot of attempts: With this project I went back to the hobby and, as I had a nice amount of pieces, I started playing around with them. Everything happened on the go, letting it flow, without planning much in advance, coming back to fix details when needed. The parts are ready to be joint in multiple combinations, and without using any glue or cutting, so there is no risk in making mistakes; you can always change and fix it.
Whenever you want, you can make small changes to them. Instead of being scale models that we observe in a passive way, they are still full of possibility to continue playing. As usual, you have to deal with the limit of the parts you own, making substitutions among them.
Initially, I thought I would use a road baseplate. The xylophone would go on top of it and it would be the base for all the construction as well. At some point, this base, beyond its role as functional element, drew the attention for being in fact a road, and in this way the bleachers arise with the minifigure spectators and a bit of decoration around them. The way it works is simple; while you press each key, the corresponding hammer stays hitting the xylophone.
And if you push two or more keys, several hammers will play arpeggios with random rhythms. You can also vary the frequency of the hits, using the Train speed regulator.
On the occasion of an art exhibition where this piece was shown, I edited the graphic building instructions, so the visitors to the show could pick up a printed copy. Recently I was asked to make a replica, so we looked for the parts and, following these instructions step by step, we rebuild it.
The experience was fun and a completely different process. Now I put at your disposal the building instructions booklet in PDF, along with a video to see it in motion http: If you would like to build your own I will be more than happy! In this second part we are going to see the most exclusive, rare and difficult to get minifigures, the nightmares of all collectors.
Exclusive Minifigs from fairs and conventions This is where the level of difficulty becomes higher. The minifig itself is the same one that appeared in the Tie Fighter set The value of the minifig is in that it is still in the well closed bag. Who knows? I have no idea what happened at that special event, but the invitation, instead of paper was a Star Wars minifig on a pedestal made of pieces and a commemorative plaque glued to the pedestal.
In the promotion was repeated with a curious box which was internally divided in two, and it contained the two main characters played by Harrison Ford: Each character had its own setting. Again there were made. Again, units were made. After this the Cubedudes were in fashion for a couple of years, and in the minifigs returned to New York in different formats: The circulation of Darth Maul was considerable, but of the accreditation with two minifigs there were only Each of these minifigs came with a certificate of authenticity and a serial number.
In another similar action was undertaken. The official series was numbered minifigs, although at LEGOWorld they could be bought without the serial number for a few Euros. I started going to this event in and got the first 3 commemorative minifigs of that event. These minifigs were made by a printer, with the permission of LEGO, and were only given to exhibitors at the event. The second was given in and the third in The minifigs included the LEGO logo and the year of the event, in addition to other logos.
In there was alteration in the force. The sixth had a larger run and it is my understanding these were handed out during all the days of the convention, but I have no confirmation of this fact.
From the very first year a commemorative minifig for the event was made. The exclusive part is actually a torso with a reference t the even and the year on the front and the LEGO logo on the back. Each year this has been the same and so far there are 6 different torsos from to In other boxes there are different types of legs, heads and hair pieces to complete the minifig so there is no standard model.
These are the minifigs that are not available through any of the more. In madness broke out again for two reasons: LEGO announced an unprecedented agreement with the two main publishers of Comics CD and Marvel and at the Comic Cons preliminary minifigs were handed out, which also gave access to a contest related to these minifigs.
These minifigs came on a card that announced the appearance of Superhero sets and the rules of the contest as well as the logo of Comic Con. Collectors dream about these models and they would do anything to get their hands on at least one. The best known of these minifigs are the ones used as business cards. The head and face are chosen to be as similar as possible to the employee. It is curious to see how when you have a certain access to these employees, they are absolutely delighted to give you their minifig.
In addition to these minifigs there are some internal or exclusive events that have their own minifig. All these minifigs are of limited production runs, hard to get, and extremely expensive on the collectors market. The personalizations started with stickers. Little by little these custom minifigs were perfected and more or less automated methods were used.
