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Robotic Toy Blocks Beautiful Enough For Design Nerds

Using a few dozen blocks, the assembled toys can move in mysterious ways.

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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.

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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.

[Via The189]

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About the author

Cliff was director of product innovation at Fast Company, founding editor of Co.Design, and former design editor at both Fast Company and Wired.

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