Lego Robot Helps Researchers Build Artificial Bones

Lego Robot Helps Researchers Build Artificial Bones

Utilizing its precise dipping technique, two scientists made a Lego Mindstorms kit a key component of their experiment.

Emma Hutchings
  • 19 march 2012

Researchers at Cambridge University used a Lego Mindstorms robotics kit to build artificial bone, which involves repeatedly dipping a base object in various solutions. This is an interesting application of a low-cost and widely available robotics kit, which could also be used to perform other tedious scientific tasks.

Lecturer Michelle Oyen and PhD student Daniel Strange carried out the scientific research and Strange decided to automate the repetitive process. He used a Lego Mindstorms robotics kit to build two small cranes, which moved along a set path, lowering the artificial bone sample into different solutions. This meant the researchers were free to carry out other tasks and also produced perfect samples due to the precision of the robotics.

Their paper on the properties of bone-like materials made by the Lego robot was published in ScienceDirect and their work was showcased in a video for the Google Science Fair, an online science competition for students around the world ages 13-18.

Check out the video below to see the robot in action:

Google Science Fair

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