Sunday, March 10, 2013

Only in Silicon Valley... a Segway a vehicle of choice for a Lego villain

The other night Ronan was cobbling together a variety of Lego creations when I noticed a small, odd-looking Lego vehicle in his fleet. I asked him what it was and he replied, "A Segway, for Rattla."

Sure enough, it was a decent replica of a Segway, even if Ronan did put a steering wheel on it (he's never seen a Segway in person nor does he under stand how maneuvering one works). It sparked a fun conversation about two-wheeled vehicle dynamics - he wondered why a Segway would be unstable, even at speed, when a bicycle does just fine. That led to learning about gyroscopes, axis of rotation, angular momentum, heavy batteries and the notion of center of mass.

A steering wheel on a Segway... that could be fun to watch

Eventually Ronan tired of my explanations and went back to building vehicles. His next creation was more straightforward from a balance standpoint, but orders of magnitude more fun to drive - a, "Rocket propelled snowmobile."

1 comment:

Holly Teetzel said...

A Segway - brilliant. I love his creative mind. He and his cousin Lexi could have such fun with Lego robotics. Maybe you should hold a creative summer camp for them. I'd like to test drive the rocket propelled snowmobile :-)