Dec 1, 2008

NXT Monster Truck - Part 1

Have you ever picked up your NXT kit and decided to build just a robot with no sensors, no autonomy and pure fun?

That is what I did over the weekend. Inspired by a Monster Truck in the latest 'V' energy drink advert, I decided to build a remote controlled monster truck robot.
The picture on the left is the real remote controlled monster truck from the advert, and the one on the right is the NXT version !

The only thing the NXT is doing in the truck is to provide power to the motors and act as a Bluetooth receiver for my my mobile phone I was using to control the robot!


To get the real feel of a Monster truck, I used 4 TECHNIC tractor wheels, and 4 PF-XL motors. You can use the adopters available from the LEGO Shop @ Home to connect the 4 PF motors to the 2 motor ports. The second picture shows how the two left hand motors are connected to the same port in the NXT.

With 4 direct drive wheels, the vehicle can handle any terrain. The giant tractor wheels are amazing - it is great to watch it climb over rocks, mud and ride through long grass - that normal NXT robots struggle with.

Check out the video ...


In the coming weeks, I will be extending this vehicle with more autonomy, more features .....

8 comments:

Pe-ads said...

"The Kiwi's back! The Kiwi's back! Wow, look kids, he built an RC monster truck!"
Ahem.
Sorry, I just couldn't resist it :D
It looks pretty good! I can't wait to see the improved one. Also, I never knew the XL motors were that good! I assume you use a second NXT for the remote? Also, you let your kids drive it in the water!? Brave!

Pe-ads

Anonymous said...

The NXT to PF motor converter cables. . . did you mean that you used this one;

http://shop.lego.com/ByCategory/Product.aspx?p=8528&cn=389&d=292

or a different one? If that is the one that you used, did you use NXT-G programing language to control it? If so, where did you get the program block?

Mutant_Pie

BlueToothKiwi said...

LOL Pe-ads. Point taken though!

The purpose of the post is to show that you don't have to always create really complex autonomous robots - you can have just as much fun sometimes with a RC. We are so much into robotics here that sometimes we forget the interactivity of the remote control.

And yeah - it is part of a long series and I will talk more about it in the coming weeks as the wheel base evolve.

Yeah - the XL motors are superb for this sort of things outdoors. It is more immune to water and mud damage compared to the NXT motor. Their Torque is excellent - especial when you got 4 motors powering the vehicle through the mud, sand, and rocks.

And please click on the links to the original advert that inspired it - and you will get the full picture.

Here it is again:

V advert

Tim

BlueToothKiwi said...

Mutant_Pie,

Check out the following post:

How to power PF motors from NXT

Anthony said...

I am trying to get started on Nxt stuff. I think it will work best to get my son interested by making a simple RC device like the one in this Monster Truck project.

Maybe this is a dumb question, but can you point me to info about what you used for the RC controller and receiver for this Monster Truck project?

megamindstorm101 said...

you sure do like to get your models dangerously close to water :) I would never do that. It is very cool model though how do you clean that kind of rubber tires? and didnt water splash on the bottom of the nxt?

BlueToothKiwi said...

Anthony:
Great idea. If you are looking for a RC solution, check out this perfect answer to the question from Philo on the
LEGO NXTPert page.

As for me, I used my bluetooth phone. My boys sometimes use a second NXT - you can make your own remote again you can see how to do that in the link above.

BlueToothKiwi said...

megamindstorm101:

Thanks for your question. The best way to clean wet sand off your LEGO parts is to Wait until it is half dry, then Use compressed air to blow the sand off. If you don't have a compressor, Just use a vacuum cleaner to suck all the sand off, then use a wet cloth to wipe all the salt away - so you dont get white deposits - especially on darker TECHNIC pieces.

If it is really caked-in mud, and you just want to remove the mud off the non electronics, stick the pieces in the washing machine on a 'delicate eco wash' cycle with about a teaspoon of laundry powder. Take it out and let it dry in air.

Tim

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