If you were to say we post garbage here at The Brother’s Brick you might have a couple of people agree with you. However, this time at least, we are posting garbage with this clever LEGO garbage collector built by R 194. This one has all the intrigue and charm of other garbage collectors you may have met except this one is a robot. Or possibly a person in a mech suit. I don’t know, I didn’t really think this premise through. Still, it’s the coolest thing I’ve seen in my admittedly isolated day. It would seem we are quite fascinated by such a dirty subject. What do you think?
LEGO has revealed the successor to the Mindstorms EV3 as 51515 Robot Inventor, a 5-in-1 robotics and coding kit. The set is the first addition to the Mindstorms theme in seven years since 31313 EV3 launched in 2013 which was recently labeled as “Retiring Soon” on the LEGO Store online. The new Robot Inventor includes 949 pieces which can be built and rebuilt into five models each with different capabilities and personalities. The set will be available later this year (LEGO has stated early Q4) and will retail for US $359.99 | UK £329.99 | EU €359.99.
Robot Inventor includes a rechargeable Intelligent Hub first seen in SPIKE Prime (enabling Bluetooth connections, gyroscope, accelerometer, and a light matrix) as well as four medium-angular motors, an ultrasonic distance sensor, and a color sensor. LEGO is also launching a Robot Inventor app with visual and text-based coding, the ability to make customized digital remote controls, and support for a variety of third-party controllers like those used with the PS4 and Xbox One.
Italian LEGO builder Marcoi Marozzi is back with another mechanical marvel. This time it’s the AK Bomber Mech, a lumbering beast in earth tones that looks ready for just about anything. Like most of Marco’s creations there are custom stickers and a wealth of creative part usage. This go round I had easy victories recognizing Kakama Bionicle masks for shoulder armor, and Bionicle shields in the torso. But those funky curved brown bits in the legs threw me. Tuns out they’re Belville horse saddles. Now that is an unusual part.
If you like this mech, be sure to check out some of Marco’s other amazing robotic builds.
If you’ve watched Black Mirror or the recent War of the Worlds series on Amazon Prime, then you probably have the same healthy fear of robot dogs that I do. But if this 4-legged bot by Red Spacecat is on our side, I just might change my mind. The military bot is armed to the teeth with a large top-mounted gun, and with those padded feet, you won’t hear it coming.
One of my favorite things to come out of the 1980s was the vast array of giant Japanese robots. From Voltron to the Shogun Warriors, each mammoth mech seemed to be more impressive than the last. Similarly, Marco De Bon‘s LEGO tributes to these Super Robots also seem to just get better and better. Today we look at their recreation of Invincible Steel Man Daitarn 3. I’m not super familiar with this show, but after watching a YouTube clip, I’m sold on the concept. Clocking in at am impressive 340 mm tall, Marco has managed to pack the model with clean lines, vivid details, and even multiple vehicle modes!
When I look at this dilapidated cyborg creation by Anthony Wilson My first reaction is to feel sorry it, as it seems to have sprung a leak, spilling ooze out of its chest. Until I take a closer look at the tank on its back and see some poor creature wriggling around inside. In any case, I love the many gears cobbled together to form the torso and the gangly, mismatched arms.
Some of the best LEGO builds are the ones that move without moving, and like a picture, say a thousand words. This monochrome scene by Duncan Lindbo is one that says it all. A giant, insect-like robot, loaded with guns aimed at a sliver of concrete brick wall? I’d say we know how this one turns out, but maybe we’ll give that little guy a chance. He’s obviously doing something right if he survived this long…Then again, somehow that curious head tilt makes the mech look kinda cute. Maybe we’ve got it all wrong! Maybe it just wants to play! But either way, with the bullet holes on the ground, and the crater in that wall… Yeah, my money’s on the bug.
This creation wouldn’t be the same if it was in full color. There’s just something about monochrome. Click this link if you want to see a few more single-color builds.
