Saturday, January 31, 2009

Bryce - Stop-Bot

This is a stop bot that stops when it runs over something, the wheels lock up, preventing it from going any further. It can be built by placing 2 wheels close to each other, so they touch, making them move in opposite directions, then running it over something, the object will get caught in the wheel, making it impossible to move forward. This robot is perfect if you want your robot to do something, but don't want it to unexpectedly fall off the table, just run some bricks along the edge of the table, and it will get stuck whenever it goes to the edge, saving your Mindstorms a terrible fall!

(more) video

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Bryce - My Ball-Bot

Hey, Inspired by Clgfive, I've decided to also make a "Ball-Bot". This was a pretty easy build, all I did was make the Tri-Bot, and modify the back wheel. Enjoy!


video

Other - Bryce

Hey Guys! I'm Bryce, and me and my friend here are going to be managing this blog. Hope you enjoy our creations!

Other - Meet Bryce!

Hey everyone! Meet my FLL team member and new co-author Bryce! You will notice that all the names of the posts will change a little and that there may be more posts a day. I am changing the names so that they are organized into the following: Clgfive (my creations), Bryce (his creations), Other People (other people's creations), News (NXT news), Opinions (thoughts on stuff) and Other (posts like this one). Expect to start seeing posts by both of us fairly soon, and I will have the blog page all updated any day now!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Other People - Gatling Gun

This is a pretty basic design, and to be honest I wouldn't normally post it except for two things: Where can I get those wheels and where can I get those guns? Post a comment to respond. Oh yeah, be sure to Digg my blog!

Other - Do You Digg My Blog?

If you do be sure to hit the Digg It button on the sidebar!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

News - Mindstorms 2.0?

Apparently there was a sneak peek of the Mindstorms NXT 2.0 at the Canada Toy Fair, but to me I notice very little changes. The brick seams to be the same, and the only additional sensor included is a color sensor. There are directions for more models (including a new Alpha Rex) and possibly some different pieces (orange maybe?). It's hard to tell from the pictures I saw, but it hasn't really drawn much of my attention yet. Hopefully it includes NXT-G 2.0... if so I may buy the kit. Here is a picture of the new box:

Sunday, January 25, 2009

News - Nissan Pivo2 - NXT Idea?

I heard about a smart car that rotates its wheels to parallel park a while ago during FLL, and I just got around to searching it today. This is what I found:



Could this concept be adapted to the NXT?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Opinion - The Future of LEGO Mindstorms

Here is what I think the next LEGO Mindstorms should improve on:
  1. Memory - The new brick needs to have a ton more memory so it can support large files as well as many files
  2. File types - It should support normal file types (.jpg, .mp3, .wav, etc.)
  3. Wireless ports - It should have wireless connectivity to its motors and sensors. It shuld also release small adapters for legacy sensors and motors
  4. Battery - It should come with a built in battery. This will decrease brick size and the price of batteries.
  5. Screen - The new screen should have color and be more like an iPod interface. It would have a more futuristic and less toy feel. It could also have video
  6. Programming options - It should have wo versions; one that comes with NXT-G like programming software, and one that has Java or C programing software
  7. Simple connection to NXT and RCX - It should easily and wirelessly be able to connect at least to the NXT.
  8. Comes with Bluetooth - It's simple, not everyone wants to spend $40 on a BlueTouth dongle.
  9. A LEGO RC - a LEGO brand Remote Conroller using BlueTooth would be great.
  10. A "Pick Your Kit" - There could be a thing where you actually pick out what peices and what software you want, and LEGO packages it up in a box and sends you your personal Mindstorms kit.

Other People - Why...

So earlier today I was checking all my internet stuff like I normally do, when suddenly I notice something- Ballbot. It has completely overtaken what my dreams for SegCar GS were- to build a self balancing SegWay like robot that can be remote controlled and reacts when it nears something. This thing supports on a ball and can be remote controlled. See for yourself:

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Clgfive - More SegCar GS Updates

Guess what- I've made even more updates! I don't have pictures yet (I will release those some time next week) but I can tell you this- the wheels are back on the outside of the robot (for screen visibility purposes), I have added to the NXT Button extensions, and I have the start of a program which reads the Gyro Sensor so you know when to start the program. Stay tuned!

