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University of Illinois students show off Lego-based crop harvester

Darren Murph

Believe us when we tell you that we've seen Legos used in ways its creators could have never, ever imagined. Thankfully, a team from the University of Illinois found a way to demonstrate a rather useful (read: not bizarre) technology with everyone's favorite building block. By setting up shop at the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers in Minnesota, students were able to show off an autonomous crop harvesting system that transferred heaps of BBs onto unloaders, which then hurried them away to meet artificial deadlines. The setup was configured using Robolab software, and aside from requiring the creators to dump BBs into the harvester, the entire show was put on sans human interaction. Granted, the idea behind all of this is far from fresh, but there's just something strangely satisfying about putting a stash of spare Legos to work for you.

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