About Daniele Benedettelli

Danny_about

Daniele Benedettelli is a robotics engineer, inventor, high school teacher, free-lance LEGO designer.
He occasionally composes music for TV spots and films, and draws comics.

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In 1992, his creation “Tom the cat” was early discarded from a LEGO competition held in a toy store in his town. He kept playing well, until his dark-age-of-LEGO. Then, in 2003 he discovered LEGO MINDSTORMS. In 2006, he got a BSc degree cum laude in Computer Engineering (Automation line) from the University of Siena with a thesis entitled “LEGO MINDSTORMS-based mobile robots team”.

In 2006, he was selected by The LEGO Company for the MINDSTORMS DEVELOPER PROGRAM, as a member of a team of enthusiast and experts to help the company with the testing, development, and promotion of the NXT product. Since 2007, he is a LEGO MINDSTORMS COMMUNITY PARTNER, continuing to work in this role of interface between LEGO Company and the community. In 2009, he got a MSc degree cum laude in robotics engineering, and worked as researcher about mobile robotics.

In 2011 he started his activity as teacher, and free-lance LEGO designer and inventor. Since 2007, he partecipated to many events (Italy, Luxembourg, Nederlands, Denmark, Spain, UAE, Qatar,  Kuwait, Oman, Barhein, Saudi Arabia) and his creations were featured in many TV shows (Italy, Germany, Sweden, Japan, USA).

In 2012 he worked as external programmer for LEGO Education, to help developing the software for the models of the LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Education sets. Since 2012, he is a member of the LEGO MINDSTORMS EXPERT PANEL, a team of 12 experts that helped LEGO Company in the testing and development of the new MINDSTORMS EV3 product.  In Fall 2013 a, he travelled the United States to show Cyclops (mk3) and LEGONARDO to thousands of K14 students. In summer 2014, he travelled the United States to show his robots and train teachers.

He wrote three books:

  • Creating Cool LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT Robots (Apress, 2008) features JohnNXT, a replica of the Short Circuit movies robot star Johnny 5;
  • LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT Thinking Robots (No Starch Press, 2009) includes full building instructions for a streamlined version of his famous Rubik’s cube solver, the LEGO Rubik Utopia;
  • The LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Laboratory (No Starch Press, 2013) describes how to build and program robots built with the EV3 retail kit 31313, and includes the comic adventure The EV3L Scientist’s Apprentice. It sold over 15000 copies in less than an year, and it has been translated in German, Polish, Korean (pending), and Traditional Chinese (pending).

Among his world-famous robots you should not miss JOHNXT, a replica of Johnny 5 robot from Short Circuit movie; the LEGO RUBIK UTOPIA, the first NXT Rubik’s cube solving robot ever made; LEGONARDO the portrayer robot, that can draw smoothly like a real artist; CYCLOPS, a MINDSTORMS-Android-hybrid humanoid robot that can walk, gesticulate, talk and listen in natural language. CYCLOPS can be even remote controlled with a wearable LEGO exoskeleton.

He currently works as freelance LEGO designer and educator, and high school teacher. Starting in 2011, he designed more than 130 LEGO models for the Bricks4Kidz American Franchise, spacing from simple brick models,  to motorized Technic contraptions for various skill levels, and advanced robotic creations. He works as a freelance LEGO designer also for BrainVyne enrichment programs, classes and camps.

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