Wheelchair made using LEGO® MINDSTORMS®

A wheelchair made out of LEGO® elements and able to drive around with a person up to 90 kg – cool, but is it really possible?

YES it is – and the man behind it all is Simon Burfield. He has spend a lot of his spare time creating and building this great model.

Go have a look at this amazing video here and continue reading more about the man behind it all and how it all started.

Simon Burfield tells about his idea for making the wheelchair

The idea for the LEGO wheelchair comes about from 3 main events as I remember: At the Great Western LEGO show last year in the UK, I brought a rather large (5ft 7) robot called George, it was greatly received however people said; now you have built this, what will you do to top this? My first reaction was to build a full size car however I could not see how I would do the wheels / axle let alone get enough LEGO. So the idea was put on hold.

The second part to this story was when I discovered Rotacaster's multi-directional wheels. These allow creations to move in any direction however I had another idea for them. One of the major issues with George the robot was that it was so heavy and caused so much drag on the tracks that it really struggled to move, especially turning. Using the Rotacaster wheels, turning would not be a issue and they would also support a lot of weight! So my plan was to use these brilliant wheels on my future robots.

The final part to the story was a conversation with Steven Canvin, online community manager for LEGO® MINDSTORMS® at LEGO, where we discussed cool ideas for giant robots. I said in a passing comment that I could make something that would move a person around using the Rotacaster wheels, Steven said that it would be a brilliant project and off I went. Luckily Rotacaster also thought it was a brilliant idea and helped out a lot.

The chair is still a prototype however I have spent around 40 hours building it. Generally before I start building anything, I plan it my head for a few days.

LEGO elements used to built the LEGO wheelchair

The chair contains 7 LEGO® MINDSTORMS® intelligent bricks, 14 NXT motors, 16 NXT touch sensors, 12 Rotacaster multi-directional wheels and just over 6000 LEGO® Technic® pieces.

The man behind the LEGO wheelchair

The man behind the LEGO wheelchair is Simon Burfield (aka Burf). He is an IOS Developer (iPhone/iPad) by day and LEGO robot builder by night. His specialty is building really big robots! He gets a lot of his inspiration from childhood dreams, movies and crazy things on YouTube. Simon has always been fascinated by computers and robots, and for him LEGO MINDSTORMS is the perfect way to merge them together. He got his first LEGO MINDSTORMS kit (RIS 2.0) in 2003 and later moved on to the NXT.

As a kid, Simon loved building stuff out of LEGO and even back then he tried to make large models out of LEGO bricks and what not. Back then his LEGO collection would fit in a large container. Now it fits in a large bedroom and a garage (and some other places).

We look forward to seeing Simon’s future creations