Nov 30, 2012

The Penguin Men at MoonBots

The Penguin Men, a team of two 9-year-aged boys (plus coach) who made it to the finals of this year's MoonBots competition, hinted me to a link on a nice video they made about their lunar robot "Inspiration"; it is capable of mastering sand as well as rocks:

Impressive and very well done!
Don't forget to check out their blog also.

Nov 29, 2012

Customizable Line Following Tracks you can print yourself

Good news for fans of line following robots: You can now easily print custom line tracks for your robots.

You build the track from as many 20x20cm tiles as you like. You can choose from standard black line patterns such as straight paths, corners or crossings, but you can also select several colorful tiles if you have a color sensor. Find the full set of tiles here.

Some of the tiles may provide some real challenges, such as Tile 19 and 20. I haven't tested these myself yet, but I'm sure someone will come up with a solution. Feel free to use these tiles in competitions as well. Just let us know which cool tracks you come up with!

Nov 28, 2012

NASA and ESA controlling a LEGO® robot from space

On, there's a nice article on an Disruption-tolerant networking protocol developed by NASA and the ESA for interplanetary communication.
The interesting thing for LEGO® robot maniacs is that the two space agencies tested it by controlling a LEGO® robot  in Germany by an astronaut in the International Space Station ISS!

Read the article here.

(Thanks to Will Gorman, the builder of the LEGO®Curiosity Rover, for hinting us to it)

Nov 26, 2012

LEGO® Gramophone

Anika Vuurzoon has published a new great NXT-powered LEGO® model of her's: the LEGO® Gramophone. By sampling the colors painted on the back of a real LP, the NXT is able to play the song encoded:

Fantastic stuff!

(I am proud to say that I've also contributed some small part to the project: I've built the software that creates the color circles from any arbitrary song that is available in MusicXML standard format)

Nov 11, 2012

WRO (World Robotics Olympiad) 2012

These days the world finals of the WRO, a slightly different robot challenge then FLL are held in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia).
Have a look at the current (2012) rules and fields. Also this year a group of Robotics Experts is present to show some really awesome robots and they can help with all your questions.
I wish all the competitors a good event. And for those who want to try and build a competitive robot themselves here is a link of a complete robot with program and Building instructions. martyn

Nov 3, 2012

Sturdy home-made differential

Sometimes, an ordinary differential just isn't as tough as you need it to be. There are several large, heavy duty differentials on the internet, like this one at Technicbricks

Unfortunatly it uses some uncommon parts.

Thats why I designed a heavy duty differential with more common parts .
You can download the LDD here:
Note: the green parts in LDD are optional, they make the diff a bit more sturdy, but less compact. Use them only if you got room to spare. Also, don't forget to remove the other half of your turntable, I couldn't do this in LDD.

Nov 1, 2012

RobotC Driver Suite V3.0 Final

Xander has released another version of his popular Driver Suite.  This enables people using RobotC to interface to some of the more 'unusual' sensors out there for NXT market.

Updates include:
  • Changed my email address in all the files to a one
  • Added a driver for the HiTechnic Force Sensor + example programs
  • Added a driver for the Mindsensors LigthSensorArray + example programs (one f which is a calibration program)
  • Modified Mindsensors IMU driver. You can now only retrieve all 3 axes at once, this is a limitation of the sensor. The ability to retrieve the magnetic fields is now also possible.
  • Fixed a bug in the HiTechnic SuperPro Experiment 2 program where not all digital IOs were set to output.
  • Implemented a new function in the Firgelli Linear Actuator driver, you can now issue a STOP, added 3rd test program to demonstrate how to use it. I have no idea why I never did that before.
He's always looking for feedback, so give it a go and let him know it goes.
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