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I just visited the Legoland's Miniland. There are numerous car models that drive around the landscape under some sort of remote control. One can see the models stop to recharge on pads with two wires sticking from the ground, but there are no visible guides for the robotic cars to follow.

How are the cars controlled and how do they follow their tracks? Similar info on the trains would interesting as well.

  • There's an airport with huge moving Lego planes too. – Gruber Aug 15 '17 at 8:36
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From an unofficial Legoland Windsor fan site 'Completely LEGOLAND Windsor'.

Road Vehicles

The cars, lorries and buses all appear to move and steer on their own, never leaving their set paths, yet not using any rails. How on Earth do they manage that? Beneath these paths are cables that emit a low-level radio wave specific to each vehicle - the vehicle picks up this signal, and uses it to steer. When the vehicle reaches one of the charging points dotted around it's track, it stops. One of the computers registers this, and a timer is started. When the timer reaches zero, the power to the charger is cut, and this signals the vehicle to continue along it's path. Outside park opening hours, the vehicles stop on the charging points and recharge fully overnight.

Trains

The trains work in a similar fashion to the road vehicles, but follow tracks instead of radio signals. When a train approaches a station, the train passes over 'slow down bars', which tell the onboard microprocessor to slow the motor. When it reaches a charging point, one of which is located at each station, a signal is sent to the control room, at which point a timer is started both in the control centre and in the train's microprocessor. Unlike the road vehicles, which can only go forward at a certain speed, the trains can go forwards, backwards, and vary their speed.

Boats

The boats are attached to rubber loops, which can clearly be seen under the water. These are driven by motors controlled by the computers in the control centre. A piece of metal on the hull of the boat allow sensors along the boat's track to detect the boat, and let the computer know where the boat is. The computer then uses this information to initiate various sequences, such as raising bridges, or opening and closing locks and powering water pumps.

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They are robotic and follow a magnetic track.

Source: I asked a LEGOLAND California Master Model Builder back in 2006.


I don't know about the trains, but I suspect they are simply electrified rails, much like the old 9V train tracks.

  • The cars interact with the boats. E.g. a bus boards a ferry. This means that the control system must know where the cars are. – Simppa Aug 10 '17 at 21:04

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