With the Christmas season approaching, some will be looking for presents to get for their big kids this festive season.
You couldn’t go far wrong with a fully drivable, air-powered car made entirely from Lego!
Unfortunately though, the model is not available in the shops and it’s unlikely Santa will be able to bring one down the chimney for you!
It is the brainchild of an Australian entrepreneur and a Romanian technologist and has been made from a staggering 500,000 pieces of the tiny toy bricks.
Money for the incredible car was raised through crowd-funding, a scheme that sees members of the public giving donations for inspiring or innovative projects to get up and running. In this case, it’s more like built-up and driving!
The ball started rolling after a single tweet from Mr Sammartino, asking for donations of $500-$1,000 AUD (£271-£542) in what he described as an “awesome” and “world first” project.
A total of $20,000 was secured, but the tech enthusiast admitted the project probably cost in the region of $60,000.
You might be wondering how the little plastic blocks could possibly move of their own accord – and how on earth an engine could be attached.
The developers, Australian Steve Sammartino and Romanian Raul Oaida, created an engine made completely of Lego, that works using air-power.
Compressed air is stored in two small tanks, which is then released into the pneumatic engine. This helps to turn the car’s drive shaft. A total of 256 pistons move in harmony to give the car life.
While it’s a stunning feat of engineering, and it looks pretty incredible, it’s not the fastest model ever made. Around the streets of Melbourne, the car has hit a top speed of 20km/h.
However, no one is going to care about that, and a lack of speed also drastically reduces the chances of the driver suffering a crash – leaving them sat in a pile of stray Lego pieces.
The limited power also means there is less chance of the engine exploding and showering passers by with plastic rain.
Work on the car took 18 months and it was constructed in Romania by Mr Oaida, who then shipped it to Australia. However, it didn’t arrive entirely in one piece and a lot needed to be rebuilt.
The wheels are the only part of the car that is not made from Lego. Driving on blocks was not considered a particularly clever or comfortable idea!
Mr Sammartino told the BBC he is neither a car or Lego enthusiast and is just someone with a passion for technology.
The car has so far clocked up almost two million views on YouTube, demonstrating how the car has helped to inspire imaginations around the world.
While the project is a huge amount of fun, the technology used within could actually have real-world motoring applications in the future, with a little bit of careful tweaking of course.
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