For two years, a group of engineers has been working on the Global Village Construction Set, a collection of 40 DIY machines that can build a small, modern civilization anywhere with sun, soil and water. Sounds like hard work.
Making these machines, the group explains, is eight times cheaper than buying them from manufacturers, on average. And in a world where resources might be scarcer than we anticipate more quickly than we anticipate, their ambitious project could prove to be a vital one. They're publishing the full schematics and diagrams on their Wiki, so anyone can use them once shit goes Mad Max. If the internet still works, that is. OK, maybe you should print them out now just to be safe.
They liken it to a "real-life LEGO set", but it's not all a reality quite yet - they've currently made prototypes for eight of the 40 planned machines, though their brick-making machine - the world's "first high-performance, open-source model" - is already looking pretty impressive. [Open Ecology]