Cyrus Tabrizi, 12/26/12

      The RiverCleanser is a fully–functional Lego robot that was built to keep our environment clean and to make it fun to do so. With its four–function robotic arm and motorized paddlewheels, the RiverCleanser is capable of navigating through bodies of water with ease while interacting with and manipulating objects within its reach. It also has a motorized tray to hold and dispense of any trash that it collects and a motorized winch to reel the robot back to shore if things go wrong at sea.

Videos of the RiverCleanser (overview on left, teaser trailer on right)

      The robot is powered by the Lego Power Functions system and uses 5 M motors, 3 XL motors, and 4 receivers. Each of these receivers powers two motors and receives signals on one of the four available channels. With a total of eight motors in the robot, this means that all four of these channels are being used. Depending on whether or not the user wishes to use more than two of the robot's eight functions at any given time, up to four remotes can be used. With four receivers and eight motors, the robot needs a hefty supply of AA batteries –twelve to be exact– that come housed in two separate battery boxes. To distribute the motors, receivers, and batteries throughout the robot, the system is effectively split in two along the torso, with four motors, two receivers, and a set of six batteries in both the upper body and the under body.