Although television, computer games and the Internet play an important role in the lives of children they still also play with physical toys, such as dolls, cars and LEGO bricks. The LEGO company has become the world’s largest toy manufacturer. Our study investigates if the LEGO company’s products have become more violent over time. First, we analyzed the frequency of weapon bricks in LEGO sets. Their use has significantly increased. Second, we empirically investigated the perceived violence in the LEGO product catalogs from the years 1978-2014. Our results show that the violence of the depicted products has increased significantly over time. The LEGO Company’s products are not as innocent as they used to be.
This is my latest MOC: A LEGO Unikitty! It is 180cm tall and features a rotating head and sparkly eyes. It took several month from planning to finish and never used as many pink bricks in my life. Still, the color combination is just cute. The neck uses my LEGO compatible thrust ball bearing. Have a look at the video to see how it works:Read More
The Govenor General, Jerry Mateparae, visited the HIT Lab NZ on March 9th, 2016. We presented our main research areas to him, including Human-Robot Interaction. Jerry Mateparae seemed to enjoy the performance of our robots, but his Aides-de-Camp looked, well, I am not sure how to read his face.Read More
To rotate an axial load LEGO developed the turn table. For light loads this works great but the friction increases dramatically with heavy loads. This thrust ball bearing uses standard LEGO balls to transform the friction into rotations. This allows the two disks to easily rotate. The balls and an additional rim keep the two disks in place.
A motor can be attached on the inside to power the rotation. Even the smallest LEGO motor is sufficient to easily rotate this 2 kg load. This thrust ball bearing is fully LEGO compatible and even allows studs to be attached to top half. Standard 14.2 mm LEGO balls can be used. The bearing measures 20 studs across and is three bricks high. This should be big enough for even the biggest crane or MOC display.
The 3D data is available from the Autodesk Gallery.
We have just published a nice study in which we developed and tested Emotion Rating Figurines (ERF) that allows you to assess emotional responses. The figurines are base on LEGO Minifigures. We developed a questionnaire sheet and also a physical model.Read More
The LEGO Galaxy Explorer is amongst one of the most popular sets of all times. In 1980 LEGO published the Idea Book 6000 that contained an alternative build for the Galaxy Explorer. The building instructions were sketchy at best. I built the Galaxy Explorer 6000 model for the Moonbase 42 at the Christchurch Brick Show 2015 and I also created an LDD file for it. The building instructions are available here. It has been great fun to re-create this spaceship from my childhood. I hope you enjoy it.