This dinosaur robot came out of an informal Washington DC Metro Area Lego Train Club meeting after a Lego Train Display in Hagerstown, Maryland about a year ago. When I asked how could I help next time - the answer was a robot dinosaur stomping through the Lego town. I was asked if I could make the robot dinosaur from Lego 4958 - and I said I'd look into it. You can buy this kit for about $500 (ouch!) but I downloaded the instructions and grab the parts from my growing collection of Lego. While I didn't have all the parts - I had enough part to coddle together something that looks like the T-Rex dinosaur from Lego 4958 with alittle tweaking here and there.
This power function remote control dinosaur robot is mainly based on the instructions from Lego Creator kit #4958 that I downloaded from the internet. Since I don't have the kit - all the parts for this robot were either from spare parts or scavenged from another set. In some cases, like the claws on the feet and hands - I didn't have the *right* color so for example instead of white feet claws this dino has orange feet claws. Other time, I didn't have the parts that the instructions called for but I found comparable substitute Lego parts; For example, the tail, arm joints, and head are slightly different from what the original instruction calls for. Other times, I didn't have the part that the instructions called for and I didn't have a comparable substitute Lego part to replace it; for example, the original instruction calls for installing a *roaring* sound brick in the mouth, but in my version there is no sound brick. When my dinosaur's mouth opens, it doesn't make any sound. However, I was able to install two electric motors, an AA battery pack, and IR receiver so the animated functions work on this dinosaur. The blue channel causes the dinosaur to walk forward or backwards. The red channel causes the head to swing forward, the mouth to open and close, and the arms to rotate in a circular movement. He doesn't transform into a car but he is still a very satisfying build.
I added a *roaring* sound brick via Bricklink to the T-Rex. The sound brick has a very small speaker on the side so it is not really that loud but it still sound cool. Each time I buy stuff from Bricklink - I check to see if I can also buy parts to update my T-Rex - its a slow process... patience patience...
The robot fell apart when I tried to change the batteries, so I had to rebuild it from the ground up again - pin-by-pin, brick-by-brick. With disaster comes an opportunity to upgrade during the rebuild - to make things better than before ( like the Six Million Dollar Man... hehehe ) so I added power function LED lights to the eyes so now when the battery pack is on - the eyes light up an eerie green.
Walking Mechanism Field Tests.
Initial field test of the walking mechanism on a flat table surface and on a flat short pile/cut rug at home showed the walking mechanism tends to walk straight when walking very fast and tends to veer off to one side if the walking mechanism is operated very slowly. It appears that weight of freely swinging tail maybe introducing extra friction in the walking mechanism's gait/step and this causing the dinosaur to turn every so slightly with each step.
Further Field Test on November 9th and 10th of 2013 at a Washington Metro Area Lego Train Club Rockville Senior Center Train Show layout uncovered that the walking mechanism is prone to breaking apart at the pin joints when walking over studded surfaces, e.g. Lego baseplates used in Lego City-Train Layouts. This risk to the walking mechanism increases to 100% when the T-Rex attempts to knock over anything or tries to walk over something, e.g. minifigure. After double checking that this problem is not due to a defective part or an error in construction - I re-inforced the joints but the problem still reoccurred. I suspect that this is an innate short coming of this walking mechanism design
2.4Ghz Wireless Camera - initial design and field testing
During the rebuild I added more green bricks to the back and I modified the head so I could easily attach a 9vdc 2.4Ghz wireless mini color video camera to the top of his head - so I could broadcast a First Dinosaur View (FDV) on my TV screen of the terror and destruction he causes!
Field tested my 2.4Ghz wireless mini color video camera at the Rockville Senior Center on Novemeber 9th and 10th 2013. The camera's transmitter signal is prone to Radio Frequency noise from the a large 9vdc electric train track system. Fixing the camera farther away from the track reduced the RF noise but noise from the 9vdc track system was still there. The location of the camera receiver did not seem to have any effect on reducing RF noise.
A video of my PF RC Dinosaur Robot.
When I get the chance - I'll add video to this webpage demonstrating how to install a 2.4ghz wireless color mini video camera to this robot with some same video footage - of what the world looks like from the eyes of the meanest and baddest dino robot.