Amazing LEGO Motor FAQ

LEGO motor FAQIf your LEGO construction skills have progressed past the point of building stuff out of the instruction booklets then you have undoubtedly had the desire to play with the versatile LEGO motors. The LEGO motors are amazingly handy, I can’t say enough good things about that really. The biggest question is what one to use? As they are a bit pricey (hey, these are LEGOs after all) picking and choosing the style might save you some valuable cash. I personally like the 8735 motors myself, but that’s because I have a few from my old Mindstorm kit.
The list give you important info like motor RPM, stall current, torque, and even efficiency. Just the stuff you need to maximize your project. I guess it goes without saying that you can use these motors for non-LEGO applications as well. Just let your creative mind go wild.

Lego 9V Technic Motors compared characteristics

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8735 Technic motor from
Revised LEGO Mindstorms NXT from

Skiing Conditions On Mars, Not So Hot…

Sharp views of Martian ground iceThis throws a wrench into my summer vacation plans…

Using observations by NASA’s Mars Odyssey orbiter, scientists have discovered that water ice lies at variable depths over small-scale patches on Mars.
The findings draw a much more detailed picture of underground ice on Mars than was previously available. They suggest that when NASA’s next Mars mission, the Phoenix Mars Lander, starts digging to icy soil on an arctic plain in 2008, it might find the depth to the ice differs in trenches just a few feet apart. The new results appear in the May 3, 2007, issue of the journal Nature.
"We find the top layer of soil has a huge effect on the water ice in the ground," said Joshua Bandfield, a research specialist at Arizona State University, Tempe, and author of the paper. His findings come from data sent back to Earth by the Thermal Emission Imaging System camera on Mars Odyssey. The instrument takes images in five visual bands and 10 heat-sensing (infrared) ones.

NASA – Sharp Views Show Ground Ice on Mars Is Patchy and Variable

GFS-UAV N-02 ‘UFO’ Takes to the Sky

GFS-UAV N-01AAt first glance this flying craft looks like a simple ducted fan with a weird skirt under it. Fancy hovercraft? Kind of. In reality the skirt has no air flowing through it only over it. Something called the ‘Coanda effect‘(wiki) causes the air to ‘stick’ to the outside of the craft and in effect creates an inside out hovercraft. The high efficiency electric motor in the top housing forces air to flow over the outside of the main body to create lift. The torque of the motor and the spin created by the prop wash are countered by the fins that ring the mid section and the direction is controlled by the four lower flaps. The platform is quite stable and looks to be a very good platform for just about any UAV application.

[via MAKE]
The GFS-UAV N-02 is now ready to do tests flights

Lost in Space Robot B9

For the guy who has everything your only choice of gifts would be an official Lost in Space robot.

Irwin Allen’s hit TV series, "Lost in Space", had captured the imagination of future "space colonists" across America. Every boy dreamed of being William Robinson… and why not? Never before had "Space" been so cool. It is now 40 years later and we still dream of having our very own Robot! It is with this same enthusiasm that B9Creations is excited to announce our production and sale of Full Size, Limited Edition, Fully Licensed Replicas of this amazing TV Icon!

Personally I’m a Robby the Robot fan myself.


Top 10 Robots of Japan

Paro seal robots on display at the 2006 NextFestAwards have been given out by Japan’s Ministry of Economics and Trade Industry for the top 10 robots in the area of service, industrial, civil, and small to medium sized venture robots.
It’s easy to see why Japan has given out these awards. Japan has a pretty low birth rate and their citizens are living longer and longer so it makes sense to build robots that will assist the elderly. I’m all for it, as the technology advances more and more of it will trickle down to everyday tasks. I for one hope that robotic fueling stations for cars become common. It might force car makers to establish a standard fuel port for cars but I think that would be a small concession for the convenience and environmental benefits such a system would create.
I saw a gob of the contenders at the 2006 NextFest in New York last September, and I can say that the Paro robot seals are going to be a big hit when they come across to the US. From the reactions of the kids that were interacting with them I’m sure that pediatric hospitals will be buying some of them.
KHR-2HV robots are cool just because they walk like humans but they are low enough in price that you could see a few being used in a school setting to teach robotics.
Go follow the link and see who took home the top award.

[via MAKE]

Top 10 robots selected for Robot Award 2006