Other People - Robo-Flush

Here's an interesting robot I found on YouTube:

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Other People - Cool Walker

Here is a neat hexapod walker I found on YouTube.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Opinion - "Building Robots With LEGO Mindstorms NXT" Book Review

When I got my NXT, I also received the book Building Robots With LEGO Mindstorms NXT by Syngress books. I think it is a very good book for builders of all levels because it covers the basics and gets into fine detail of mathematical and advanced aspects. Along with pictures and explanations of complex concepts, this book gives you great ideas and techniques without telling you how and what to build. It covers the cool topic of pneumatics, as well as sound, walkers, animals, sumos, and more! This is a great book that all NXT builders should have. Here is a link to buy it at Amazon.com.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Clgfive - BlueTooth and SegCar GS

About a week and a half ago I went online in search of a cheap BlueTooth dongle. First I looked at stores where I could just walk in, buy it, and leave, but they were too expense ($30 or so). So then I went to eBay, and for some reason unknown to me I actually found one for $3 from a power seller (that's including shipping). Great buy, right! Well, after some thinking I realized it could not work, but I was still convinced it would. And what do you know- it did! It came in an envelope, and it was just this little yellow USB dongle. I plug it in, knowing there is a slight chance for it to blow up, but it doesn't, a little box pops up, I enter some passwords and what not, and presto, it is all hooked up to my NXT. So then, thinking that I would have to write some sort of extensive program to get the car mode of my SegCar GS to work with NXT Remote, I open it up just to make sure it can connect to the NXT. It does, so I get bored and press a few buttons and guess what- I didn't need a program to run it! So all in all I'm happy. Here is a video and a picture of the BlueTooth Dongle of it being used with the SegCar GS:






Saturday, January 17, 2009

Clgfive - SegCar GS Improvements

Hey everyone! As my SegCar GS nears completion (sort of) I have made several more improvements to the sturdiness, look, and functionality of the SegCar GS. Here are some pictures displaying the robot:

Other - Changes

Just to let you know , yes, I did make these changes to the blog. You'll notice that the title bar at the top is different, and that the labels have been moved from the bottom to the side bar.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Other People - Biped Walker

This is a pretty cool peice of work. I wouldn't of thought to change the COG (center of gravity) like this.

Clgfive - FLL BCR 500 Dumping Attachment #1

Just quickly here's a picture of the dumping attachment I built for the FLL BCR 500. I may be using this attachment, but I have to see the board first. If it would work, then I would probably do something similar to the this video:




Anyway, here is the pic, and check out my Project Archive for the FLL BCR 500 for more information on the robot.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Other People - Motor Multiplexer?

Have I found the mythical motor multiplexer? Can this device really give you an infinite supply of motors, while only actually using 2? Well, you tell me. This seams to work- could it work with FLL? There's only one way to find out... stay tuned on that.

News - Codatex RFID Sensor

Another cool sensor here that I saw in the LEGO Education catalog- the Codatex RFID Sensor. I don't own it (it's price of $139.95 is a little outside my budget), but it seams to work by reacting to these black cards. If this is true, then it seams to be a very cool technology. Just think of the possibilities; a LEGO door lock that only opens when shown one of the disks, a vacuuming robot (similar to Roomba) that avoid certain areas of a room, even a servant robot that will follow it's human master and tend to its every need (I'd like to see that one). Anyway, here is one of the few videos out there that displays the RFID Sensor:

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

News - BlueTooth PC Remote Control!

After a ton of hunting, I finally found a good PC remote control program- it's called Vehicle Remote and it can he downloaded here. Hope I can get it to work with the SegCar GS.


Clgfive - FLL BCR 500 Video

Here is a quick demo of the FLL BCR 500. Can't wait to put it to use, might do some test runs on the old board... P.S. stay tuned for my new dumping attahment!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Clgfive - FLL BCR 500 Is Finished!

Hey everyone! Recently I have dropped a few hints but I haven't formally explained something: the FLL BCR 500 (which stands for the FIRST LEGO League Ball Caster Robot 500). It was designed to be used for the 2009-2010 FLL "Smart Moves". Stay tuned for updates on attachments and results, and check out my Project Archives for more information on the robot!





Sunday, January 11, 2009

Opinion - Studless vs. Studded vs. Both 1

In past FLL builds I have been faced with a dilema- do I build this with bricks, beams, or both? Here is my take on the tirless battle:

Studless
  • Much sturdier structuers
  • More robotic look
  • Most colors match or go together
  • The NXT is built to work with them
  • Good flexibility
  • Can easily change direction without becoming structurally unsound
  • BUT you do not get the small intervals and becomes flimsy as the weigt increases

Studded

  • Intervals are smaller
  • Will never be "off" (not exactly in place)
  • LEGO look
  • Has more structure
  • Very good for large structures
  • BUT does not handle falls well

Both

  • Offers pros from both building styles
  • Allows sturdiness aswell as ability to use small intervalls (good for things such as ball casters)
  • BUT it doesn't look very good and the switch-over point will be very easy to break

Overall I think it depends on what you want to build. The TriBot, for example, would be very bad with bricks because it relies on the flexibility and light-weight structure of pegs, axles and beams. In my BCR (Ball Caster Robot) (I will release more on this soon) I need to use both so I can have a ball caster which prevents the ball from wobbling. But if you want to build a huge elevator you would use bricks because they would support the large weight better. So there you have it, and I'm sure I may have to come back to this in the future

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Other People - WiiMote Control (BlueWii)

This is a very cool example of using a WiiMote, PC, and BlueTooth to control an NXT. I can't wait to integrate this sort of RC to control my robots.

