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Lego Robotics

Updated on November 9, 2013

Lego Robotic Resources

Robots are everywhere, yeah! Many companies see the value in building robots for the home. iRobot is building hobby robots, vacuum robots, gutter cleaning robots and military robots.  My favorite robot is the Lego Mindstorms NXT robot and it is winning a lot of awards.

There is a nice collection of visual presentations available at ortop.org on the NXT robot and programming environment. Be sure to stop by the NXT STEP blog and the NXTasy web site for the latest information on the NXT robot. These are two great sites that can be used to keep up with NXT news and information. Of course I need to keep my normal Lego building skills up to date. Check out my latest creations over at mocpages.com.

FLL teams check out TechBrick for 2011 competition resources.

Lego Mindstorms NXT Class Lessons/Projects/Challenges

Ideas on NXT curriculum.

People are starting to publish free information for educators to help provide instructions on the NXT platform.

My Lego Dragster Challenge Idea:

A touch sensor must be used to initiate the burn out sequence. The dragster must re-stage itself behind the black line with out any help. Failure to stage is a disqualification. The dragsters will respond to a voice command to start the race. First to the finish line, with out loosing parts is the winner. A black line can mark the finish line and sensors must detect it to stop the robot. Students can use up to 3 motors. Students choose their gear ratios and wheels. Only Lego parts allowed.

Robot Competitions - Test your skills!

I will be starting to teach elementary school students in February how to build and program Lego robots so they can practice for FLL in the Fall.

Lego Mindstorms NXT

The NXT robot is a nice upgrade to the previous Mindstorms RCX product. The kit contains new sensors that were not previously available, for example an ultra-sonic sensor, a sound sensor and a light sensor that can detect color. The New motors also integrate rotational information within the motor where before a separate rotation sensor was required.

The programming interface is nice to work with and I like the added capabilities. I just started training some Elementary schools students on this platform and it will be interesting to see how quickly they learn to build and program this robot.

Lego Mindstorms Sensors, Parts and Pieces

Find the extra parts and sensors you need by using the resources below. I have used the Lego Educational store many times to buy extra gears and special pieces. I have also started beta testing sensors for Mindsensors.com.

Mindstorms NXT Books

WARNING! Some books have building instructions which require parts that are not part of the standard NXT kit. Others have parts packs which can be picked up from the Lego store.

Can Legos be Organized?

It can be done.

Stanley makes some great products which help to keep my Legos organized. The organizers have removable bins that simplifying the building process. The thin unit has 25 shallow bins and the large unit has 10 deep bins. I currently use 2of the 25 compartment and 5 of the 10 compartment units to organize my NXT and RCX MindStorms parts.

Amazon Carries these Organizers

Stanley 014725 25-Removable Compartment Professional Organizer
Stanley 014725 25-Removable Compartment Professional Organizer

I use this one for the small connector pieces.

 

Batteries and chargers from Amazon

I use nickel metal hydride batteries in my robots but research the best brands of batteries and chargers. Charging the batteries to fast will shorten their life. Jeff Atwood has a nice write up about batteries.

La Crosse Technology BC-700 Alpha Power Battery Charger
La Crosse Technology BC-700 Alpha Power Battery Charger

This is the new one and has the capability to charge, discharge then charge, refresh old rechargeable batteries as well as test them. This is a cool product that helps us know the state of our most important robot asset, power.

 

Applied Robotics - Robotic solutions

The hope has always been that robots will take over or simplify the work that we have to do. Below are a few examples.

Be Prepared in Case We Get Good at Building Artificial Intelligent Robots - Remember Terminator 2?

Vex Lego Hybrid

Combine the best of both robots.

The metal pieces that come with the Vex kit are a bit limited, and since I started with Lego, I prefer the solutions I have used in the past. The teeth of the Vex gears match Lego gears. For the picture next to the text, I took a flat lego piece, lined up the Vex and Lego turntable gears then I drilled holes in the lego flat piece to match up with the Vex metal pieces. I then completed the front steering by adding additional Lego pieces to add support for the front axel. In addition to the turntable gear, Lego even has slip differential gear kits, gears which allow for better robot drive behavior.

Conclusion

Please let me know if you would like additional resources placed on this lens which would make it more valuable. If you have time, build your own Robotics lens and share your knowledge.

