Most everyone by now has heard about FIRST LEGO League, and knows about it’s purpose to help students develop engineering and problem solving skills, preparing students for higher level education and careers working in Robotics and other like fields.
I imaging that to most, this appears only as a stepping stone to bigger and better things, but it needn’t be so. It is possible, as Researchers form Carnegie Mellon University demonstrate, sometimes LEGO is not on the path to the solution, but rather the actual solution.
Via the Atlantic
Researchers at the Department of Engineering at Cambridge University have enlisted the help of some custom made LEGO robots to grow artificial bone samples. In order to build up the bone grafts, a scaffold needs to be repeatedly dipped in a number of different solutions to grow the compound, a highly repetitive task that lent itself to a little bit of home-brewed automation.
Using LEGO and it’s Mindstorms components, the team built specialized robots to perform the otherwise monotonous tasks for them. So great a cconcept, Google producted the following video to help promote their online Science Fair*.
*Note: The entry window for Google’s online Science Fair has passed, but you can still sign up to get a notification when next Years opens up!