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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Pancake-making robot is awesome, made out of LEGOs

By: Jennifer Bergen

Breakfast is a special meal for many of us. Sometimes we take the time to make a nice meal with eggs, bacon, French toast, or (and?) pancakes. But before we know it that Sunday morning meal is a lot of work. Problem solved! Inventor Miguel Valenzuela designed a robot that not only makes pancakes, but it makes them whatever shape you want.

As if the idea of a pancake-making robot wasn’t cool enough, the Pancake Bot (PB) is made of 99% LEGO and 1% ketchup bottle. Yes, the nerdiness factor just skyrocketed through the roof. Valenzuela goes into some pretty technical detail on his blog about how he made the robot. For example, he used a pneumatic pump and compressed air to dispense the batter. The manner in which the batter will be dispensed is pre-programmed with coordinates, so you can chose to make various shapes. The photo below shows some pretty good-looking Mickey Mouse flapjacks.

The PB is similar in some ways to the Solar Sinter, a 3D printer that we reported on earlier this month that creates objects out of sand. Both devices move smoothly on a track to produce a final product. In this particular case, the track leads a ketchup bottle full of batter down the length of the griddle, dispensing as it goes.

It’s slightly sluggish, so if you want to make some quick pancakes, you’re most likely better off just spooning the batter yourself. But a speedy breakfast is obviously not the point of the PB.

Valenzuela’s daughters Maia and Lily helped and are credited as “assistants” on the project. We’re not sure what part the young girls had in the making of the PB, but we have a feeling it may have something to do with the eating part. Judging by Valenzuela’s blog, being his kid seems pretty awesome. Not only does he create pancake-making LEGO machines, but he also builds awesome snow sculptures of Tauntauns, AT-ATs, and a humongous, awesome looking robot.

Make sure to check out how the Pancake Bot works, oggle over his awesome snow sculptures (scroll down), and watch the PB in action in the video below.

Via Waylou