A recent touch of insomnia prompted this latest LEGO model. I found myself lying awake, staring at the ceiling, caught up in concern as to how sentient robots would cope on long interstellar journeys when their human companions are all tucked up in cryosleep. Maybe they shut down for a decade or so, but maybe they just wander the silent corridors of the ship, lonely and cold? This melancholy scenario wouldn’t leave me alone, and so I built it to try and get it out of my head. The robot’s stooped posture was key to the feeling I was trying to create. I wanted him to look old and tired, and perhaps a little apprehensive, as he shuffled through the empty halls of his vessel. I’d originally planned to shoot the photo and then filter it to a black and white image. However, built in shades of grey, it turned out exactly how I wanted without much processing. I hope it captures the slight air of gloom, which prompted the build.
Ah, robots. Despite not being alive, somehow they manage to capture our hearts. Try hating WALL-E or R2-D2. Try it, I dare you. I knew you couldn’t. I suspect they’re just trying to soften us up for the impending AI overthrow of humanity, but in the meantime, it’s fun to think about helpful and friendly sentient robots. Take this one by Grant Masters; it’s inspired by the movie Elysium, and is here helping this child who broke his leg. Adorable, right? See the trust in that kid’s eyes? Any moment now the robot will rip his face off with those pincer hands and stomp on him with those grille and roller skate feet. The greebles and textures look perfect, and the contrast between the body plates in white and the technical stuff underneath in black makes for a sharp image. Almost as sharp as those pincer hands.
The one thing that JK Brickworks does well is to combine LEGO bricks and motion. Well, okay, there’s more to their builds than that. There’s also the stellar look to their creations. And the great photos they take of them. And…well, look, we’re dangerously close to just doing a Spanish Inquisition tribute here. Let’s just say they’re a master at their craft and move on. Because JK Brickworks has finally entered the realm of the GBC, and it’s a wonder to behold. (That’s a “Great Ball Contraption” for those of you who haven’t encountered them yet.)
In Robot Dreams a quartet of workers rhythmically and endlessly pass tiny LEGO basketballs to each other. Each one has unique coloring and characteristics, but otherwise they’re just extremely decorative cogs in a machine. There’s an old saying about sled dogs – unless you’re in the lead, the view never really changes. Kinda makes you feel bad for at least three of these robots.
But words don’t really do this one justice. You need to see it in action. And, thankfully, there’s a video that not only shows this one in motion, but also gives some great looks at the Technic gearing and methodology that brought these robots to life.
If you like retro wind-up toy robots then set your phasers to Positively Delighted. It turns out Lino Martins (hey, that’s me!) has built one out of LEGO and the result is…pretty OK. It would probably be weird to label my own work as totally awesome, stupendous or earth-shattering so I’ll just go with pretty OK. He’s adorned in fabulously fifties black and sea-foam green with gray and just a touch of flashy silver. Through a series of gears, his chest plates open simultaneously and when you turn his wind-up key his head, heart and arms will rotate. Yes, he has a heart! I think it takes eight or ten or so rotations of the wind-up key to get his head, heart and arms to all settle back into their rightful positions. If I were a real engineer I’d know that for sure but… What am I, Elon Musk?
Check out this video of the wind-up action. This cheery bot is programmed to love you all very much. I’m programmed to be rather indifferent on the matter but I can create a swell playlist for any occasion so there’s that.
A key concept of the Transformers line is for things to be “more than meets the eye.” Builder Moko has made something that really fits the brief. This LEGO storage crate is actually a fierce fighting robot.
First, let’s examine that outer shell. The decorations on the face of the cube are from printed 2×2 wedge tiles, a code tile from an EXO-FORCE set, and a number 7 tile from a 1991 Technic 8838 Shock Cycle set. Beyond that, it’s…just a box. I can easily imagine this being part of the background in some massive LEGO hanger diorama and never giving it a second thought. That’s some impressive camouflage.
But, with a few twists and turns (detailed in Moko’s blog post), this cube unfolds into a really cool robot. The necessary joints to cram the robot into a cube has the side effect of giving it a high level of articulation. It doesn’t feel like there was an inch of wasted space in this build. It may be a simple thing, but I also really like the choice of a transparent light-blue tile for the eyes. The color choices here really pop.
So the next time you see a bunch of boxes sort of shoved off to the side of a display, look again. You might just be in for a heck of a surprise.