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14

The problem is that while in general MegaBloks bricks fit with LEGO bricks, the quality control on the MB bricks seems to be much lower*, so the bricks/studs and holes are not always the same size. As an example, I recently acquired a MB HALO Covenant Banshee ship for my son, and can safely show that: The holes in studs do not readily accept rods (in ...


11

There are MANY companies that offer third party stuff for NXT: Mindsensors, already mentionned in pcantin's answer Vision Subsystem - Capable of tracking up to 8 coloured objects Touch Panel Numeric Pad IR Obstacle Detector Sony PS2 Controller Interface Line Sensor Array Accelerometer Realtime Clock Power Meter IR Distance Sensors (Long/mid/short range) ...


11

I use a Mindstorms NXT brick and an Android smartphone for my remote controlled tank. The downside is that the NXT motors are slower than the regular Power Functions motors, and connecting PF motors to the NXT brick requires additional components. Personally, I am satisfied with NXT motors and don't bother kludging PF motors. (Yet.) Here is a modular truck ...


10

from the german wikipedia entry (translated with my poor english-skills): The Federal Court of germany opened the market for LEGO-like bricks on december 2nd 2004 The European Court of Justice decided in september 2010 that LEGO-Bricks can be copied as they aren't protected by patents anymore so at least in europe there doesn't seem to be a problem in ...


10

Personally I would go with Arduino (on the car) and an Android phone as the controller (via bluetooth). There's plenty of reference on the web about mixing the two. The main problem is interfacing with non Lego parts (motors, PCB, ...). Luckily, you can find Lego adapter parts in many Robot/Electronic sites. For example at Pololu: ...


8

Moulds are maintained in-house. As you say, the moulds are at the very core of the business of the LEGO company and are thus treated with all the seriousness you can imagine. Considering also that some moulds are in effect trade secrets by themselves (especially for parts which aren't publicly known yet), LEGO wouldn't want any of them to exit the company. ...


8

The majority of sensors manufactured by HiTechnic (a third party company) are certified by The Lego Group. The company's website lists the following criteria required to be certified: 100% compatible with Mindstorms NXT Meet the highest LEGO quality standards Comply with all safety standards RoHs Compliant (certified lead free) These ...


8

LEGO have produced an IR Speed Remote Control unit as part of their current "Power Functions" range. This offers: Features 4 RC channels, 2 stop button and 2 direction control switches! Use the jog wheels to control your motor speed! You will also need the receivers as well.


7

The MindStorms NXT controller can work over bluetooth: http://mindstorms.lego.com/


7

LEGO is a multinational corporation. Patents, laws and regulations vary in different countries. Moreover in, many cases, even if there is an operation recognized as illegal, enforcement may be difficult to achieve. As a result, a proliferation of compatible brands and clones (fake LEGO) do exist. There is also the edge cases of artists selling custom ...


7

Mega Bloks: the well-known Canadian brand Oxford toys - review Hasbro KRE-O K'Nex - yes, they do bricks too (not sure about compatibility though) Cobi Best-Lock Character Building from The Character Group, a range of licensed products including Dr Who, Deadly 60, HM Armed Forces and Ben 10 to name a few. Disclaimer: some of these retrieved from the ...


7

Using Mindstorms NXT software (NXT-G), you can transfer any file from NXT to computer. Open "NXT window" (NXT icon in the lower right corner of interface), then go to "memory" tab. Select a file in NXT and click on "upload" button. Or - more convenient - you may use "NXT Explorer" feature of BricxCC (in the "tools" menu).


6

The 9398-1: 4x4 Crawler is an interesting candidate with the new servo motor. It comes in 2H2012. There are more pictures on TechnicBricks.


6

From the post about Vertigo (the precursor to Rory's answer), TrilogyGlenIvy (the creator) stated: Suction cup hangers were easily located in stores. Drilling a small hole and inserting a short section of copper tubing (1/8 “ or ~3 mm diameter) along with some vinyl glue produced the feet that I used. Basically they are usually found in DIY/Home stores ...


