A full-sized Lego car, featuring an engine which runs on air, is set to burst on to YouTube next week when adland’s Steve Sammartino and his young Romanian partner-in-crime share their creation with the world.
The ‘Super Awesome Micro Project’, which Sammartino joked has become the “super awesome expensive project”, is a tale of tenacity and resourcefulness.
The car, which is made completely out of Lego and can carry two people travelling up to 40km per hour, will be filmed in action this weekend.
The clip will be used to find investors for Sammartino’s and hardware hacker Raul Oaida’s next project, building a 3D printer.
The pair shared details of the ‘Super Awesome Micro Project’ and footage of the air-powered Lego engine at a recent event hosted by The Meadow where Sammartino spoke about ‘the end of selfish’.
Sammartino said the project was supposed to be small and they had hoped money they crowd-funded on Twitter would last.
“But the crowd funding ran out a long time ago. Since then I’ve just been maxing out my credit card,” he said.
The partnership started when Oaida reached out to Sammartino from Romania after he saw the serial entrepreneur was connected on social media platforms to cosmonaut and American venture capitalist, Esther Dyson.
Oaida, who was just 17 at the time, hooked Sammartino, who he had never met, when he asked him to connect over Skype by teasing him with details of his plans to build a spaceship.
“So I hit accept, because that is what you do when someone says they are building a spaceship. We started talking…and he had written this 20 page PDF on his rocket project and why it was superior to NASA in every way. Which I loved.”
Impressed with Oaida’s skills – he had managed to build a jet engine which could spin at twice the speed of sound – he gave in to Oaida’s requests for funding but said the project had to be scaled back.
So they created a Lego space shuttle which travelled into the near space field for $2000 (see the footage below).
The footage accrued millions of views and won Oaida global press coverage.
But the YouTube clip was “stolen” by fans according to Sammartino who added: “I didn’t know about monetisation then. Should have, could have, would have mailed all these take down notices and made some money.”
With all things going to plan – the car did fall apart en route from Romania to Melbourne and took weeks to reassemble – the hot rod style vehicle will be filmed in action this Sunday (December 1).