Flip-dot displays certainly have an old-school charm, and they win extra points for energy efficiency. But I think I like them even better when they’re controlled by Lego bitmaps and built to spell out the word “awesome” like this one is.
This clever display, part of a set-up called “Ancient James,” is programmed by arranging single-unit bricks on a template to turn on or off a given pixel. The entire contraption is controlled by a crank, which causes a set of fingers to rise up and slide a new Lego template into place. The fingers are then lowered onto the template to set the display discs. The transitions are smooth and utterly satisfying to watch.
Here’s the single pixel mechanism on its own: