Funky construction toy from the 80s, that had motorised parts. You could do some seriously groovy stuff with it - including infrared control, cable cars, amphibious vehicles, boats, and more - years and years before Lego thought up that Mindstorms thing. I would very much like to get my hands on (and hack) the 5000(?) set. My thinking being that Capsela although not as versatile as Lego, is surely more robust and designed more with robotic / kinetic function in mind.

Capsela was, as its name described, based on the 'capsule' concept. Each Capsela module (or capsule) was made of clear plastic and contained those parts necessary to perform its function, interfacing through the six axial points on the sphere. So, for example, watching a three-or four-module vehicle transmission in action was pretty cool. Some examples of capsule types:
  • Reduction gear
  • Motor
  • Sensor (IR remote, environmental)
  • Transverse gear (right-angle power transmission)
  • Battery
  • Flotation bubble

...and many more. Capsela projects tended to look like large, clear-walled spacecraft that had been assembled in orbit. My favorite Capsela toy was one I saw in use at the Boat Pond in New York City's Central Park - a Capsela Submarine. The vessel could navigate by way of the remote, and when instructed, could angle dive planes to force itself under water when under way. It was neutrally buoyant, but the user could instruct it to drop a bottom weighted capsule in emergencies.

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