Scientists Build Artificial Bones Using Lego

Researchers at Cambridge University have used Lego Mindstorms robotics kits for something more practical than we've created, forming a fully automated production line for the creation of artificial bones.

While the idea of an artificial bone is pretty innovative, the construction of one is a tedious process of dipping a core metal into various solutions multiple times to build up layers.  This would be a rather mind-numbing task for any human, which is why they got to work on automating the process.

Lecturer Michelle Oyen and PhD student Daniel Strange have used a Lego Mindstorms robotics kit to build two small cranes, programmed to move in the pre-determined path of lowering the artificial bone sample between the different solutions.  This will take care of the construction throughout the course of a day, while the researchers can go tackle other tasks, and thanks to the mechanical precision, each one comes out consistently perfect.

Source: Google Science Fair 2012 (Youtube)

Pretty nifty.