The first of these I learned about was a minifig our editor Carlos brought me from BrickWorld It was a blue minifigs and the logo of BrickWorld and the year were engraved. Shortly after that the method for printing the torsos was found, which allowed the designs to become more and more spectacular.
Many clubs and fans made their own minifigs and the exchange of these minifigs helped strengthen the ties between AFOLs and clubs. This company jumped hard on the international scene with the replica of a Rolls Royce turbine that appeared in many media. Now you can find more about the company and discover more of their works. How did the idea of Bright Bricks come up? Bright Bricks was a good name for my part time company.
Has the way your business has evolved met your initial expectations? It has grown faster and bigger than I had imagined. What kind of product is the most demanded, custom promotional sets or large sculptures BB: Large models for shows and events.
When a client comes to you, are they surprised by the cost of designing and building the model they want? Can you explain any interesting anecdotes related to Bright Bricks? When ordering parts for our large Christmas tree I made a typo in the quantity so instead of ordering 1x10 brown plates I ordered 80, we still have some now and that was 3 years ago. What is the most difficult project you have done and why?
The Rolls-Royce aircraft engine because of its size and complexity of making it turn. Out of curiosity , what is the part you have used most over the years? The standard 2x4 brick. Tell us something of your immediate projects.
We have just completed a full size bus shelter and stop sign outside Hamleys in London. Every time we publish a new issue of the magazine we like to track the impact and downloads related to that specific issue.
The Spanish version was downloaded almost exclusively from Spain, but in the last issues we have seen a gradual increase of the downloads from other countries, mainly from South America, where Spanish is the predominant language.
We wanted to know something about those countries and the way they organize their AFOL communities. HispaBrick Magazine: How did Chile LUG get started? Christian Breinbauer: Finally, when we met for the first time, there were 4 people: Lucas, Sergio Rojas, Miguel Saavedra and me. And then more people came to the group.
How many members does Chile LUG have? Which is your level of activity? We have about members in our LUG, those who join in our Facebook account. We are mainly adults AFOLs , but we allow minors to be part of our LUG, if they are very interested and involved in this hobby, because we have to stimulate the builders of tomorrow!
What are your main means of contact: We have a Facebook group, that is our main way to contact other members. And, thanks to this tool, we have created a very friendly group. We also hold a monthly gathering. Do you organize events or exhibitions? Yes, we have attended some events. Throughout the year we are able to attend some events related to Sci-Fi or Fantasy encounters, or local Comic Con, or X-fan events.
Furthermore, we have organized our BrickFest, in March. The last edition was the second, and we had a very good audience. Are there any other LUGs in your country? Do you have contact with them? And, do you have any contact with LUGs of other countries? We are the only known LUG here, in Chile. I share our experiences with them, and they have the same circumstances and problems as we have in Chile. And that is our way to let them know that we are interested in organizing or collaborate in events.
Which is your role in Chile LUG? Yes, we are geographically far. The main problem is not the availability of certain sets but the price of them, in many cases the same set can be twice or three times the price that it is sold for in other countries like United States.
In many cases this is necessary, but I believe that a great percentage of children could be stimulated with specific toys instead of being treated with medication. And, your favourite ones? The City and Star Wars themes are the best sold. Friends is being very well received on our market, furthermore other themes like Ninjago and Super Heroes are selling very well too. My favourite ones are Star Wars and Architecture.
I like to do City or Star Wars displays, because I can include many small stories in them. What would you like to build individually or with other AFOLs? I always have many projects in mind, but everything is limited by the availability of parts.
Collaborative builds are one of the easiest ways for enthusiasts to be a part of a large creation. There are several collaborative build standards that have lived within the community for many years. Themes such as Classic Castle and Moon Base are a couple of the more well-known collaborations.
At Brickworld, collaborations are celebrated. Of course, everyone loves tall displays. But, for an individual, these are expensive to build and difficult to transport. So, this year at Brickworld, we debuted a new collaboration. It has the ability to be very tall. It is a collaboration. And, as display space is busier than ever with incredible MOCs, it has a small footprint on the tables. This is how the collaborative sky scraper was born.
