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Toys Technology

Drone Made of Lego Takes Flight 83

Posted by samzenpus
from the toys-from-toys dept.
TVmisGuided writes "People have made UAVs out of wood, aluminum, even 3D-printed plastic. But now comes the tale of C#/C++ developer Ed Scott who, after damaging his Gaui 330x, got the idea of designing and building a Lego quadcopter. And it worked! 'Most people go to their favorite hobby store to get parts for their UAV, I go to my kid's playroom.'"

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Drone Made of Lego Takes Flight

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  • Conditioned Much? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Johann Lau (1040920) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @02:53AM (#42345311) Homepage Journal

    Last millenium weq had RC planes and shit. Why call them drones now? Is that to give legitimacy to extrajudicial killings, or is it to derive coolness from them? It's one thing or the other, that's for fucking sure, so tell me. Unmanned Aerial Vehicle is such a needy and funny thing to call it... you mean like a paper airplane? Or a helium balloon? WTF people. Oh, and this is bad enough without dragging your kid into it, btw. Just a thought. Now do your butthurt thingy where you mod me down as flamebait or troll, you know you wanna ^^

    • I thought the difference between drone and RC planes was the ability to fly them out of line of site - drones have cameras and give the pilot some form of first-person view as they are flying. At least that's how I've always thought of the difference...
      • by starsky51 (959750)
        That's no fun. I'm pretty sure the OP is right and this is part of an insidious government plot to legitimise the use of terminator drones. Conspiracy!
      • This thing has first person view using a headset from the ground. There's a holy fuckload of negativity around here. I think the project is pretty awesome, and I didn't expect any more than the frame to be made of lego after reading the summary..

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by gencodeinc (2799377)
        Hi everyone, I am the dad in the video, I want to clear a couple things. !) It’s just an RC plane (Jonathan) Yes, in the beginning it 100% WAS but its not now, well more of a UAV than simple RC because of the FPV. Then about mid way we added the Arducoptor controller. Uploaded waypoints and it flew 100% on its own using a Mediatech GPS through 3 waypoints and back home so yes it’s a true drone now. It also can land on its own but right now it’s such a hard landing it broke the legs that
    • It does seem a strange choice of wording. Given that Lego resisted producing green bricks for years to stop kids making tanks etc, I'm not sure they'd be best pleased.
      • by mikael (484)

        They did use green - they had trees and stuff.

        Not that the color really mattered to a kid. With regular bricks, you could make a delta wing fighter plane from the jumbo-jet wing sections. A missile defence system could be built from those 4x4 rotating turntables and a hinge joint. Use a couple of 8x1's or 8x2's for the missile and the sloping 2x1's for the missile wings.

        As far as building tanks with Lego Technical kits, you could get the Technical Lego 856 Bulldozer [blogspot.no]. Strip the model down to a couple of long

        • It was bricks they were avoiding in green. Obviously you could still make war machines. I used to make tanks, battleships, aircraft and guns
    • The website is a UAV/UAS enthusiasts website, so of course they're going to use the terminology of UAVs. As for the drone part, it was only in the headline so an editor or sub-editor chose it. You know, an editor from a group of DRONE ENTHUSIASTS. So I think that you've answered your own question, it's to derive coolness from them. These are people with a hobby that may seem esoteric and uninteresting to many but they like to think that what they do is cool, just like any other sort of geek. Same as a table
    • by Joce640k (829181)

      Is that to give legitimacy to extrajudicial killings, or is it to derive coolness from them?

      Nothing new there. The military has always played with language to dehumanize the enemy and sanitize the process of killing other people. Think of all the words you never heard before Iraq/Afghanistan: "Insurgent", "IED", etc. What happened to "rebel" and "bomb"?

    • by sjames (1099)

      RC planes didn't have cameras and autopilots, drones do.

      • Got anything more than your word for that? I mean, I know it's what you think how the nomenclature works, but I couldn't find anything that actually supports this claim. For example:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unmanned_aerial_vehicle [wikipedia.org]

        An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), commonly known as a drone, is an aircraft without a human pilot on board. Its flight is either controlled autonomously by computers in the vehicle, or under the remote control of a pilot on the ground or in another vehicle. [..] Historically,

        • by sjames (1099)

          Just as soon as you start coughing up paychecks, I'll start doing your research on these ever so critical topics for you.

