Robotic blocks are usually the province of computer geeks, but two Norwegian design students took it upon themselves to change that for a recent class project.
Lars Marcus Vedeler and Ola Vågsholm’s toy kit, dubbed Olars, was inspired by a project in the 1990s by Karl Sims, “Evolved Virtual Creatures,” which simulated the evolution of dozens of wriggling creatures, whose body parts were no more than geometrical blocks.
True to that inspiration, the system is made simply of blocks with motorized joints, which come in a variety of shapes. But when joined, they can create essentially unlimited varieties of movement. Brilliant.