The idea of the collaborative sky scraper is to allow someone without a lot of space in their luggage or a lot of money to spend on parts to create something, almost anything, encase it in the defined building perimeter design and put it in the stack of modules to be part of something bigger. Some people will criticize the design for its simplistic exterior design and for the fact that it does not include a stairwell or elevator.
The design of the basic module was very intentional to allow maximum visibility and to allow the builders to focus on the intricate interior details instead of spending money on the exterior design parts. Our belief is that it is more engaging and more fun to have to look into the building for the details, instead of just seeing something neat from across the room. A seek and find could easily be added for any collaboration of this nature to engage people even further. At Brickworld this year, there were a total of 25 modules for the debut of the sky scraper.
As you can see in the picture, a couple of modules deviated from the basic exterior design to allow for a taller interior space. We considered the 2 and 3 high modules acceptable deviations that added some character to the exterior while not violating the basic premise of the collaboration a stackable building.
One of the Brickworld attendees made provisions in his city layout for two towers to be stacked, thus making the sky scraper collaboration part of something even bigger. Then, we added a wireless camera to the window washer platform facing into the building so that a video feed to a nearby monitor would show the interior designs.
Finally, on site at Brickworld, once we had the start of two towers, a walking bridge was added between the towers. Overall, this was a very fun collaboration with a great initial turnout.
Who knows, maybe next year we will have sky scraper city!! Meanwhile, build a few modules for your events and have fun with it. Miniland Building: But let us begin the construction of this prototype. The base of the head, i. You may prefer a 1x1 round plate. The chin is drawn with a jumper plate 1 single centered stud on a 1x2 plate which centers a 2x2 plate. The use of 1x2 plates in different colors differentiates the face from the hair.
Finally, the last 2x2 plate forms the top of the skull. The resulting geometry is very angular, a geometric effect hardly softened by the presence of the studs on the top - one reason you may prefer conventional plates against the smooth plates tiles.
We have first to say a word about the colors to use. For items that represent the skin as the face but also hands, which must be flesh-colored, the best effect is obtained with the brown for black people and tan color for white people.
You can also use respectively black or gray and white or yellow, but with less convincing results. For the hair, the choice of color is even wider, and it is possible to achieve shades from blond to black and shades of gray for the elderly.
Some common colors are illustrated here but you can use any color as long as parts are available sand and dark red, medium orange Beards and Hairstyles From the basic design of the head, you can create bearded or bald heads by changing the colour of a few parts. For the beard, you have to change the chin color from flesh to hair color. To get a bald head, we swap the hair color of the top of the head to flesh color. None of the parts are modified, only the colors are chosen differently.
How would you make a character at the same time bald and bearded? It is possible to enhance the design, for instance in making use of tiles and jumper plates. As demonstrated below, you can represent at least 4 different stages in the process of losing hair. You can also notice how much the use of rounded parts or parts with clips or rings, featuring curved geometries, makes the whole design less blocky and smoother.
The plate 1x1 modified with clip ring is a part which is heavily used to recreate hairstyle effects, for instance a rockabilly fringe. An unusual build makes the back of the head bigger and less blocky. This effect is made possible thanks to the Erling brick.
This is the source for a serie of new long hair hairstyles, some examples being illustrated here. Other builds make this kind of arrangement possible. The first makes use of Technic bricks. Those bricks have a hole on the side and the size is compatible with studs.
It is a stud-to-hole build which is inverted it makes apparent the underside of the parts compared to the classic stud-to-tube build. We make use here of the smallest Technic bricks 1x1 and 1x2 that you find not only in Technic sets but also in various LEGO sets. In the following examples, a 1x1 round plate creates a necessary shift to avoid overlap side effects while featuring hair ties.
Unlike the previously described Erling build, this one does not feature undesired shift. This way you can create pigtails, buns of various sizes and ponytails. Without any advanced building technique, the massive use of modified plates, such the plate with clip, the plate with offset and hinge plates are sources for original designs: The most common today is the cap.
The key element of the cap is the visor. The simplest solution is to use a 2x3 plate and a round 2x2 plate to simulate the indentation of the head. You can also use tiles or even shorten the visor with a 1x2 plate with rail.