Visit my Lensography for a look at other lenses I have contributed to the Squidoo community.

Thanks for your time,

--Todd

Reader Feedback - Please let me know what you think of this lens.

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    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      great lens about lego - like to see dc motors and the use of robotics in toys as it encourages learning about electrical engineering.

    • plcmentor profile image

      plcmentor 5 years ago

      I never could get past the block programming. I do like the dragster vid tho. We recently got the Arduino for my son. It uses a more C like programming language.

      https://hubpages.com/business/PLCTrainingOnline-2

    • profile image

      ru55l33 5 years ago

      amazing...very creative....

    • profile image

      shopperonna 5 years ago

      pretty mind blowing. i used dream about owning a house built from entirely lego- it still can be done, i guess!

    • profile image

      phakorn55 6 years ago

      lego is funny toys

    • BlenderHead LM profile image

      BlenderHead LM 6 years ago

      Had to do Mindstorms at school one year lol

    • nandun profile image

      nandun 6 years ago

      I like this page, thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Great resource. LEGO and the Mindstorms series make robotics accessible to a high number of people that might not otherwise become interested.

    • profile image

      tempebosok 6 years ago

      digital electronic projects

    • JenniferAkers LM profile image

      JenniferAkers LM 7 years ago

      Great resource on LEGO Robotics! I'm lensrolling it to mine on Lego Mindstorms NXT 2.0.

    • profile image

      jemisec1 8 years ago

      This is great. It won't be long soon robots won't be here for entertainment only. Who knows, maybe those sci-fi stories featuring robots in the military would come true. Do check out a hobby of mine as well, I'm into photography and other geeky stuff: http://www.squidoo.com/Best-Digital-SLR-Camera-Rev...

    • stephen001 lm profile image

      stephen001 lm 8 years ago

      Great lens. 5* for great content and favorited for amazing creativity. I have recently made a lens on latest inventions . May I request you to plz check it out and review it.

    • stephen001 lm profile image

      stephen001 lm 8 years ago

      Great lens. 5* for great content and favorited for amazing creativity. I have recently made a lens on latest inventions . May I request you to plz check it out and review it.

    • stephen001 lm profile image

      stephen001 lm 8 years ago

      Great lens. 5* for great content and favorited for amazing creativity. I have recently made a lens on latest inventions . May I request you to plz check it out and review it.

    • profile image

      moneygames 9 years ago

      A lot of useful info! Nice lens

      May you visit my lens, it is other hobby kind.

      http://www.squidoo.com/lensmaster/workshop/wow-gui...

      From me *****

    • profile image

      MyKidsInheritance 9 years ago

      My grandson and my daughter are really into these -- thanks for the great lens! 5 stars --

      Melissa

    • profile image

      anonymous 10 years ago

      Cool lens. Isn't lego just the greatest! Will the world be ruled by Lego robots one day?

    • profile image

      Nicegoogoo 10 years ago

      thanks for your attractive creation, Rated 5 * for you nice lens.

      My kind request visit here to see my lens about quit smoking

    • profile image

      SARASOTASWEETIE 10 years ago

      Great lens! 5 stars!

    • fotos4web lm profile image

      fotos4web lm 10 years ago

      Nice Lens - full of good stuff..

      If you have a moment would you look at my robot lens please ?

      https://hubpages.com/technology/Robotbuilding

      Keith

    • fotos4web lm profile image

      fotos4web lm 10 years ago

      Nice Lens - full of good stuff..

      If you have a moment would you look at my robot lens please ?

      https://hubpages.com/technology/Robotbuilding

      Keith

    • profile image

      brookehudson 10 years ago

      Interesting topic. We had created a light seeking robot for our college thesis. Great resources you have here. 5 stars.

    • profile image

      IPDUDE 10 years ago

      Also you need a link to www.scribblerrobot.com

    • profile image

      IPDUDE 10 years ago

      Check out www.pololu.com

    • Barkely profile image

      Barkely 10 years ago

      My son says to tell you that your lens rocks! He wants one of everything on the page. He is fascinated by robotics, and loves lego robots. He's giving you five stars.

    • profile image

      anonymous 10 years ago

      Another awesome topic and lens. Thank you.