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Hot wheels: Motorized Lego wheelchair buzzes and rolls

A Lego tinkerer builds a working wheelchair prototype that runs on 14 Mindstorms motors and 12 multi-directional wheels.

Lego wheelchair prototype
This is one sturdy Lego wheelchair.
Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

We've seen some impressive Lego creations recently, including a robotic arm and a giant jet engine. We can now add a working motorized wheelchair to the list.

The Lego wheelchair is a prototype capable of moving a nearly 200-pound person around. The wheelchair uses quite a few bits from the Lego Mindstorms line. There are 12 Rotacaster multi-directional wheels providing the rolling.

Continuing the bits and pieces roll call, the wheelchair uses 14 Mindstorms motors and 16 Mindstorms touch sensors.

A joystick-style controller directs the chair's movements. One of the best features is the distinctly Lego robotic buzzing noise the wheelchair makes as it rolls.

As it stands, the wheels are too small to handle much more than smooth surfaces, but the wheelchair project will be one to watch as maker Simon Burfield refines the design.

Burfield plans to add Android control via Bluetooth. Even in its current prototype form, it's an impressive display of Lego engineering.

(Via Technabob)