This solution also allows, with a wise choice of color to simulate a fringe instead of a visor cap see the girl with a ponytail. It is important to contrast the color of the hat to the hair and preferably to flesh color. Later we will see other examples demonstrating the importance of contrasting the colors of elements representing different body parts. If you need to represent a child, you may prefer a version of a cap with the visor raised using a 1x2 panel. More simply, young people and bad boys will wear a reverse cap like in real life.
Panel 1x2. One part is particularly well suited to recreate a cap with the visor: Indeed, in addition to its dimensions, it has a rounded edge. It provides a wide range of solutions.
Plate 3x2 with hole. The elegant ladies will make use of the 4x4 dish inverted as wide brim hats in combination with smaller round parts. Other types of hats can be recreated using the possibilities offered by the halfstud shift of the jumper plate. This design is inspired by an original build by Iain Heath previously featured at www. Display Background Block With this block you can display a background on the screen choosing from among the 20 backgrounds available in the WeDo software.
We need to make the time between background changes longer to be able to see them. And what if we want to see all 20 backgrounds? You will observe there is a Display Background block connected to the Display Input block. This means that the background displayed on the screen will correspond to the number shown.
Display Block With this block we can use the number that is shown on the screen to make more complex programs. Our first example will simplify the program that shows the 20 backgrounds. The corresponding program is as follows:. The background will be shown for one second before changing to the next one. The number 1 is added to the value shown on the screen, so if we start with 1, now the number is 2 and the sequence is started again.
To understand the program we will analyse each action step by step. The program is divided into two parts. The first is executed only once and the second part is everything inside the Repeat block.
Part 1. Now that the number is 2, the second background image is shown during 1 second and again the number is incremented. This is repeated 20 times, until all 20 backgrounds available in the WeDo software have been shown. Start on Key Press Block Until now, in order to start a program we always clicked on the start block. Well, now we can also start a program using a keyboard key, thanks to the Start on Key Press block.
The number 1 will appear on the screen. This serves to indicate at what background number we will start. If you want to change the key that appears in the block all you need to do is place the cursor over the block until it turns into a T:.
Arrow Up. You will see how the image changes to reflect the chosen key. In the following part we will have a look at the use of the Message Blocks in order to change the linearity of the program. On the website notjustbricks. One step closer to world domination, one brick at a time! In the previous issues we described how the WeDo software works and the basics operations with the open source Scratch software, the free platform. Since we only exposed the tip of the iceberg with Scratch last time, we will explain how to program the Amazing Mechanism robots included with the WeDo software and how to do it in Scratch.
This will cover the first three out of twelve designs: The basic program consists just of turning on the motor.
Although simple enough, there are. For the programming, the level of complexity increases for this one.
We could use the previous code since we just need to activate the motor, but we need to turn it off as well. What about adding a sound to let us know it is moving?
What about using a sensor to stop the motor? In WeDo software, in addition to the start and the motor block we need blocks for sound, wait time, for the sensor and to stop the motor. So the idea is that after the motor starts moving, it will play a sound and wait until we lift the handle to turn off the motor.
The last part is done with the proximity sensor. The proximity sensor is used to detect when handle is far from the surface. Once built and programmed, the birds can rotate in different ways and music can be programmed for dancing as well.
Users will discover by playing what happens when the pulleys and rubber band are changed. They will learn experimenting while changing pieces and observing the effect; how fast or into what direction it rotates. They will explore what happens if the pulleys are of different sizes or if the belt is placed in a different way. A simple program keeps students focused on what happens when you change the pulleys or place the yellow rubber band in a different position.
This is the combination used in the WeDo software. The Scratch code differs slightly. This is found under the Sound menu. On the working area choose the Sounds tab to import a new sound. You have to navigate to the folder named Effects to find the Rattle sound, but you are free to choose from the huge variety.
To program the sensor to stop the motor is a bit tricky: The code is shown below. The second design to investigate is the Smart Spinner. This is a spinning top to be programmed with several clever options.
