World's most awesome Lego project!
The Super Awesome Micro Project is at the same time a stunning illustration of the power of social media, a mind-boggling demonstration of what can be done with those little Danish bricks, and proof that there is still room in the digital age for a classic 'eccentric genius'.
It's a working, driveable, steerable car made of Lego blocks, driven by an engine made of Lego components that runs on air. No, really - and the deeper you dig the more outrageous the story gets.
The Project was the brainchild of Melbourne marketing maven Steve Sammartino and 20-year-old self-taught Romanian engineer Raul Oaida, who did the whole thing online and only met physically for the first time when it was finished.
It cost about $25 000 (R229 000) which Sammartino crowd-funded with a single tweet that read: “Anyone interested in investing $500-$1000 in a project which is awesome & a world first tweet me. Need about 20 participants... #startup”
Before you could say “You have got to be kidding me!” 40 Australians, intrigued by Sammartino's tongue-in-cheek prospectus, had come up with the money - and all they got in return was their name on the patrons’ roll of honour and the right to call themselves 'SAMPions'.
BY THE NUMBERS
The numbers are indeed awesome:
The Project contains more than 500 000 Lego components; the only parts not made of Lego are the wheels and some load-bearing chassis members.
The four orbital engines, each of which has 64 pistons, are entirely made of Lego components and run on compressed air.
Top speed is about 20-30km/h; Sammartino and Oaida drove it slowly because they were scared of a Lego explosion.
The Project was styled as a Hot Rod - “Because hot rods are cool!” - built in Romania and shipped to a secret location in suburban Melbourne, where the video was shot.