December 19, 2013
Romanian Whiz Builds Air-Fueled Car Using Half-A-Million Legos
[ Watch the Video: Fully-Functional Lego Car Unveiled ]
redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online
It isn’t all that unusual for teenagers to enjoy building things out of Lego blocks. Usually, however, those “things” aren’t functional, life-sized, automobiles powered by air – but that’s exactly what Raul Oaida has been able to do (with a little assistance from Australian entrepreneur Steve Sammartino).
The vehicle was constructed under what the now 20-year-old Romanian tech whiz Oaida and his colleague dubbed the Super Awesome Micro Project, and according to Valentina Palladino of The Verge, the vehicle is almost completely comprised of the miniature bricks, with the exception of wheels, tires, gauges and other structural bits.
[ Watch the Video: Life-Sized Lego Car Powered By Air ]
The car required over 500,000 Lego blocks to make, which alone cost the duo a reported $60,000. The project was crowd-funded, though, with over 40 Australian patrons helping to support the ambitious, unorthodox proposal “after seeing a single tweet that Sammartino sent, as well as a tongue-in-cheek prospectus he wrote about the idea,” added Palladino.
According to Nick Kurczewski of the New York Daily News, the Lego car has four air-powered engines boasting a total of 256 pistons, and is capable of reaching a top speed of approximately 18 mph. The car was originally built in Romania before being transported to an unknown location in Melbourne, Australia.
Oaida and Sammartino are hoping “to keep test runs slow and steady,” Kurczewski explained, “since, as you can imagine, this thing isn’t equipped with any airbags.” Of course, as Guardian Liberty Voice reporter Jennifer Pfalz noted, the need for low speeds might also have something to do with the “fragile nature” of the vehicle. It is a car built out of Legos, after all.
The project was launched in April 2012, Pfalz said, and isn’t the first time the duo collaborated to make something truly unique and amazing out of the popular brand of building blocks. They had previously launched a Lego space shuttle when Sammartino reached out to potential sponsors for the automobile. He warned investors that the project would be high-risk and that there would be no financial return on investments.
One of those individuals who became involved in the project was David Jenyns, Director of Melbourne Video Productions.
In a statement, Jenyns explained that he became involved with the project because it was “exciting” and “inspiring,” and that he not only donated money but also “time and resources” from his media company.
“Supporting imagination, aspiration, and big dreaming is what this is all about,” he added. “Sometimes it’s not about the bottom line, sometimes it’s just about being a part of something amazingly bigger than you.”
Image Below: The air-fueled Lego car sits in the shop ready to go. Credit: Superawesomemicroproject