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The Kid Should See This

Minifig G-force spinning-machine experiments

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See centripetal and tension forces in action with help from Minifig spaceman Benny, a rotating mini camera, and two different LEGO Technic spinning machines.

This video from Brick Experiment Channel places a mini camera across from the toy astronaut to see what the high-speed spinning looks like. The experiment also tests the strength of the interlocking components when subjected to significant forces.

camera set up for the spinning minifig
In physics, forces push or pull an object, causing it to accelerate, decelerate, or change direction.

Centripetal force (meaning “center-seeking”) directs the object inward towards the center of rotation, allowing it to maintain its circular motion. Without centripetal force, the object would continue in a straight line due to its inertia, as described by Newton’s first law of motion, rather than following a curved path.

Tension force, per Khan Academy, “refers to the force that is transmitted through a string, rope, wire, or other similar object when it is pulled tight.” This is applied when the wrapped thread attempts to hold Benny together.

tying benny to the machine
A human performance centrifuge is a specialized piece of equipment used to simulate the effects of acceleration forces (G-forces) on the human body. Also called G-force simulators, these centrifuges are commonly used in aerospace and aviation industries for training, research, and testing purposes.

spinning the centrifuge
What happens when a Minifig is hooked into a LEGO centrifuge? Brick Experiment Channel tested that, too:

“The g-force numbers onscreen are actual numbers. The centrifuge radius (to Benny’s head) is 16 cm and the highest measured RPM is 760. Therefore g-force is 103 g.”


Watch these videos next:
β€’Β Extreme Gs in a centrifuge – Simulating gravity on other planets
β€’Β Circular motion demonstration with a sparkler and a hula hoop
β€’Β Newton’s Laws of Motion demonstrated with wooden blocks
β€’ Newton’s Three Laws of Motion
β€’Β How A Children’s Toy Led To An Essential Medical Device

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