6

As you say, LEGO is very tight with legal issues, so if custom molding was entirely illegal, it's likely we wouldn't see such companies, or maybe in unreachable countries only. Now, LEGO may be tight with legal issues, but on the other hand they know how to be benevolent when it benefits them. (Consider the openness around the various Mindstorms systems, ...


6

I suggest calling Lego customer service (1-800-835-4386) to ask them about a bulk order. Professional "brick artists" like Nathan Sawaya buy their brick directly from Lego. The bulk prices are decent as well. For example, through the LUGbulk program, we got 2x4 bricks for about 9.6 cents each (these sell for $0.30/ea on the Pick-a-brick website). Also, here ...


5

I've not bought any but nothing I've heard suggests they can, and looking at the designs I can't see how this would be possible.


5

It appears that the goal of the nanoblock producers is to make "the world’s smallest toy building blocks"1. And they appear to be too small to be compatible with lego. See the following video comparisons of the sizes. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Cobnr8fWTY http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QXGP837-dU 1. http://www.mynanoblock.com/site/?page_id=2


5

There's an almost 20 minute video about the kre-o Optimus Prime at youtube where pretty much everything is shown in detail - except the transformation itself. I'm really sure that if this was possible without disassembling and building it from scratch then it would be shown here, so the answer seems to be: no.


5

I guess I'm too stunned (I mean, is this for real?) to answer anything remotely meaningful, although some obvious cons come to mind: you get bricks which have been used, potentially a lot, and you have no clue how or by whom (well ok they say they sanitize them in between, but still) you don't get to keep them (well maybe that's a pro given the first con). ...


5

There are several Chinese companies making DUPLO clones, many are listed in this fascinating article by Anthony Tomkins of UK LUG The Brickish Association. Communist LEGO, a review of some Chinese copies


5

Pros: You get to try LEGO sets to see if you like them before you buy You can build LEGO sets that you might not be able to afford You don't have to find a market for sets you don't want to keep long-term You don't have to worry about lost parts, cleaning etc. because someone else takes care of those things for you You don't need to find space to store all ...


5

Online I would recommend BrickEngraver I think your best bet would be to find a local trophy shop, most will engrave items. Take them some LEGO to test and they should be able to provide what you need without the need to pay shipping.


4

I have never paid customs fees on orders from BrickForge or BrickArms. The key is to ship via the US Postal Service. Shipping via couriers like UPS usually results in customs brokerage fees which is what drives up the cost.


4

About 8 to 10 years ago there was more RCX-compatible sensors makers on the web. Today, I don't think we'll find them unless we dig into the Internet Archive. It looks like Techno-Stuff is still making some RCX-compatible components. Also, Mindsensors was making RCX-compatible components also but I couldn't find links to them through their website main ...


4

In terms of semi/incompatible systems, there's a number of them that are supported through the Free Universal Construction Kit files for MakerBots and other 3D printers: The Free Universal Construction Kit offers adapters between Lego, Duplo, Fischertechnik, Gears! Gears! Gears!, K’Nex, Krinkles (Bristle Blocks), Lincoln Logs, Tinkertoys, Zome, and Zoob. ...


4

In my opinion, LEGO must follow clone brands very closely, and this for a number of reasons. The first, which is obvious and has already been mentioned, is that they want to protect their own intellectual property. As such, they'll want to take legal action as soon as possible when one of their trademarks/copyrights is infringed. The second one is actually ...


4

The thing with ABS is a bit more than that simple. The general rule is that if you want to have different/better plastic you need to play with small amounts of co-polymers. 99-point-something of your plastic is the main co-polymer, but the 0-point-nothing decides about fine-tuning of properties. A bit more than 10 years ago a friend of mine was working for ...


3

Unfortunately, I'm not aware of specific factories that are currently tooled to make compatible bricks that you could get in touch with. I have noticed an eBay user that consistently sells Canadian made compatible basic bricks, so it might be worth contacting them to see if you could work out a deal. There are also many companies who will do custom ABS ...


3

An Oodamo pistol is a pistol that shoots Oodamo. Oodamo is k'nex ammo built using a red connector connected to a white rod, it was designed to fly farther and more level/aerodynamic. The term seems to have been invented by a certain Oodalumps who appear to be a user on instructable. sources : ...



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