A Lego Go-Kart and Typewriter That Actually Work
Sat, April 10, 2021

A Lego Go-Kart and Typewriter That Actually Work

Legos are one of if not the most versatile toys to exist. They inspire creativity among people, who use the little plastic bricks to build nearly everything / Photo by: Traumsicherheit via Pixabay

 

Legos are one of if not the most versatile toys to exist. They inspire creativity among people, who use the little plastic bricks to build nearly everything: from simple Lego houses to miniature models of ships to astounding replicas of monuments and buildings.

The toys have been used to create amazing works of art and as the creative mind never rests, people began using them for mechanical tools. Now, creators have come up with two new cool Lego creations that actually work: a go-kart and a typewriter.

A Working Go-Kart

BuWizz, the creator of remote control and battery for Lego power functions, made a functional go-kart using Lego bricks. It took them about three weeks to design and a week to put all over 7,000 pieces of the go-kart.

According to tech news site Gizmodo, most of the pieces used for the creation are Lego Technic pieces—a line of Lego interconnecting plastic rods and parts. These pieces serve to create more advanced models with more complex technical functions, compared to the simpler brick-building properties of normal Lego.

The go-kart includes 32 tiny electric motors—eight in each wheel—that drive it to a top speed of nearly 2 1/2 miles per hour. The speed depends on the weight of the rider (who should be under 150 pounds).

BuWizz, the creator of remote control and battery for Lego power functions, made a functional go-kart using Lego bricks / Photo by: Fritzmann2002 via Wikimedia Commons

 

With this speed, the Lego go-kart isn't necessarily for racing. "But there’s a chance you’ll still be rolling faster than the slowly crawling traffic you usually have to deal with on the way to work," Gizmodo said.

Instead of a steering wheel, the go-kart is controlled with a smartphone app powered by eight BuWizz bricks. These bricks are third-party alternatives to the boxes Lego provides to power and control the electric motors and sensors used to incorporate in such creations.

Gizmodo observed that while the standard Lego control bricks could've been used to build the go-kart, its performance "would have been even worse as the BuWizz bricks offer significantly more power and better battery life."

The go-kart has a total of 11 general parts: the steering column panel, the frame, the steering column, the front panels, the front axle holders (rear and front side), the rear axle, the front axle, the footrest, the back panels, and the backrest. Notably, there is no braking system but the electric motors can be used to bring the go-kart to full stop instead.

Lego Typewriter That Actually Types

Typewriters may be obsolete from schools and offices, but anyone would be lucky to have a working typewriter made out of Lego.

Using the Mindstorms EV3 software, the replica typewriter was made to be fully motorized and move using a hand-cranked mechanism. It also sports common typewriter features like the cartridge return, paper rest, ribbon spool, roller knob, strikers, and the classic round button letters.

Tech and science news site CNet reports that the typewriter design was submitted to the Lego Ideas website by a designer named Steve Guinness. Lego Ideas encourages fans of the plastic brick toy to submit suggestions for original Lego sets, which people can vote on to provide the company with insight about the public interest of turning the idea into real sets.

Guinness' design gathered 10,000 votes on the Lego websites, meaning the proposed set is now up for review.

The Lego typewriter does move like a real one, but CNet notes that it can't support ink to type on paper and, thus, the typewriter is for display purposes only.

"I originally developed the idea whilst I was on the Lego Masters TV show in the UK," the designer wrote in his submission. "Since then I have continued to refine the design, making a hand-cranked mechanism instead of a power functions motor that I had originally fitted."

Typewriters may be obsolete from schools and offices, but anyone would be lucky to have a working typewriter made out of Lego / Photo by: Takashi Hososhima via Wikimedia Commons

 

Guinness added that the design demonstrates the versatility of the Lego bricks and that it would look fantastic on any desk—be it at home or in the office. In his latest update, the designer shared his idea for the packaging design that "would add to the fun retro appeal of the set."

"I would love it to look like a retro Typewriter Case and so have put together a basic cardboard prototype," he wrote. "The LEGO set would come in this cardboard case, and once assembled the finished model could still fit into the box."

CNet says the typewriter model will now be moving on to the review process stage, where it will be examined by a board of key team members such designers and product managers. It adds that the design is likely to be considered for possible production in 2020 if it meets the standards of a Lego product (e.g. playability, safety, and compatibility with the company brand).

Lego is a company that continuously pushed for innovation and creativity while also maintaining the fun in their products. The go-kart and replica typewriters are just among the many examples that show the versatility of the plastic bricks. With the imagination of creators, more of these Lego creations will surely emerge in the future.