If you’re a fan of the concept behind Rube Goldberg machines — making something extremely complicated to perform the simplest of tasks — YouTube user zwenkka has the perfect machine for you. Rather than a Rube Goldberg rig, zwenkka built a rather large and complex machine using Lego Mindstorms with the goal of changing his Xbox 360 discs so he didn’t have to suffer the physical toll caused by years of occasionally switching out a disc in the console’s slot.
Rather than keep your Xbox 360 games in their respective boxes and neatly organized in a drawer or on a shelf, you can hold up to 32 of them in this disc changer, keeping them perpetually ready for insertion. The machine is completely autonomous, and can not only insert, but swap out or remove discs.
The machine is controlled with an app that zwenkka found on the Google Play Store, so at least it doesn’t require custom software along with the custom hardware.
The carousel is controlled with three Lego NXT bricks — essentially the brain of a Mindstorms creation — while the claws are able to move thanks to a pneumatics system. The way the rig chooses and stores discs is actually quite simple. Each disc slot is numbered, so once the player chooses which slot, the rig knows which one to spin to, and the claw knows which disc to grab.
The average time it takes to change a disc is around 42 seconds. In all, the rig contains the aforementioned 3 NXT bricks, 7 NXT servos, a light sensor, an RC motor, two color sensors, and around 3,000 Lego parts.
Considering the build time and average time it takes to change a disc, the extravagance-to-usefulness ratio is highly amusing, in that it’s much quicker — and a lot simpler — to just change a disc yourself.
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