This may look like a cute little blue Lego house, but it’s no ordinary house. It was built by a robot, which itself was made out of Lego.
The robot is MakerLegoBot, and it is the Lego answer to 3D printers that use plastic or other materials to create… well, anything you want. Much like 3D printers such as MakerBot and RepRap, MakerLegoBot can use the power of Lego Mindstorms and MLCad software to take a digital design and turn it into bright, colorful, blocky reality.
The machine currently works with 1×2, 2×2, 3×2, 4×2, and 8×2 Lego bricks, fed in from a hopper which holds about 35 bricks of each type, and can build structures up to 12 bricks tall. Right now, humans are required to keep the hopper supplied, but given a little time I’m sure someone can use MakerLegoBot to build another bot to keep it fed.
The MakerLegoBot itself is constructed from more than 2,400 bricks.
If you’re not afraid of the possibility of your robot building more of itself and taking over the world, detailed instructions are available on the creator’s site. (In actual fact it would require some tweaking to make this self-replicating; it’s not currently capable of using NXT bricks – the Mindstorms pieces that let it move and do awesome stuff – or of building large enough structures to recreate itself. Whew!)