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Medicine Toys Idle

Lego Mindstorms Used To Make Artificial Bones 42

An anonymous reader writes "Scientists at Cambridge University have used Lego Mindstorms robots to create an artificial bone-like substance. The toy robots proved to be much easier to set up and vastly more economical than more high-tech solutions. Their research is featured in a video for the 2012 Google Science Fair."

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Lego Mindstorms Used To Make Artificial Bones

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  • Love it (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @11:58AM (#39339559)

    Love stuff like this..

    Where someone who would normally draw from a mostly vertical market (industrial robotics) draws from a more horizontal one (toys).

    In the time it takes to even figure out who to call about getting information on the stuff they need built .. someone can run to Toys R' Us and get everything they need, and at a fraction of the cost!

    Whoever saw their kid playing with lego and thought this up deserves like a free toaster or something.

  • by MaWeiTao ( 908546 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @12:58PM (#39340339)

    This gets me wondering if Lego shouldn't open up a technical division that specializes in buildable, cost-effective robots based on Mindstorms for corporate and scientific use. Tighten up the tolerance and offer parts in materials other than plastic, like aluminum or stainless steel. Obviously they wouldn't be competing with industrial robots, but I can imagine that these things could fill quite a few needs and pricing would be attractive, particularly to academia.

  • Re:Rapid prototyping (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Beardo the Bearded ( 321478 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @01:12PM (#39340551)

    The Mindstorms handle lots of the mundane details in robotics, like motor loading, sensor debounce, etc. You can add on your own sensors pretty easily too. I used v2 extensively to prototype stuff. For $300 you just can't beat the kit. Sure it's got limitations, but you know that going in. For a first-run, it's orders of magnitude cheaper than a 3D printer or machining parts.

    FWIW, I'm a Professional Electrical Engineer.

  • Re:Love it (Score:5, Interesting)

    by K. S. Kyosuke ( 729550 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @01:13PM (#39340559)

    Where someone who would normally draw from a mostly vertical market (industrial robotics) draws from a more horizontal one (toys).

    The first experimental modern soft contact lenses made of water-permeable plastic gel were manufactured in the 1960's on a machine constructed from the parts of a local (Czech) clone of the Erector/Meccano construction kit (named Merkur).

  • Bring Back Mechano! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by nbauman ( 624611 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @01:21PM (#39340685) Homepage Journal

    During WWII, when Alexander Flemming was developing penicillin, they couldn't get equipment, so one scientist brought his old Mechano set from the attic and used it to construct a shaker to agitate the flasks that they used to grow the mold.

    Mechano has had its ups and downs since then (mostly downs), and when I tried to buy a set a few years ago for a friend's son (actually I wanted to use it myself), the current sets were a shadow of their former self. I hope they will or have come back.

UNIX is many things to many people, but it's never been everything to anybody.