The main objective of this model is to observe the spinning behavior when using different sizes of gears. The Drumming Monkey basic programming is quite simple; it is fairly similar to the first one.
This creation uses the monkey arms as levers to hit the drums. You need to get creative for a nice set of drums. Usually a couple of paper or plastic cups produce the best sound. You need to play with the cams the grey ovals positions to get a rhythmic percussion.
The basic program also consists of turning on the motor. The experiments are related to the change of positions of the cams. The code for the WeDo software is presented below. Stay tuned for the advanced programming of these creations.
You can find more information, and building and programming instructions for the designs presented here and many more at: Cranes, service trucks and construction vehicles in general show how efficiently one can control many movements using a single motor. Both approaches have some disadvantages; using gearboxes is clever and efficient, but usually requires direct manual control of the gear levers, making a model impossible to fully control remotely.
This does not pose a problem when using a separate motor and an independent remote channel for each function, but that is also complex, large, heavy, and often requires a lot of parts that may not be the cheapest. Going separate ways The underlying idea of this method is to split the movements of the motor on two separate axles.
One is used to deliver the drive rotation which eventually does the desired work , whereas the other switches the drive among multiple outputs. It is possible to simply split rotational directions with LEGO Technic using a twin ratchet and a standard differential, as shown on the picture.
The motor drives a differential master gear, while the differential outputs are equipped with ratchets, each in opposite direction to the other. This simple system is reliable, relatively small, easy to build with standard parts and able to withstand significant loads. If having two separate outputs for two functions is all you need, this little mechanism will do just fine.
One driver, many followers There are many designs for such distribution gearboxes. Many of them are based around the idea of an axle sliding lengthwise and meshing with different gears placed around it as it moves, and this is the very approach shown in the example in the photo.
Of course, it can be easily expanded to include any number of outputs. However, for this or any other distribution gearbox design to be suitable for our purpose, it needs to be controlled using just one axle, which will in practice rotate in only one direction.
This may require some fine adjustments, but thanks to the many beam lengths and cranks available today, it is usually no problem. For example, if a distribution gearbox has four outputs, the control crank will, as it rotates, shift the outputs continuously in the order Obviously, it takes correct timing to set the gearbox to a desired output, but if there is sufficient gearing down worm gears are especially useful for this purpose , it is relatively easy to do so.
Almost any kind of gearbox or transmission which can be controlled with a linear or rotational motion can be adapted to switch outputs through an axle rotating in one direction only. How far can one go? However, there are some limitations one needs to be aware of before committing to using one in a model.
Obviously, it is impossible to use more than one output function at once. One more thing worth keeping in mind is that, when an output axle is disengaged, most distribution gearboxes will not lock it, and possibly let the component they are controlling move freely.
This can be solved by using worm gears that lock a receiver gear regardless, at the expense of speed of operation. See the pictured systems in action at www. A simple sequential distribution gearbox with five outputs. It is entirely controlled with one axle turning in one direction. A combined system using one direction of the motor to switch among outputs, and the other direction to drive the selected output.
Controlling multiple functions in a nutshell - The basic idea is to split the directions of motor rotation to two separate axles, using twin ratchets and a differential, and use one axle to choose the output, the other one to provide drive for the chosen output.
In this edition 95 teams from 42 different countries from the five continents with a total of over boys and girls from very different social and cultural backgrounds, in addition to more than volunteers from 15 countries. On this occasion I participated as technical judge, which has given me the opportunity to know the teams a little better than when I am referee, talking with them and appreciating the passion and creativity their projects reflect.
After the information session on Thursday and during Friday and Saturday, the teams showed us their robots, explained the strategies they use on the competition table and told us about how they developed the creative process.
The desire and effort to make the boys and girls enjoy this unforgettable experience helped people who had only just met to work together as a team as if they had been doing so for a long time already. The Robotics Competition The most spectacular part of the FLL is the robotics competition in which the teams face a series of challenges in which the robot needs to complete a number of missions autonomously in order to score. This year the central theme of the FLL was focused on the negative consequences that different natural phenomena can generate for people and things.
