Crowd-funded car built from Lego runs on air at up to 20km/h!
If you had access to 500,000 pieces of Lego (yes, they are Lego bricks or pieces, not Legos!) what would you build? When Steve Sammartino, an American entrepreneur, joined forces with "crazy Romanian teenager" Raul Oaida the answer seemed obvious -- build a full sized car capable of hitting 20km/h. Sammartino and Oaida met online, came up with the wacky idea for the plastic vehicle and tweeted to ask for help with funding.
The tweet lead to the birth of the Super Awesome Micro project. Having read the tweet -- "Anyone interested in investing $500 - $1,000 in a project which is awesome and a world first tweet me. Need about 20 participants" -- Ford Australia pledged some funding, as did some other investors, and the project was able to get off the ground.
The car is propelled by four air-powered engines and 256 pistons. Believe it or not, the car is constructed almost entirely from Lego with the exception of the wheels -- which does make for a rather uncomfortable-looking seat. The half-million bricks took a year and a half to form into the drivable car, and the delicate construction was shipped from Romania to Australia.
The engine is described as "fragile" however it packs enough punch to not only move the car, but also an adult driver. You can check out a video of the car in action at the BBC News website (which doesn't allow embedding, sadly). So sit back, enjoy the gentles strains of Madness (which will make sense when you watch the video) and prepare to be slightly blown away by what two people have managed to create from little plastic bricks.