News - NXT Temperature Sensor!

Finally we can all take temperature readings with our NXTs without using an RCX converter cable. That's right, LEGO Education has released the NXT Temperature Sensor, which is pretty much just a NXT sensor shaped box with a metal rod sticking out of it (see picture below). I currently do not own the device (I doubt anyone does at this point) but it seams to look like the cable is built into the sensor... it is hard to tell though. If you do know please drop a comment. Anyway, the link to buy one is here.

Clgfive - SegCar GS Update

Just wanted to give a quick update on the project you all know about: my SegCar GS. The build is officially done (I have added reinforcements to prevent the previous flimsiness) and have turned the NXT brick around so that the USB port is more easily accessable. The problem is the programming- I just can't get it to work!












The new support beam I added

Other People - LHex, The LEGO RHex

I have always been fascinated by a particular robot - RHex, the six legged robot that moves by rotating three of its legs at a time. I first saw it on the Discovery Channel program Prototype This! where the engineers attempted to created a full size version of RHex suitable for human transportation. When I first saw RHex I knew I would have to atleast attempt at building a NXT version. Sadly, atleast for now, I can't really do that with my only basic knowledge of gearing and one NXT. But that's okay, because after some searching I found LHex, a NXT version of RHex. Below you will find two videos; the first is RHex and the second is LHex. Enjoy! (I suggest you watch the two videos at the same time to notice the similarity)



Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Clgfive - HELP!

This Gyro Sensor programming is driving me crazy! If anyone out there has a NXT-G SegWay program that uses the Gyro Sensor please let me take a look at it! I won't copy it directly, I just want to look at some of the ways you did certain things so I can build my own. Also, if you have any remote control programs of any sort (in NXT-G) please post those to. All help posts should be comments to this post. Thanks!

Other People - WALL-E Bots- Why?

Why are we all so compelled to build WALL-E robots? Sure, I mean they look kind of cool but seriously- what does that accomplish? To me, it seams like nothing. But you guys deside- post a comment about your opinion on WALL-E bots and a video of your own (if you have one).

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Clgfive - Pneumatics Came!

Several days ago I ordered the LEGO Education pneumatics kit, and it arrived today! It came with the following:
1 large pump
2 large cylinders
1 small pump
1 small cylinder
tubing
air tank
switches
a whole ton of instruction booklets
The instruction booklets were designed to build things using the LEGO Power Functions kit, so they don't really help me because I do not use that. But, none the less, I believe that this kit will do very well to improve my NXT capabilities. Here are some pictures of what came (note that the two yellow cylinders in the last picture are NOT included in the kit, I bought them separately):

Clgfive - Hi-Technic Gyro Sensor Has Arrived

As explained in my last blog, I am trying to build my own version of the famous NXTWay SegWay robot. My all important Hi-Technic Gyro Sensor arrived today, so I am all set to build the robot from LDD (LEGO Digital Designer) directions I have already made and start programming! My post documenting the final robot may not be for several weeks, though, because the eBay receipt I received for my Bluetooth dongle says it will be here within 16 days (it was ordered from Hong Kong). I have found this to be a very challenging project. Keep posted!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Other People - NXTWay

When I got my NXT kit I couldn't decide what the first thing I should build would be. I didn't want to just copy someone else peice by peice, but I was stuch and wanted to build something cool. Thats when I found the NXTWay, a Mindstorms version of the Segway. It works by using the Hi-Technic Gyro Sensor to sense itself falling and regain its balance. Here is a video of one version of the NXTWay:



I plan on building something similar yet different- I call it the SegCar GS. It will work similarly to the NXTWay, but with the touch of a touch sensor it will drop down into a car like state. I plan on giving it two programs: a remote control program to be controlled by my PC, and a program where it just kind of sits there. I will post pictures, videos, programs, etc. when I recieve my order of the Gyro Sensor!

Other - Hello World!

Hey every one! My new found interest in robotics has led me to the world of LEGO Mindstorms NXT! In this blog I will post videos (both of my own creations and of other people's), pictures, documents, and a whole ton more! I hope everyone enjoys it!