Wednesday, December 14, 2011

What 3 LEGO Projects Do You Find Innovative? (Part 1 of 3)

I posted a question to a friend of mine: "What 3 LEGO projects do you find innovative?" And recorded his response. But failed to think on the question myself (work ended up getting in the way) and failed to come up with my own answers. I'm hoping to post his answers as a podcast soon, but in the mean time, I've had a little time to think on the question and will try to post my response here.

To be honest it's a tough question to answer, considering it'a a hobby based on being innovative and there are so many aspects of the LEGO fan community to choose from... Not to mention, we both have been in the LEGO fan community a long time, so being a little jaded, it was hard to come up with some answers. And it's meant to be a tough question to answer, because we both agreed we shouldn't give the 'because it's cool' answer.

So here's the first of my 3 choices:

 The NXT Blimp Project

Our LUG has been working on LEGO boat racing for the past few years, with an annual boat race.  There's been some fun races & interesting solutions to the proposed problem -- to build a boat from LEGO and using only LEGO power, design something that is fast and maneuverable on water. But in the back of my head, I been thinking about the next evolution in LEGO racing... We could do submarines, but that's too obvious.  So I had this thought of, "Wouldn't it be fun to do a LEGO blimp race?"

See at Brickworld (where I first had this thought), there are these long hallway in between ballrooms; the perfect platform for this type of race.  I'd like to see a LEGO blimp zip down the hallway.  I was envisioning stationed hula-hoops to fly thru and fans that would blow air up, causing "wind hazards" to navigate around.  The problem was (a) how much helium would you need to keep something floating about 5-10 feet off the ground, (b) how could you control it, (c) would it be small enough to fit through a hula-hoop, (d) how much of it would have to be non-LEGO.

Then I saw the above NXT Blimp Project, I realized we're one step closer to seeing a LEGO blimp race to be actualized.  :)  The design is simple.  It's NXT controlled.  Might be too big to fit through a hoop, but I'm good with that.  And it looks like most of the components are LEGO.

Honestly, I'd like to see this project become affordable and maybe slimmed down for a hobbyist... Maybe as a LEGO Cuusoo project.

UPDATE: Oh, and post your 3 choices as well in the comments or send me an e-mail.

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