Problems and inspiration.

Today I went to a FRC. It was fun, and I joined a team only 3 weeks earlier, and hopefully things will turn out good. So far they want me to be their lead programmer, and it sounds like fun. Today’s match was a ton of fun and it is a great place to meet people that love robotics. I think these robots are more fun than your typical robotics, and it beats the FLL by 100 times better. These robots make your Lego NXT sets look like toys [well, lego’s are toys aren’t they?]

They seem to have a lot of fun and it included having the best food I’ve had at a robotics event – a group was fundraising for their robotics team and was selling these great burgers that were amazing [partially because they were cooked on a propane stove] and it was just a fun experience.


On the bad side, I found out that port A on my newer NXT no longer works – the motor output is fried. The rotation sensor seems to work OK though… Probaly something I should report to Lego.

I could probably take it apart and find the problem, but there’s no point. I’m probably better off making it into a full rotation port and build a rotation sensor so that I can do it without a huge motor. I looked up the specs, and it’s a simple trigger system

1 degree equals this en-emulated into the two signal wires:

0 0

0 1

1 1

1 0

And opposite order for the other direction.

I tried making one with light resistors, but I can’t get it to work. Probably better off using them as light sensors. I feel that light sensors reflecting off an object is more accurate at telling distance than the Ultrasonic, which works best in port 4 than any other [partially by the raised transfer speed/communication]

I’m thinking I’ll work some more on the printer.. make a skid steer out of the other robot for now, at least it only takes 2 motors, and I could use the prototype board to make a third motor port…


There were a lot of cool ideas at the FRC and am considering what to build out of the ideas I saw there,n I could really improve my robot with their ideas.

I cannot seem to find my camera, but i have built a walking robot [well, it has front  legs and back wheels, but the legs are what make it go forward, or backwards. It works OK, but i’m sure with a better leg design it would walk more efficiently.

This robot is kinda inefficient, as it takes 2 steps forward and one step back. But it still travels, works better on solid smooth surfaces than, say a rug. It works really well on my mouse pad, which is soft foam with a layer of cloth on top, all a solid piece.  The robot is actually very simple and most of it can be made just by looking at a side view since all the mechanics are on the outside for looks.

It does walk very slowly though, maybe an inch every 3-5 seconds, depending upon the surface.

Pictures to follow if I can find my camera. I took apart the solar panel idea. It worked, but I found that the solar panel charged the battery the first day, and it didn’t really need charging for the next week with the LED output of only 4 led’s…

Program for the solar panel hookup to the NXT and a full schematic will be around soon…