          • What? You make a claim, I ask you to back it up, you say "no, pay me"? You got it upside down buddy. If you want me to take what you said seriously in the slightest, cough up an argument. Or just shut up in the first place, but don't bitch at me for doing the work for you and seeing it to an end you don't like. The fucking nerve, the comedy and idiocy of it.

            • by sjames (1099)

              Nope, you asked a question, I told you what I have observed for usage and suddenly you want a scholorly work on the subject. Sorry, no. This is NOT a debate, it was a discussion that you seem to be taking Waaaaayyyy too seriously.

              So no, I really don't give a shit if you want to take me seriously or not.

    • Last millenium weq had RC planes and shit. Why call them drones now?

      I use drones, you can call them RC planes or model planes (as we do in Australia), I wont get upset.

      To me the difference is a drone is autonomous whilst an RC plane requires continuous input from a remote pilot.

      With our drone, we program it with a flight path and parameters and it does it's thing with little or no input from the user. We do manual take off and landings via remote but once it reaches the starting co-ords we flip it into automatic mode. The biggest usage we have for them is to take aeri

      • We also have a NAZA controller but it does not do waypoints, it does a RTH full autonomously and with accuracy within ac couple feet. This LEGO one has automated flight, we automated it about half way through the video using the Ardupilot and GPS and it does do waypoints It did 3 waypoints on its own, if you see the last part of the video it was way to far for me to fly maybe a landing but thats it. In the USA the main rules are dont fly over places or around people and keep line of site. Granted I could
        • by mjwx (966435)

          We also have a NAZA controller but it does not do waypoints

          We kind of need to do waypoints as we use it for aerial photography and remote sensing, the more accurate the positioning when we take the photo the less work required to mosaic them later. One of the drones we use is the Yamaha RMAX helicopter that can carry 20 KG, the other is a custom built (basically a kit built) petrol powered plane using a MicroPilot 2028G that can carry just under 30 KG, 20 KG is enough to lift any of our sensing packages (mostly regular and IR cameras but we can get LIDAR units for

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Thats nothing. I worked on a project where we used lego mindstorm to guide a laser for lasik.

  • Actually pretty lame.

    I mean, not only did he use a CAD program for a box with 4 arms, it doesn't even look "cool"... No lego fins, etc. Not even a minifig in a cockpit. It looks like every other quad-copter.

    • by Plazmid (1132467)

      He's not even using all Lego parts. And yes, there are indeed Lego propellors out there capable of generating propulsive thrust. And yes, you can even use an NXT smart brick to control a UAV.

      But, worst of all it looks like he's committed one of deadliest Lego sins: irreversible modification of Lego bricks. How else are those motors staying on there?

      • The true lego propellers I've seen would never be able to produce any thrust. The NXT + motors would be too heavy for it to fly, too.
        Don't get me wrong, it'd be massively cool, but just sounds unfeasible using all Lego.

        • by 91degrees (207121)
          Okay, but that's why a Lego copter would have been impressive. Because we think it's impossible. Building a copter with a few Lego parts is nice, I guess but not as impressive as the article suggests.
    • Re:That's... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 20, 2012 @07:54AM (#42346243)

      Why is his doing something like this with his grandkids pretty lame? Seriously - he wasn't doing it for your approval and for you to be insulting to him (its not like he asked to be on slashdot) is a bit rude. What emotion inside you drove you to make that comment?

      I applaud his work with his grandkids..

      • by jimshatt (1002452)
        My granddad used to build stuff for me and repair bikes and such. Doing cool stuff with your grandkids while you still can. I guess some people don't have nice granddads and can only say "lame" all the time. Pretty lame.
      • by jhesse (138516)

        It wasn't a comment on what he does with his grandkids. That's great and all that.

        It was a comment on this being newsworthy, when the application of Lego was quite underwhelming.

