All Lego Car Can Go 20 Miles Per Hour With An All Lego Engine
There are Lego projects, and then there are Lego Projects: this next story takes the crown.
Tech and design websites often write about incredible Lego projects - whether it's something like an intricate Lego design of a huge real-world architectural wonder, or recreating popular trailers with Lego figurines. And Legos actually have an important role to play in design and engineering - specifically the next generation of young people growing up (along with older, die-hard Lego enthusiasts) and learning how to bring an idea to reality by building something with the simple blocks.
But this Lego project puts all others to shame: Steve Sammartino of Melbourne, Australia has put together a life-sized Lego car. But not just any life-sized Lego car - that's been done before; that would be too easy.
This life-sized Lego car has a working Lego engine.
The drivable, nearly all Lego-constructed car was a project between Sammartino and a 20-year-old Romanian partner and "self-taught technology genius", Raul Oaida, who built the Lego drivetrain from four working Lego-construction orbital engines that run on compressed air for fuel and contains a total of 256 Lego pistons. The wheels, tires, some gauges, and load-bearing components are the only things not made out of the little building blocks for kids (even the hubcap designs appear to be Lego!).
Everything else is made from more than half a million Lego pieces, which Sammartino and Oaida bought with the help of forty Australian patrons who provided cash in response to a cryptic "startup" tweet Sammartino (@sammartino) put out in late February, 2012:
Anyone interested in investing $500-$1000 in a project which is awesome & a world first tweet me. Need about 20 participants... #startup
— Steve Sammartino (@sammartino) February 29, 2012
The Lego car, officially called SuperAwsomeMicroProject (with a prominent hashtag of the same), looks like a hot rod, but is probably not road-worthy by legal standards. However, it does reach about 20 miles per hour, which is impressive, considering the engine is made from a child's toy that most of us probably only managed to build one or two "big" 200-piece projects with when we were young.
The car was created in Romania but was shipped to Melbourne, Australia, where it currently graces a garage somewhere. According to the tech site DVICE, Sammartino put together a project prospectus for investors willing to give their money for the incredible Lego project. In it, Sammartino estimates that the total project cost will run about $25,000. He also promise "NO fiscal return" on the Lego project, which he described as "high risk and may fail." Describing the scope and meaning of the Lego car Sammartino says, "The project is one of those things that is cool, but in reality can only be done once. In some ways it is a stunt, but with meaning. It has important implications for technology and the world it is creating... For the public I am certain it will create deep curiosity."
He also mentioned in a section marked The Benefits: "Prepare for global awareness of this project in days after it has been completed."