Robot Remix #6 - STREET CLEAN3R


By Arvind and Sanjay Seshan

Are you ready to have Street Clean3r clean up your LEGO messes? 

Now you can have a table top LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 helper. Street Clean3r is a re-imagination of the LEGO Technic Forest Machine (42080) and LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 31313 set.

Design Concept and Evolution:

Original hand-drawn idea
The initial design was inspired by the green panels in the logger set. Combined with the yellow 2X2 circles with spikes and all the extra wheels, it had the potential of becoming a street cleaning truck. The goal was to incorporate some of the unique elements in the 42080 set, including the pneumatics and Power Functions elements.
Adding the Operator
Compact Street Cleaner

Once the sets were received, the creators realized that there were not so many green panels in the Technic set to cover up all the sides of a large truck. Therefore, a more compact design would be needed.

Their inspiration came from the Tennant Green Machine 525 Outdoor Sweeper (see image) which is a smaller compact street cleaner model with green, black, and white elements as well as two brushes in the front.

They decided that this was the form factor and look that they would aim for. The creators began by constructing the chassis and determining the location of the drive motors. They next added the EV3 brick to the back. They created the front sweeper brushes using rotating gears.

Image result for ride on street sweeper
Ride on Sweeper

As the original design idea included operating the machine using the Infrared beacon in the 31313 set, they added the Infrared sensor to the new compact model. When adding the sensor, it resembled a human’s eyes and gave them the idea to create a driver for his Street Clean3r. The Large Motor could be made to look like a control panel for the operator and the medium motor could be concealed as the body of the driver. With a few added elements of arms and legs, the Clean3r was converted into having a human rider operating the machine.

The next step was to add the mechanics for the pneumatics in the back. The LEGO Power Functions motor and battery were added in the back to enable the trunk to open and close. This would be hand-operated to give the impression of the driver activating the switch. This is paying homage to the original interactive features of the Technic set that allows the child to manually operate some of the levers in their LEGO set.

There were several Technic liftarms left over, so they decided that the Street Clean3r could be converted into a game: collect the trash on the street and deposit them into the dumpster. The end result is a fun one-player Street Clean3r game.


How it Works:

The Large Motor is used to drive the robot forward and backwards. The Medium Motor allows the robot to steer. The second Large Motor is used to operate the brushes of the sweeper in the front. When on, these brushes ingest the the trash and store them under the machine. When the player drives to the dumpster, he/she can reverse the motors and eject all the trash. Want to build one too. Check back for a link to the build instructions and code!


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