Using the new Power Function motors with LEGO® MINDSTORMS NXT

In the last few weeks we have seen LEGO® introducing new kits with the Power Function elements. Right now the PF elements ship with the LEGO® Creator Dinosaur, LEGO® creator Ferris Wheel and of course the incredible LEGO® TECHNIC Bulldozer 8275 that has just hit the market a few weeks ago. The Bulldozer comes with four PF motors in total, two receivers, and one transmitter.

I been playing with the new PF motors. They are absolutely fantastic - it is easy to attach to the beams, and have incredible torque. They are smaller than the NXT motors (see the LDRAW sketch of it below in last week's post from Matthias) - in fact it comes in two sizes - the smaller one with slightly less power and the XL version with more grunt.

Currently you need the Infrared remote to control the motors. However, soon you would be able to control the motors directly from the NXT using third party IR bridge sensors when they become available.

The motor comes with its own power pack (with space for 6 AA batteries) which also powers the IR receiver. The IR remote transmitter takes three AAA batteries. I managed to get nearly 3 hours of playing from a full charge - so it is pretty impressive.

Here is a video of a NXT robot powered by the new PF elements. You can find out more about the project on NXTLOG.


Anonymous said…
Those pesky garden pests appeared to be terrified out of their minds. Looks like it might be a good bunny grooming tool.
Laurens Valk said…
That is a nice robot. I like the way you control the ultra sonic sensor.

"Currently you need the Infrared remote to control the motors. However, soon you would be able to control the motors directly from the NXT using third party IR bridge sensors when they become available."

Mindsensors already ships an IR bridge. They mentioned that controlling the PF elements was possible.


BlueToothKiwi said…
Thanks Dean for your comments. Actually - the rabbits you saw with the NXT robot are our pet rabbits and we love them to bits.

Hi Laurens. Thanks for your comments about controlling the US sensor. It is still not perfect. The adapted flexible rod I used from the Technic tractor set is too flexible so it does not transfer the motion instantly from the motor to the neck.

Anonymous said…
I kind of figured they were your pets. There's not a lot of mini lops foraging in the wild (or are they regular lop-eared rabbits).

My cats and dog are occasionally subjected to similar torments. Better watch it or the PETA folks might go after LEGO saying that MINDSTORMS is cruel to animals.
Anonymous said…
NXTSTEP ROCKKKKS!!! I can't afford the bulldozer right now but it's nice to see what can be done with the new motors.

Brian Davis said…
Well, PETA can work the other way as well. I've not been able to get my cats interested in "driving" robots, but I imagine it would be pretty easy to get a "bionic hamsterball" built out of the NXT...

Brian Davis
Anonymous said…
I think you are forgetting lego and Mindstorsm are toys for having fun.

When I was growing up - people used to have a sense of humour. Now everyone is so serious - People nowadays are so politically correct and they forget how innocent life used to be.

Then once in a while you see a very entertaining video like this one - (and I watched it again and again - and all I see is the animals interacting with the green robot as opposed to being terrified by the robot) ... and everyone wants to take away the little fun element there is.

As for the post, well done blue tooth. Keep making those fantastic inventions and entertain us.

BlueToothKiwi said…
Well - thank you Dean, Brian and David for your comments. The rabbits you see in the video are part of the family - and only thing I can say is that just after we filmed that clip, the rabbit did something shocking to the poor robot. I did not realize the Green Dragon robot looked anything like a female rabbit. I think we might have to neuter the rabbit.

And like David said - we should not take things so seriously. Life is too short.

And thank you Anonymous for your kind words - I hope LEGO® will start selling these motors on its own so it is more affordable.

I think you're right about the lack of humor these days... but I still don't know how you could fail to see the humor in Dean's comment and think he was really serious about that. :-)

Anonymous said…

I am hoping that Lego will sell
some smaller motors for the NXT
kit. Are the smaller "Power
Functions" motors the best I can
hope for, or is Lego still
planning on releasing some new
motors specifically for the NXT
(with encoders and NXT plugs)?

Anonymous said…
Sounds like maybe no third-party bridge, or IR for that matter, is necessary. From FAQ:

"with the Power functions extension wire and the NXT converter cable (both available through you can use Power Functions elements with the NXT."

Popular Posts