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A motorized wheelchair made from LEGO


October 9, 2012

Simon Burfield has created a wheelchair from LEGO Technic and Mindstorms components and some Rotacaster robot wheels

Simon Burfield has created a wheelchair from LEGO Technic and Mindstorms components and some Rotacaster robot wheels

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Back in June we demonstrated the incredible versatility of LEGO and the mind-boggling talent of those who spend hours and hours snapping together tiny bits of plastic to create something awesome. One contender for the next round is the LEGO Wheelchair built by Simon Burfield.

The LEGO Group began producing plastic interlocking bricks in the late 1940s and has since released thousands of themed sets that encourage young minds to create and build. The introduction of the Technic series allowed for more advanced models, and LEGO entered the robotics market in 1998 with the first generation of LEGO Mindstorms, followed in 2006 by the launch of the Mindstorms NXT system (with included robotics toolkit).

Dedicated LEGO builder Simon Burfield has pieced together a whole lot of LEGO Technic components, connected up seven NXT micro-computers and installed a dozen robot wheels to make a LEGO Wheelchair capable of carrying an occupant weighing 90 kg (198 pounds). His prototype is programmed in RobotC 3.0 programming language for robotics and is constantly evolving, but the latest version features:

  • six LEGO Mindstorms NXT for movement, each connected to two NXT motors and two touch sensors
  • one more Mindstorms NXT for controlling direction, with four touch sensors and two motors
  • 12 Rotacaster multi-directional wheels, which will allow for sideways movement in a later tweak
  • a joystick that's connected to four touch sensors to run forward and backwards, and turn left and right
  • Next on the list of things to add is wireless Android remote functionality.

    The short video below shows Mrs Burford taking the latest version for a spin.

    Source: Burf

About the Author
Paul Ridden While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag. All articles by Paul Ridden
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