This was reflected in the 17 missions on the table, each of which is associated with different natural phenomena like tsunamis, floods and storms. The FLL has the same challenges as investigative and industrial robotics: In this area the solutions are very different and interesting.
The number of complements varies, but on average each team more than three. On the other hand, few teams are capable of solving all the missions in the two and a half minutes they get, so with the aim to score the highest amount of points they need to combine robot design, programming and strategy. The 95 teams proposed many different solutions, both in hardware and in programming. I have selected a few of them for this article, conscious of the fact that there were many more that would have deserved a mention.
If they touch the robot outside they are penalised. The teams try to find solutions so the time during which the robot is in the base is as short as possible, which can be achieved with accessories that are easy to attach and remove and by reducing the time needed to change the program. In general, when a robot comes back to base, it stops and a new program is started.
Some teams do this in such a way that it only takes the push of a button on the controller to start the next program, although this also has drawbacks if you want to retry a mission or modify your strategy due to some circumstantial factor. The mechanical design is evaluated on three points: Team Toyminators USA came third in this ranking and it developed a number of solutions I will mention below. Most teams develop a base with wheels or treads that allows the robot to maneuver the table and a set of accessories, and most, if not all, feature differential drive.
Team Toyminators chose a different solution: For the missions the robot had different interchangeable bases with their corresponding wheels or tracks.
In addition, they used colour coding with the colour sensor so the robot knew what accessory was attached at each time. The parts were fixed using gravity and each accessory had a part that went in front of the colour sensor. The main program read the colour and showed the name of the corresponding accessory on the screen, so at the push of the button the right program was started which was a MyBlock. This meant there was a single program with a context menu that changed depending on the accessory or rather the base that was attached.
In this way they could execute the missions in any order and repeat them if necessary and. The following image shows the robot with one of its bases, in this case with a red panel in front of the colour sensor.
Overcoming obstacles A challenge in which the most diverse solutions could be seen was the obstacle challenge. The robot had to move over the table, overcoming obstacles that represented rivers, vegetation and rubble to get to the safe zone the location of the robot in the next image.
Solutions included robots with treads, with 4 wheels all the same or different sizes , with two or even one wheel. On the right side there was an area that was free of obstacles which, for example, allowed team Bideluze LS from FLL Spain to complete the challenge with a robot using a single motor connected to a wheel and the controller in vertical position, crossing the corridor quickly to the safe zone.
Conventional rigid robots with four wheels had a lot of problems overcoming the obstacles, so different ideas needed to be developed. A robot normally needs at least three points of support, with it centre of gravity within the area described by those three points.
After trying different solutions, the German team sAPG-Tigers decided that, if you need to traverse a narrow corridor in which you can lose your balance, one way to make sure you stay balanced is by hanging on to the wall, so they built a robot with a mechanism that deploys when it reaches the obstacles, providing an additional support for the robot. Deploying the mechanism changes the position of a valve so a pneumatic cylinder adjust the support to the width of the wall.
In order to better understand the idea it is worth to watch the video of the mission see the playlist mentioned at the end of this article. The Champion: Mechatronics Ants Those who were in the main hall of Baluarte during the third round could witness two and a half minutes of magic on the competition table: There were those who asked themselves how it was possible to obtain such a result at this level, and I think I am not wrong when I say that this was the result of the passion, dedication and knowledge accumulated over the years.
Not only did they win the competition on the table, they were the overall winners of the championship, something that can only be achieved with an excellent robot design, scientific project and demonstration of the values associated with the FLL. The new challenge The new challenge will be made public shortly, on the 26th of August, but we already know the theme it will centre around: FLL World Class, the future of learning. The participants will have the opportunity to tell the adults how they need and want to learn.
A very interesting challenge for those of us who are passionate about learning. Links The final reports, pictures, videos, etc. The playlist http: The Collectors Fair of Mungia was held on April, 26th and 27th.
