How do you build robots?
Some people asked me on methods to design a robot beforehand (sort of drawing table) and then just building the real model in one run.
For truth to tell, I don't know about an efficient way to do this (let alone a way to do so that makes fun also - one could use LDraw, of course, but "Ldrawing" without a real model on your table is likely to turn out a complete drudgery):
as for me, I commonly start with a rough idea only and then build away, frequently changing the design while the robot comes gradually into being.
How about you?
What is your procedure in building NXT robots?
But yeah, the only pre-building plans I do are in my head. I mostly just experiment around with the pieces until I hit on a good mechanism. Occasionally I make a very rough sketch of the planned robot, and design it from there.
I have two extremes - (1) I sketch and plan the shape and concept of the robot and write out a rough flowchart for how the bot will be programmed, or (2) I just start snapping pieces together and try to make it look good.
Method 2 has come back to bite me in the past where I designed something that wasn't really easy to program. For example, when I use the Sound sensor I usually have to tweak the volume level because I place the sensor too close to the motors.
Right now, I've got something I'm working on - I want to post it on the NXTLOG when it starts up. This design was done using Method 1. I described what I wanted the bot to do, some sketches of its shape came next, along with a written description of how the program will possibly work.
Sometimes I program the bots, sometimes I just take some pictures and tear it down and build a new one.
I have not posted any thing yet but it will come more soon.
Here`s the link:
-Start building with the requirments in mind
-make changes in order to achieve requirments
Programing preaty much follows the same patern, but with the word "program" put in wherever "build" build appears.
The only 3D plans I'd have beforehand would just (blurry) images in my mind. Most of the time I wouldn't bother to create plans afterwards either.
I know people who'd create their whole model in LDraw beforehand; but that's definitely not something for me
However, building with actual LEGO pieces is as easy to do in the real world, as drawing in the virtual world.
I often make LDraw drawings of my robots, just so I can rebuild them later, if I want.
Hence I'd not do "pre-LDrawing" for the world - that would take away much of the fun of free improvisation and flow of imagination.
There are other constraints, too (though of minor relevance): my models tend to change extremely from initial idea to the end result which would make LDrawing pretty costly; furthermore often difficulties, impossibilities or need for optimization are hardly to be foreseen with a design model and pop up with the built robot yet.
Yet, I have taken up the habit of LDrawing my robots for documentation reasons and possibility of rebuilding them (for the museums, once I'm famous...).
After all, that's just the way my creative process works (and not with LEGO models only) - might be completely different for other people.
BTW it was this blog that inspired me to make my own blog!
Thank you very much The NXT Step team!!
I do have an excuse for my relative incompetence - I grew up with studded lego. I'm new to this new type of studless construction, but I'm learning.
Oh, and when do I mentally design? Almost always, either long car rides or mowing the lawn :-).
just my ideas
Anyway, I've got a question for all you guys that make LDraw files for your robots AFTER you build the robots in real life.
How do you do it? I mean, that seems really difficult with complex robots.
Anyway, I always just come up with a general idea before I build my bots. Usually, I'll have a plan for how the mechanics will work out, but I just fine tune the structure and everything as I go.
Whenever I get any good inventions made, I'll post them on my website at wlcproductions.tk
although I do get dissapointed when I somtimes find out I dont have enough pieces to build what I want.
One bot in particular that I have rebuilt at least 20 times is a navigator robot. each time strengthing it and refining it.