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My own Contraptions
by Walter Lee
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Hello, welcome to my webpage of my own contraptions. My name is Walter Lee and I am an Adult Fan of Lego (AFOL). I have a Four year Degree in Computer Science (with a minor in statistical and theoretical mathematics). I've always been fascinated with electro-mechanical things and I have some engineering/science background so some write up of my creations have a STEM component. If the write up sounds confusing ... just ask me about it and I'll clarify the part that is confusing. In the past I have been compared to a walking encyclopedia and Star Trek Commander Data because of my tendency to know quite a bit about seemingly obscure things. I am sort of like a jack-of-all-trades - my Lego creations are not focus on any particular theme and I am not emotionally linked to my creations but I am often driven to perfect an idea..so I may create and destroy several versions of a creation. I work with both Lego Technic and Classic Lego. My Lego interest also includes Mindstorm RIS-NXT-EV3, 9 volt Lego trains, RC Legos, and Lego Educational Dacta systems. I like things that move and light up and so many of my own creations have moving parts, light up, and function is some way or another. To demonstration some of my Lego creation's functionality I have embedded videos for some of them, e.g. the Power Function T-Rex Dinosaur Robot or how to make a Lego bracelets. I try make to make it a habit to test every one of my creations for functional performance.

I was born very poor and for the most part of my childhood I lived a few blocks from Washington DC's Chinatown. However, I was fortunate enough to receive two Lego set as Christmas gifts from my father's boss, Sam Gin Wong (1918-1984), first in 1964 (Samsonite Lego Large Basic Set #708) and then again in 1965 (Samsonite Lego Super Wheel toy set #610-4). While Lego was my favorite toy - my parents told me I would never get another Lego set after that - true to their predictions - those two Lego sets were the only Lego sets I owned as a child, but I would continue playing with Lego until about 1970.

About 1997, I gave away my childhood Lego collection to my older sister's nephew when his father(my brother in law) bought him an Robotic Invention System (RIS) kit. I had just taught myself how to program and build 8 bit and 16 bit computers, and I was not impressed with the RIS at the time. Why? The RIS programming language for the SDK was weak and the number of ports were small and the servos and sensors choices were small.

It was about 2009 when I started buying Lego sets as gifts for my younger sister's nephew and niece that I decided to buy the Lego Mindstorm NXT 2.0 for myself just to study in my spare time. Why? The SDK appeared more refine and the number of ports were expanded and the sensors and servos choices were expanded. However, after playing with the NXT 2.0 I was disappointed. I found the instructions to the set rather limiting and realized that to do more I needed something extra --which led me to researching Lego Educational Dacta systems and Technic systems. Online videos of NXT and Technic MOCs suggested that I had not assessed building potential correctly.... At which point I purchased my older sister's nephew RIS kit (which he never took a deep interest to) and got my my original Lego collection back in the process! Soon afterwards I started posting my own creations here on this website.

I have done displays with the Washington DC Metro area Lego User Group, the Washington DC Metro Area Lego Train Club, and the Charm City Lego User Group. For 2014-2015, I provided technical support to the rookie First Lego League Probemasters (1175).

For 2015 - I reviewed how public library used Lego, how Lego was used into STEM programs, and using Lego Therapy to help hi functional autistic children learn social skills. I have been assisting my local public library with its freestyle Lego program. My other projects have included upgrading my Lego storage system(6 feet tall by 16 feet long shelving system). The Virginia Brickfair with Charm City LUG and WamaLTC.

For the last few years, to commemorate my two childhood Lego sets - I have been donating Lego sets to the Washington DC Chinatown's Christmas Toy Drive (MOAPIA Share a Smile, Give a Toy Event) for needy children from my childhood neighborhood.

If you have a questions leave a comment and I'll try to get back to you as soon as possible.


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