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Lego’s stress test reveals the magic number is 37,112

Zoe RomanoApril 16th, 2013

lego clutch power


The question was simple: “How many times can I assemble LEGO bricks before they wear out?” And Phillipe Cantin found the answer  after building a machine to test it: it took 10 days and 37,112 assembling and disassembling actions.

He used an arm moved by a servo-motor, a infrared sensor validating if the lego was off or on, and an Arduino Uno controlling the machine. Here’s the video explanation of the machine and below another one after 102 hours into the ongoing test :

Stay tuned to Phillipe’s website as he said that he’s going to build a faster machine and right now he suggests:

Don’t try this at home. It’s long, noisy and cruel to LEGO bricks.


13 Responses to “Lego’s stress test reveals the magic number is 37,112”

  1. Phillipe Cantin Says:

    Arduino, you guys are awesome. Thanks!

  2. saal Says:

    I would have thought the servo motor would wear out first.

  3. Phillipe Cantin Says:

    @saal – That was my (and my friends) guess also but the servos made it. The top one started to make a different noise on the 8th days but kept on working.

  4. koby Says:

    Wouldn’t be simpler to analize the changes in power consuption of a motor that continuosly attach and detach a piece to a fixed one? When the consume is reduced of a certain percentage, the piece is worn.

  5. Phillipe Cantin Says:

    @koby – Good idea but, instead of using just that, I would add it as an extra data point in my next series of tests.

  6. koby Says:

    @philipe: even better idea!

  7. koby Says:

    @philipe: if you see that the power usage approch is good, the servo motor could be substitued with a linear actuator that maybe is less prone to wear in this case.
    Maybe using Technics?

    Or one taken by an old cdrom drive or printer.

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