Thursday, 27 March 2008

National Robotics Competition 2008 (NRC)

It is the time of the year again, the National Robotics Competition 2008 have just been announced. The question this year is not as simple as it used to be. It would be challenging for all.

You can view more details of the competition from the Sasbadi's website.

The three categories/theme are as follows:-
  • Robot Recycling - Primary School Category. Full details here.
  • Robot Energizing - Lower Secondary Category. Full details here.
  • Robot Planting - Upper Secondary Category. Full details here.
Sample robots and sample NXT-G programming have been provided by Sasbadi. I guess that will be the lower bar that we all have to at least meet :0

I have 2 sets of students who would be competiting in the competition. One for the Lower and the Upper Secondary category.

It won't be an easy task! Anyone can build a robot, but can you build an effecient, fast and effective robot?

Can you build the Winning Robot?

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Lego Digital Design (LDD)

You must have seen some of the 3D Lego rendering in my previous post. It is not too difficult to get it done, compared to the the previous version of LDD Lego had done. The current version is really easy to use. It is not too complicated and will be perfect for most of us. It may not have as many parts as LDraw, but it should be sufficient.

You can download LDD from Lego directly. Click here to download.

LDD has all the Mindstorms NXT retail kit parts with the quantities stated. You'll be able to design your creation, and know whether will you be able to build it with a standard retail kit, or require extra parts.

Overall it is perfect. You may not be able to build a super complicated design, but it'll be enough for the most of us. What are you waiting for, go and download one today!

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Bluetooth Remote Controller for Cars

I have just completed a Bluetooth Remote Controller to control a BT based Car. It is actually the controller for the Car built by one my students. You can see his creation here. As you can see, the BT Remote Controller has an accelerator and a steering built in.

You can build you own Remote Controller based on the LDD file I have provided. It is available from here. A sample NXT-G programming have also been provided for both the BT Remote Controller as well as the BT Car. BT Remote Controller RBT file here. BT Car RBT file here.

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Special Lego Robotics Classes

Today I had a another special 1 on 1 class for one of the students. When it comes to Lego Robotics, he is one of the more talented kids out there. From the previous class, I had instructed him to build a car and we would together create and program another NXT Brick as the BT Remote Controller.

As you can see from the following photos, he managed to create a car, using a turntable as a rear wheel differiantial. I know it sounds a little technical but if a 12 year old knows about it, shame on you!! :D

He had built a very simple steering on the front wheels. Not too sure of the name for these sort of steering mechanism, but a more popular styled steering is called the "Rack and Pinion Steering".

He also loves to build Bipeds or Walkers. In the month of March, NXTLog will be having a Biped challenge. I have instructed him to build a Biped and submit it. A little fun and challenge won't hurt anyone. You can read more about the Biped challenge at this link.

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Lego NXT Advance Workshop

Today I had 2 students attend the NXTadvance Workshop. Since they were students of the previous tutor, Mr Andrew Lee, I had no idea of their levels whether in Building or Programming the NXT. The students in today's class were age 9 and 11.

Kids being kids, afraid of the media!

The day started out well. Kids being kids at their age had short attention span, not to mentioned that it was their school holidays. We started out by building the BBot.

The purpose was to teach them by examples more advance programming blocks. They needed to understand them before they could program more complicated and advance programs.

"Anybody can follow instructions and build a robot, but not everyone can program it"

Students in disccusions

The kids were very comfortable with building the BBot with the instructions given. After they had completed the BBot, I gave them a list of task to program. With the appropriate guidance, the kids had no issues completing the task on hand.

We proceeded to build more advance robot by the afternoon. Each of them, wanted to build something different. Allowing them to choose what they wanted to build, would encourage them to program it.

They day ended great, with me trying to manage the kids. They were more excited about their new creation, rather than how to write a good program to compliment their great invention. I can't blame them, kids at their age likes to have fun and games!

Eric pictured here with his Lego Tshirt!

A Simpler Grappler

This is my first post on my blog. The purpose of this project is to build a very simple Grappler (Robotic Arm). Because, I wanted to program using a Rotational Sensor block. I could only build a 1-axis robotic arm due to the 3 Tacho Motor and 3 Motor Ports limitation.

As you can, I have also used a very simple programming method. I wanted to test out, and to show how to use very simple Data Wires link between the Rotational Sensor block and the Techo block.