RIM gets high-tech, uses LEGOs

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LEGO Machine

Here’s a little fun Friday goodness for you. We were tipped off to an article today about Matthias Wandel, an engineer at RIM who came up with an inventive low-tech solution to a high-tech problem back in the day.

It seems as though Matthias was testing the 900MHz reception of the old RIM 950 (we’re talking pre-BlackBerry here, folks), which varies by angle and orientation. The Solution? Build a LEGO machine to do the work for you.

According to Matthias: “I wanted to devise a systematic method for measuring how well the pager did in a certain environment. Because there are always variations as the pager is moved, I decided to average this out by moving the pager through a predefined pattern. The machine rotates the pager about a horizontal axis, as well as a vertical axis. The vertical axis rotation is accomplished by having one side of the machine drive around a central pivot on which the other side of the machine rests. The machine drives a full circle every couple of minutes.”

Cool deal, Matthias. Hey, can you build a LEGO blogging machine for a certain unnamed wireless industry blog? There’s a two-four of Keith’s for you if you can.

Special thanks to Bradford for the tip!