    • The reason why we used the Lego Digital Designer (LDD) was used was to teach my kids how to use a CAD. Remember this is a Kiddie Cad and these are 7-11 year olds. I am actually an AutoCad registered developer and I wanted to teach my kids some things. The LDD also lets us order the exact right amount of bricks and colors, it also creates an excel spread sheet. The kids learned a lot even what excel can do on a basic level/ People please look at this from a kids learning perspective not an adult, this p
  • Duurrrrrr, unlike those other people that made things out of other things, I made this thing out of Lego. See, completely different and newsworthy. It's not like I built a car out of steel then made a slightly different car out of carbon fiber. I took it another step. I used another thing for the thing instead. Get it? I used one thing in a place where you would not think the thing would be.
  • by ohnocitizen (1951674) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @03:42AM (#42345509)
    "Daaaaaaad, stop taking my legos!!!"
    "Sorry champ, Daddy has dreams."
  • make millions selling it as a Harry Potter toy. Then use the Arducopter he already has setup to fly to their friends' houses. Hell, you could trade 128-bit friend codes so that it automatically allows friends to download their "home" GPS position, just leave it out at night so that it can deliver the messages.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      "Young boy blinded today as friends Lego(tm) based flying machine smashes through bedroom window"

  • by Herve5 (879674) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @05:05AM (#42345757)

    ... as far as I can see, the only thing Lego in this quadcopter is the plastic structure. Motors are not, batteries are not, control electronics are not, RF and presumably remote control are not, servomotors are not.

    So are we discussing a "drone using some lego bricks for the structure"?

    H.
    now mod me down, but remember I'm 50: at home I have older bricks than you (in addition to the vast amount aggregated by three sons)

    • by Kyusaku Natsume (1098) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @06:41AM (#42346035)

      I think this is a neat hack in the best sense of "hack", since they already had the bricks and the quadcopter parts. Plus, since it was designed by the kids, I will cut them some slack. Still, I would like to see the next, stronger, lighter and not glued version using Lego Technic beams. There is too much room for improvement :).

    • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Thursday December 20, 2012 @08:36AM (#42346413) Homepage Journal

      now mod me down, but remember I'm 50: at home I have older bricks than you (in addition to the vast amount aggregated by three sons)

      Holy shit, I'm only 35 and I can use this insult all day, every day. Thanks.

      • by Smallpond (221300)

        I have two sons and the Lego scars on the bottoms of my feet to prove it.

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          I have two sons and the Lego scars on the bottoms of my feet to prove it.

          I don't have any kids, but I still have Legos. Now if only I had room to bring them out and do something with them. I would sell them if only I thought I could get any decent percentage of money back out of them, because I'd be glad if some kid(s) somewhere were getting enjoyment out of them. I've let a lot of stuff go cheap but my Lego is not on that list :)

          • by mcgrew (92797) *

            Give them to some poor kids. No point in letting them waste your space.

          • Try donating them. If you were really concerned with some kid somewhere getting enjoyment out of them you wouldn't be thinking of your own personal gain first.
    • ... as far as I can see, the only thing Lego in this quadcopter is the plastic structure. Motors are not, batteries are not, control electronics are not, RF and presumably remote control are not, servomotors are not.

      From the summary:

      after damaging his Gaui 330x, got the idea of designing and building a Lego quadcopter. And it worked! 'Most people go to their favourite hobby store to get parts for their UAV, I go to my kids playroom.

      What part about "after damaging" and "get parts" didn't you understand?

      Also, please share your plans to build a battery using only legos; I think we'd all be interested.

    • I completely agree. All the mission critical parts are NOT Lego.
  • "Most people go to their favorite hobby store to get parts for their UAV, I go to my kids playroom."

    Dick.

  • Hi everyone, I am the dad in the video, I want to clear a couple things. !) It’s just an RC plane (Jonathan) Yes, in the beginning it 100% WAS but its not now, well more of a UAV than simple RC because of the FPV. Then about mid way we added the Arducoptor controller. Uploaded waypoints and it flew 100% on its own using a Mediatech GPS through 3 waypoints and back home so yes it’s a true drone now. It also can land on its own but right now it’s such a hard landing it broke the legs th
  • We have a bunch of corporate drones ruining...er...I mean running this sector of the planet.
  • If the Lego quad interests you, you might want to check out V929, V939, V949, or V959. These toy grade quadcopters are dirt cheap. You can get one online for less than 50 bucks and they fly really well.

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