ROBOT magazine article part 2

ROBOT magazine is supposed to be posting building instructions shortly for the bot I submitted for the Fall 2006 issue - keep checking here if you want to build one.

This one was done for fun... just to see how many parts I could throw at it from the retail kit... I ran out of most of the beams, all of the little black connectors, and all the Hassenpins and those similar-looking grey pins. I also was asked to use all the motors and sensors...

My wife didn't like it because it looked "creepy" (her words)... if it weren't so loud, I'd put it under the bed or couch and have it grab her ankle (of course, then I'd be sleeping on that couch).


Anonymous said…
Apologies if this is a stupid question, but what are Hassenpins?
I'm guessing they have something to do with Steve...maybe they are the new right angle conectors?
Brian Davis said…
Yes, they are the new right angle connectors. That is *NOT* an official name, it's something I came up with off the cuff a long time ago, before the MCP.

To expand (and it's high time I did this), proper credit should go to a lot more than Steve Hassenplug, as (a) the other MUPs either also suggested the need, and all pushed for such a piece to be designed and added, and (b) that LEGO listened. I picked on Steve because I know him, and has name was the easiest to pervert into a "pin". As I said before, all blame for introducing this label should rest squarely on MY SHOULDERS, and mine alone... but all credit for the piece should go to LEGO and the four original MUPs.

Brian Davis
Tony Naggs said…
Hi maniac000

Hassenpins, (also called that by Jim in the blog recently), are a major plus point for the shop version of the NXT kit. There are none on the educational kit.

I saw your previous question about the differences. I will write a comparison next week ... I am away for a few days now.

Be seeing you,
Unknown said…
After all, I guess Steve decidedly deserves some parts named after him, doesn't he? Even if the name is just "unofficial" (but has etsablished in the community nevertheless).
Hence there should be nothing to blame yourself for, Brian (at least not for that har har! Just kidding...)

I'm really curious, though, about their actual benefit - as for me, I'm using them rather scarcely on my bots, finding them pretty bulky (but I might be more fond of very compact robots than other people).

Matthias Paul (quite absorbed with finishing the leJOS 3 release presently, to draw a clean line before the run for NXT Java starts)
I've become spoiled with them... when I run out, a small amount of panic begins... kidding. But they are VERY useful. I've found about 8 or 9 ways to make something similar using other small pieces in the retail kit, but nothing beats the stability and rigidity of the actual Hassenpin.

What would make me even happier?

A similar pin that hold in all 3 dimensions, not just 2. A cube could be made with 4 of them.
Anonymous said…
Some comments re Matthias' question on the use of "Hassenpins".
A couple of weeks ago I decided it was time to try my hand at building with studless technology in preparation for my purchase of an NXT (I don't know when we Australians are getting the set). My first efforts were directed at determining how to build basic structures. In particular how to build a rigid (in 3D) open rectangle. Now this is a trivial task with studded technology (4 beams and 4 plates) but quite a difficult task using studless techno. I came up with a couple of solutions and also studied LEGO's approach. These solutions all had 3 problems in common. 1) "Expensive" in the number of (often) rare parts.
2) Inellegant - their appearance is not attractive.
3) Many holes in the beams are blocked with pins thus making them unavailable for axles.
Enter the "Hassenpin". Problems 1 and 2 solved brilliantly. The MUPers are to be congratulated for recognising the need and LEGO for responding appropriately.
I have studied closely how rigidity is achieved in both LEGO models and those that fans have built. Basically two approaches are used. Either build the model around a large piece that has inherant rigidity (eg a turntable, motor or NXT brick) or stack a lot of beams horizontally. These methods are well and good for many situations but there are some where they are not appropriate and the "Hassenpin" fills the need.
I would be happy if LEGO sold packets of these pins as I don't think 8 in the set is anywhere near enough. In the meantime I just have to wait patiently to even get an NXT.
Anonymous said…
We like "creepy" robots and we would like to see more. Keep up the good work with your blog.

Agent #72
Robotics Investigation Force
Anonymous said…
I don't understnad, because I visited the website but I don't see anything else. What does your website do?

Rascal D.
Tony Naggs said…
Lego Education appears to have Hassenpins in the Lego Education Resource Kit 9648.

See the centre of the box lid in the large picture linked from here:

There cannot be many Hassenpins though, as I can only see one on the lid and none in the trays.

Unknown said…
I think it means: Technic Beams with Snaps (W991404) from

The 90 degree ones ARE EXTREMELY useful! They are expensive to purchase though!

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