This year was the twelfth edition, organized by the Bitxikiak association www. Thanks to the work of the participants, many of whom were veterans of previous editions,Our dioramas and displays are bigger and more detailed every year, there were less sets and more MOCs, and there was no room for anything else.
We gathered a nice quantity of dioramas and constructions, to occupy all the available space. Several thousand visitors were able to see the exhibition, and once again we got a lot of compliments, as they were able to see the evolution both in quality and quantity of the constructions shown over the years.
This was the last edition to be held in this facility, because the building we were located at is going to be demolished in order to build a new one.
From to this last edition there has always been a LEGO exhibition in the Mungia Collectors Fair, and we hope this will continue in the future. We want to thank the organization, Bitxikiak Association, for the outstanding treatment we were given.
In the first part, as an introduction, he talks about inspiration and gives us tips on textures, colors, scales, In the second part, he talks about some of the most recurrent themes in building MOCs.
Some geniuses with parts many have already been featured in this magazine help Jordan explain his creative process in the areas that have given them greater fame, like Katie Walker, Iain Heath and Tyler Clites, to give some examples.
Veterans in building will find a different way to see their hobby, as they will see it through the eyes of other creators. And seeing something we know from other angles is always positive. New techniques, new ideas, new inspiration.
Keep in mind that in no case this is an in depth guide for each theme, as an entire book could be written about most of them. The newcomers to this world will find it a good source of tips, tricks and models to find inspiration in. Can a beginner take full advantage of the book or is a certain level as a builder needed?
This was a question the folks at No Starch Press and I mulled over when we first started discussing the possibilities for this book over two years ago. We were very careful not to make a textbook! This is, without a doubt, an original book in its theme, fun and with lots of useful information. Definitely a great book for inspiration at all levels. Now a brief interview with the author, Jordan Schwartz on his book.
How did the idea for the book come about? The fact that these other books give instructions for specific models is not a flaw; on the contrary, learning techniques by physically performing them is a great way to develop building skills.
In fact, this book offers some instructional information too! There are infinite ways to build any one thing, and you should build what you want to build, how you want to build it, not just how instructions may say you should!
In your opinion, which is the main difference between this book and other idea books? I think the book is a nice balance between simple ideas and advanced ones. What do you think of the many books on the LEGO world that are emerging in recent years? I love the diversity of LEGO books that have been coming out over the past few years. Are you considering the possibility of a continuation to this book?
The book also ends by discussing a few of the most important facets of the online LEGO community, including how to photograph your models, the best. Very shortly after the set was launched the first books about the set surfaced, but on the whole they were of relatively little interest. Writing a good book that is well edited simply takes time.
So is this just a rehash and update of the existing book? That book was well written and easy to use and included instructions for such successful robots as the Snatcher, which we were proud to adapt for the World Mobile Congress in Barcelona as described in HBM This great starting point has proven valuable, but not the sole reason why this new book is once again a solid starting point for anyone who wants to make the most of his EV3 set.
While the structure of the book is largely the same as its predecessor, Laurens has rewritten most of the contents and developed a number of new models that can be built with the EV3 inventory. The sections explaining mechanical functions and programming have not only been adapted to the new technology, but improved and expanded. Additionally, the book is presented in full colour, with high quality images and building instructions, making it so much easier on the eyes and a delight to read.
So which book should you get? There are strong parallels between the two books, as they both use a very similar approach and have strong technical foundations.
In the end it is a question of style and maybe colour. Thanks to No Starch Press for the book and graphic material. Jetro Pictures: There are opinions in favour and against licensed sets — the licence adds to the cost, but also allows the representation of certain themes that many love and collect. But what about a licence for technic set? Take that one step further and you are looking for vehicles and machinery that are as close to their originals as possible.
In this sense the Volvo license is an intelligent step for both companies and a good way of providing the much sought after authenticity to the fans.
It has to look just right, imitating shapes and mimicking functions as faithfully as possible. Add to that the fact that there is a stronger and stronger demand for fully motorised and remote controllable models. Enter the Remote Controlled Volvo. Volvo what? I have left the second part of the name out on purpose, because that is where this set goes the extra mile. A technic set is supposed to come with a B-model, an alternative that can be built with the same parts.
