The LEGO Apollo 11 Lunar Lander is a magnificent kit with 1,087 pieces, but what could make it even better? Turning it into a short film, complete with NASA sound effects. That’s exactly what aerospace engineer Adam Woodworth did. However, there were some modifications that needed to be made, starting with clearing out the ascent stage for a battery, and then adding a flight controller as well as some rotors. Read more for the video and additional pictures of the build.
Photo credit: Dave Slater
LEGO fans rejoice! There were several special-edition DeLorean cars produced over the years, and the car is most notably featured as the time machine in the Back to the Future film trilogy. A total of six DeLorean chassis were used during the production, along with one manufactured out of fiberglass for scenes where a full-size DeLorean was needed to “fly” on-screen. Dave Slater decided to pay tribute by building a miniature replica using LEGO parts, complete with a tiny flux capacitor. Read more for additional pictures and information.
Priced at $400, this all-electric McLaren 720S for kids just might be the fastest toy this holiday season. It’s powered by a single electric motor that boosts the miniature replica to a zippy 3mph, and possibly faster. Yes, the car does have working brakes, complete with a brake light, while a speaker plays engine noise. Want to enjoy your own tunes? Simply plug in a USB stick or SD card after stepping into the vehicle using its dihedral doors. Read more for a video, another picture and additional information.
Mattel, Inc. unveils Hot Wheels id, the digital evolution of the brand that generations of kids grew up with. This high-tech update brings together physical and digital in a Mixed Play experience with uniquely identifiable vehicles, a smart Race Portal, Smart Track, and digital hub, so you can build your personalized fleet, measure your performance, and compete like never before. You’ll be able to scan your Hot Wheels iD cars digitally and then, challenge them to break records in both the real as well as virtual worlds. With the added ability to measure and clock speed, count laps and measure distance traveled on specially-designed tracks and playsets, Hot Wheels id amplifies the physical experiences kids have known for generations through digital play. Available starting June 14th exclusively through Apple and on the App Store. Read more for a hands-on video and additional information.
DJI RoboMaster S1 is unlike any other educational robot that you’ve seen before. For starters, it teaches you how to write code using Scratch 3.0 or Python, enabling you to control several of the RoboMaster’s functions, from basic movements and controls to more advanced options like wheel torque optimization. If you’re new to coding, the free “Road to Mastery” program helps you learn all the essentials of coding. Once mastery is achieved, you can use your coding skills to program special functions that can be used during the different gaming modes. Product page. Read more for a hands-on build video, additional pictures and information.
Brick artists used 467,854 individual LEGO pieces over the span of 2,725 hours of assembly to build this life-sized McLaren Senna. It’s also the first one to feature interior parts from the real car, like the lightweight carbon fiber driver’s seat, steering wheel and pedals. Plus, there’s real McLaren badges, wheels and Pirelli tires. Want to climb inside? There’s removable dihedral doors for easier access. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.
LEGO announced that tomorrow (June 1st) a new 1,087-piece NASA Lunar Lander set will be available, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission that touched down in the Sea of Tranquility on July 20, 1969. It includes two astronaut minifigs (Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin), complete with gold helmet faceplates. Other features include: a detailed ascent stage interior, opening hatch-equipped descent stage ladder, and a lunar baseplate decorated with a crater, moon footprints, and of course the US flag. Read more for a full video review and additional information.
Mechanic John Bitmead wanted to relive some of his childhood, but wanted more than just the toys he grew up with, like the Little Tikes Cozy Coupe. So, he decided to convert a Daewoo Matiz into a life-sized replica of the ride-on toy, powered by an 800cc engine capable of reaching speeds of up to 60mph in 17 seconds and top out at 70mph. It took approximately 5-months and $7,000 to complete, since every every detail had to be recreated perfectly, from the yellow roof to glassless windows to the oversized drink holders. Read more for another video and additional information.
LEGO revealed an interactive new way to help visually impaired children learn how to read Braille. Officially called, LEGO Braille Bricks, these are essentially custom bricks molded with the same number of studs used for individual letters and numbers in the Braille alphabet. They also feature a printed letter or character that enables sighted teachers and kids to learn and play along. The toymaker plans on releasing the first kits in 2020 and will be free to select institutions through participating partner networks. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.
Photo credit: Two Bit Arcade via Peta Pixel
Two Bit Arcade’s Martin Fitzpatrick, a self-taught programmer, has built the world’s first Etch A Sketch digital camera, and it’s called the “Etch A Snap”. This pocket-sized device captures digital photos and then uses a Raspberry Pi Zero computer board to draw them onto the actual Etch A Sketch “screen”. The Raspberry Pi uses Pillow and OpenCV to process the photo down to a 240×144 pixel 1-bit black-and-white line before turning them into plotter commands, which are then executed by physically moving the Etch A Sketch wheels with two 5V stepper motors built into a custom 3D-printed frame. Read more for a video and additional information.