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Daniele Benedettelli is a self-made man. He has been working as a professional LEGO designer since 2011, designing and building LEGO machines and models for schools, trade shows, and industrial fairs. He has authored several books and scientific papers, and has built some amazing projects. His latest one is this astonishing little ‘bot that he controls with a telemetry suit.

It’s not exactly a Jaeger from Pacific Rim (it’s several dozen feet too short), but this little LEGO robot is generally controlled the same way.  Among LEGO wizard Daniele Benedettelli’s many amazing creations is Cyclops, a pint-sized humanoid construct that Daniele  operates with an exo-suit. The “suit” is really just for the upper torso, and consists of a rigid framework and a collection of rotation sensors that relay motion information to the robot. The robot then mimics the joint rotations and apes whatever Daniele does.

If the telemetry suit looks a tad dodgy, it’s because it too is made entirely out of LEGO. At the center between his Daniele’s shoulder blades is an Arduino board that converts the motion of the sensors into the signals the robot uses to tell it how to move.

In this video, only the arms are implemented, but Daniele’s newest version of Cyclops walks using 3 LEGO NXT servo motors. The Mindstorms controller itself provides a sort of backpack ballast that the robot shifts back and forth in order to walk, and it rotates the knees keeping the feet parallel to ground.  The arms and hands are actuated by 8 R/C servos.

Daniele Benedettelli makes his living as a profesional LEGO robotics consultant, and he’s one of very few in the world.

All this goes to show that you really can build your own future. Sometimes it just takes the right bricks.

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