LEGO leaps into the Future with Branded 3D Printing Technology

A few years ago LEGO was worried about look alike competitors and their impact on business. Today on the eve of their centenary, they have once again taken the world by storm with LEGO branded 3D printers and filament recyclers.

Now children (and not so young children) can enjoy printing their own blocks from LEGO designs and when they are bored with them, or they fade or get broken, they put them in the filament recycler and create new ones again. The zero waste concept has earned LEGO global recognition for helping to reduce mountains of plastic waste.

Setting up the LEGO 3D Printing Education Trust through the LEGO Foundation, LEGO has so far donated 3D printers to over 1,000 schools in 23 countries, to both high and low deciles, together with training courses on Computer Aided Design, 3D printing and modeling, and new venture business training.

They have set up a global cloud based design business where designers can earn royalties whenever people purchase their LEGO 3D designs.

Next year the most successful designers will travel with their parents, courtesy of LEGO, to their HQ in Billund, Denmark, for the inaugural LEGO 3D Printing design competition, where they will celebrate the most successful designs by age group. The top student designers will also be offered university scholarships to continue their education in related fields such as CAD, programming, 3D printing, chemistry, engineering and design.

Innovation head of LEGO, Magnus Blokker said that the company had recognised that despite the almost 100 year success of the company, which was founded in 1932, it was time for the company to reinvent itself and what better way to do it than engage their own fans and customers in the design and marketing of the product.

Board Manager Bau Isovernow said that the company is very excited to be reinvigorating the company and supporting the zero waste movement. The next step is going to be the development of their own whey based, biodegradable filament, so that any ‘blocks’ that are not recycled can simply be composted as they come from cow based milk waste. In fact they are good for the soil rather than a contributor to pollution.

 

 

 

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The Day of the Thousand, When Taxis Shut Down the Driver-less Ubers

Remember back in 2017 when Volvo said that they would indemnify any owners of their autonomous cars that were involved in an accident? Funny after a few fatal crashes, car manufacturers changed their minds on that option.

So about a month after Uber let loose a thousand autonomous Ubers on the road, taxi drivers started playing pranks onĀ  the driverless cars, and last Friday cabbies almost brought transport to a standstill as they fought to keep their jobs relevant and encourage people to only use taxis driven by a human.

How did they do it? It was so simple. They based the idea on the observation that hardly anyone knows how to indicate correctly on a roundabout and don’t get me started on 4-way stops!

So anyway, based on the fact that people typically indicate when they are going into a roundabout, but don’t indicate when they leave it, causing confusion for other drivers who have to guess whether they are exiting or continuing around, some ‘smart’ person encouraged all taxi drivers and supporters to do the same thing.

So next thing you know, loads of drivers are indicating that they were continuing to stay on the roundabout when they weren’t. Human drivers, being used to poor driver etiquette drove as usual, but the risk averse driverless Ubers detected the indicators and waited until the offending car had clearly vacated the roundabout, by which time the next car arrived and did the same.

As a consequence, arterial roads all over the city came to a standstill while the 1,000 Ubers patiently waited for a gap to continue driving, creating absolute mayhem for commuters, people taking their kids to school and public bus services. With the gridlock came fares in the many hundreds of dollars, even for short trips, which will probably take a month of Sundays to unravel as Uber fights to restore customer confidence.

The challenge was identified already back in 2019 when many industry pundits said that unless driverless cars were able to think as humans, rationally irrational, sharing the highways where 85% of cars are still manually driven, there would be major hurdles to overcome.

Fortunately for Uber, these cars still had steering wheels and the ability for a driver to over-ride the controls or the 1,000 as they are now known, might have been consigned to scrap. Suddenly there was a massive demand for human drivers again and they were calling on the many people who had helped them become successful in the first place.

Car Manufacturers are said to be offering huge sums of money to indenture bright young students to take up Deep Learning qualifications in the nations universities. They say they need thousands of people to work on developing knowledge based systems that are adaptable to the whims of humans. In the meantime, they are going back to the 2020 models of car, which were limited to driver assist technology.