Insect specimens are usually pinned when stored or exhibited. When these pinned insects need to be examined or documented, a pinned specimen manipulator is used so that the insect can be moved around without removing it from the pin. Researchers from the Natural History Museum in London recently published a paper claiming that manipulators made with LEGO are good enough for professional use.
The image above shows the four LEGO pinned insect manipulators (IMp) built by Steen Dupont, Benjamin Price and Vladimir Blagoderov of the NHM. Why bother with LEGO? The researchers say that commercial examples only come in standard sizes, while other DIY solutions are made of materials that are not readily available.
The researchers were very happy with their results, concluding that the IMp “are a valuable addition to any entomologist’s toolbox” because they’re affordable, easy to assemble and disassemble and most of all modular and expandable. Get a copy of their paper on Pensoft to find out more about their study.
[via The Brothers Brick]