LEGO is best known as the tiny, innocent-looking destroyer of bare feet, but there’s finally a way of dealing with the frustration of having a brick embedded in your poor tootsie.
Turn it into Whac-a-Mole and bash it.
Yes, that’s right, the little coloured blocks have come a long way since we were kids and you can now build a fully functional version of the game that lets you take your rage out on electronic mammals.
LEGO genius Mike Dobson has uploaded a video of his brick creation in use, and it’s amazing how sophisticated it is. Eight little LEGO moles pop up randomly from LEGO tyres, and the aim is to hit them 50 times before the timer runs out. To make it harder, every time you miss one, the timer gets shorter.
The set includes a counter and an LED countdown marker, just so you really feel the pressure.
The video shows a player frantically bopping the little helmet-wearing characters with a hammer made of another tyre, as the scorecard goes up, and the timer goes down.
MANIC MIN3RS, as Dobson has named it, is built with tech from the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 set. It includes eight LEGO Mindstorms motors, six colour sensors, a touch sensor and a pair of control units, which means old mate has had to buy at least eight EV3 packs.
The original LEGO Mindstorms RCX Intelligent Brick and Robotics Invention System was released in 1998, and it’s evolved dramatically since then. The Mindstorms NXT set was released in 2006, and the third iteration of LEGO robotics, Mindstorms EV3, was released in 2013.
The EV3 set includes the ‘intelligent’ EV3 Brick, which acts as the brain of your robotic creation, controlling motors and sensors that allow it to move and talk. It also communicates with the programming app and software via WiFi and Bluetooth that allow you to control your robot from your device.
Dobson hasn’t included instructions with his video, but the EV3 software lobby and website offer 12 bonus, fan-designed robots, so hopefully they’ll open it up to more submissions for cool projects like this in the future.