This set actually represents two authentic vehicles that can be built with the same inventory: Authenticity is a complicated concept: Authenticity has its limits. It needs to be balanced with playability and so the servo solution is an acceptable one.
A curious fact about this set is that it includes four motors, one of each of the current Power Functions line-up excepting the e-motor which has only been used in an Eduction set , M, L, XL and Servo, which are connected to two IR-Receivers V1 if anyone is wondering and controlled with two remote controls. But authenticity can be ensured in different ways. The general line of the model is so close to its big brother that when you place one next to the other in the appropriate scale, as shown in the back of the single!
Another way to make a set authentic is by including special parts or colours. The uses only pre-existing parts, but the engine blocks come in green, making the engine stand out inside the model. The IR-Receivers have been placed very skilfully and go virtually unnoticed, despite the colour coding used to identify which motor needs to be connected to which port. Even so, I hope the pictures in this review will whet your appetite. There is still a second model that can be made with the same parts.
Rather than using the same chassis with a different upper structure or with a new add-on, this time the B-model is a completely different vehicle that needs to be built starting from scratch. Building instructions need to be downloaded from LEGO. They were never meant to be available as print copies and still all the warnings and information on pages 2 and 3 is completely illegible and the rendering quality of the building steps poor though workable.
The model features a number of similarities with the main model — something that can only be expected as some of the important elements like the portal axles and tyres and techniques servo motor are common to both models.
Some outstanding details include the placement of the battery box in the front of the vehicle, under the engine and the XL drive motor.
For the Classic Space fans, has been the best in recent years, correction, the only of recent years, which we have smiled again. If until now our devotion to the gray, blue and trans yellow survived on old dusty sets and Neo-Classic Space MOCs, this year we have had not one but two joys. Although it includes new parts and techniques, it can not deny its origins.
When I received the set I have to say that even my wife noticed it was a special one. And the fact that I began to build it. The Exo Suit has suffered many cosmetic changes, but the essence, in my opinion, is still intact.
Everything regarding the set box, manual, etc is similar to other LEGO Ideas models, although it is noted that the media campaign that has surrounded it has been greater than before, including promotional photos and videos of fantastic quality.
The instructions book includes the beginning of a story based on the set, which made many of us have hope in a new Classic Space theme. The presence of the wonderful green minifigs also fed those expectations. The final model is very, very good with a very high playability and an awesome aesthetic design. The turtle robot and the minifigs in the new green color are the best complement to the Exo Suit.
Unfortunately the only conclusion I could draw on this set is that the only thing better than having one is to have two Dark times are coming for my budget. What a great expansion!
If we have to wait another 5 years for a third ride of the same quality, tell me where to sign. Speculation grew fast, trying to imagine how this new ride could be. When finally we could see it, the praise was widespread, and that was because behind this new set, is none other than our favorite designer Jamie Berard. The model is really complete as it has a main attraction and several accessory ones, featuring a whole exhibition area as well as vehicles to transport all them from one place to another.
Another highlight is the amount of minifigures that come with the model: Model building The building process is divided into 3 steps, each with its instruction booklet.
There is also a sticker sheet. Without it the model would be rather poor. In the first step I built the small truck and the small attractions. In the second, the big truck and trailer, which will house the main attraction, which is built in the third step.
To start, I assembled 11 of the 12 minifigures. A promising start. As expected, the variety of minifigures is notable: Also the colors are very bright and give us clues about how striking the model will be. Next, the construction of the truck transporting small attractions begins.
The truck is 6 studs wide and 20 long. With the Unimog type wheels, it is quite high compared to the minifig scale trucks we are used to. The cabin is quite elaborate, but I miss the mirrors.
In the back there is a great platform where you place the attractions that are built next. For packages of 4 lbs. If you want a larger package over 4 lbs. If your order contains a combination of items that are currently shipping, and upcoming items i. Thanks for supporting TwoMorrows Publishing! Download the file to your computer and then extract it to view the PDF. For information about this issue, please check the print version's page.
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