21-year-old inventor uses half a million LEGOs to build a working car

We've seen some amazing LEGO designs: A puzzle-solving LEGO diorama; a LEGO-based version of Jurassic Park; and a freakin' full-scale X-Wing. But nothing is more awesome than this air-powered car.

21-year-old Raul Oaida, a self-described "kid from a poor family in Eastern Europe," has the mind of an engineer and the building blocks of $20,000 worth of LEGOs (his business partner, Steve Sammartino, raised the money while Oaida did the legwork — or is that LEGOwork?).

His remarkable vehicle runs solely on compressed air. As Oaida says in the video below, "The engine is an air-powered piston driven contraption that has 256 cylinders and roughly 100,000 parts."

Oaida built his vehicle to bring attention to air-powered cars, like the kind that auto maker Peugeot is developing. But while Peugeot is creating a hybrid car that uses air instead of batteries, Oaida's vehicle uses compressed air alone.

The LEGO car charges within seconds and in tests has driven 20 kilometers. It also drops pieces every time Oaida takes it out for a spin.

Although this car will never be street legal, it's proof that anyone with brains and determination can build anything out of LEGO.

When he's not building cars, Oaida is building jet engines and strapping them on to bicycles, as well as planning to build a spaceship. We have little doubt he'll eventually be waving hello to us from his own private LEGO-based moon base.

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