Lego Robotics: engineering and science made fun!!!

Lego Robotics and More

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Competition Day Approaching

With this Saturday's Region 4 Lego Robotics competition approaching we are frantically working on our robots. We have been attempting to make a robot that uses air power as an alternate power source. This is a difficult task but not an impossible one. It will be interesting to see if we can actually pull this off!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Walter Dean Myers Response to Literature

This is a response to literature I wrote in the beginning of this school year discussing a wisdom learned in Walter Dean Myer's texts and its purpose in the text.

If you think times are hard for you, think about what your ancestors had to go through to get you and your family to where it is today. It is apparent that this wisdom is incorporated into Walter Dean Myers’ texts. It enhances his works in various ways. This wisdom is located within the novel The Glory Field. Also, it is included in the folktale “The Story of the Three Kingdoms.”The biography Malcolm X by Any Means Necessary incorporates this wisdom too.

The Glory Field talks about the Lewis family and its many generations and the troubles it went through, starting with slavery. It begins with Muhammad coming to America on a slave ship and continues on with his descendants’ hardships. This text demonstrates the wisdom of times being less burdensome for you than your ancestors when it states on page one hundred thirty-four “It was Grandpa Moses who brought out the shackles. He brought them out and stood in front of Elijah. “The first black man that we remember in our family come here wearing these...” This quote demonstrates the wisdom because Grandpa Moses is reflecting about Muhammad and showing that Elijah should show respect for him. Moreover, this quote not only shows the wisdom but it also effectively shows the connection between the different generations of the Lewis family, which engages the reader.

In “The Story of the Three Kingdoms” there are three kingdoms of animals; the kingdom of the forest, the kingdom of the sea, and the kingdom of the sky that all think they are superior. Then humans appear and are taken advantage of by animals. Later they persevere over the animals. The wisdom of times being harder for your ancestors than you is present when Walter Dean Myers states “The People lived in the hills, not daring to go into the forest for fear the Elephant would crush them with his great strength” on page twelve. This shows that the People are going through troubles because they cannot venture anywhere. Certain people can connect to this writing piece because it applies to their ancestors.

Malcolm X by Any Means Necessary discusses Malcolm X’s life. It talks about what he went through as a child and what he did for the Civil Rights movement. He kept on fighting and fighting to get his opinions and thoughts across to all. On page twelve the text says that “life was tough for the Littles in Omaha. Blacks were the last ones hired for the few jobs available, and the first ones fired when work was slow.” This shows the troubles Malcolm X’s ancestors had to go through with jobs. Walter Dean Myers includes this wisdom to show what Malcolm X’s parents went through to try to give him a better life.

Thus, the wisdom of times being harder for your ancestors than you is incorporated in Walter Dean Myers’ texts. In The Glory Field the Lewis family remembers Muhammad and the troubles he went through in slavery. In “The Story of the Three Kingdoms” the wisdom is also applicable because the People went through many troubles to persevere over the three kingdoms and the People are the ancestors of certain individuals. Furthermore, Malcolm X by Any Means Necessary describes how Malcolm X’s ancestors had trouble finding jobs. Now, if you begin to find yourself in a melancholy mood because of your troubles think about your ancestors’ troubles.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Italian Dialogue: Giving and Obtaining Directions

For italian class we had to create dialogues in groups, creating a situation in which we give and obtain directions. This is my groups dialogue:

Gabby: Tassì! Tassì!
Robert stops the taxi.
Gabby: Ciao mi puoi portare alla scuola media I. S. 93?
Robert: Dov'è la scuola I. S. 93?... Io so dov'e la scuola I. S. 93.
Robert is driving the taxi.
Robert: Noi arriviamo alla scuola I. S. 93.
Gabby: Grazie! Quanto è?
Robert: Tu devi pagare trenta dollari.
Gabby gives Robert the money.
Robert: Grazie!
Robert drives away. Gabby looks around and notices that she is in the wrong place.
Gabby: Devo cercare la scuola. Scusi! Dov'è la scuola media I. S. 93?
Irini: Si, è circa cinque traverse da qui.
Valerie: No, è a sette traverse da qui.
Irini: Tu vedere quello fermata di autobus, la scuola e la terza traversa traversa giu.
Valerie: Si, è in via Madison. Continui sempre diritto su questa strada per tre traversi.
Gabby: Cosa hai fatto dopo?
Irini: Allora tu cammini quattro piu blocce.
Valerie: Perche non segui noi?
Irini: Questo è il tuo primo tempo in I. S. 93?
Gabby: Si, io è una sostituta per la professoressa Gonzalez.
Valerie: Buona fortuna con la sua classe.
All laugh.
Irini: Questa è la scuola.
Gabby: Dove è il ufficio del preside?
Valerie: È al secondo piano alla sua destra.
Gabby: Molto grazie!
Gabby sees the taxi driver who took her to the wrong place.
Gabby: Tu porti me in il sbagliato posto. (Yelling)
Robert: Come posso aiutare tu, signora?

Daniel G., Daniel K., and I have decided to work on the creative challenge for the Queens pentathalon. We wish to use Lego pneumatics to create propulsion.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

The New Challenges

The challenges for the Region 4 Spring Lego Robotics tournament have been revealed. They are: the Mountain Climber, the Slalom, the Ball Game, the Mystery challenge, and the creative challenge. In the mountain climber you have to climb up a six-foot high ramp on a curve which eventually is straight upward surface. There is a time limit of two minutes, so we cannot use our slow robots for this challenge, which have a lot of torque. In the Slalom there are cups set up two feet apart which the robot must go around the fastest one to complete this challenge is the winner. In the Ball Game, which is performed on a four foot by eight foot playing field, you must take blue balls which are found in the home base or red balls which are placed on top of cups to a scoring zone which has different point areas. The Mystery Challenge is announced on the competition date. However, we do know that in the challenge we will either have to move or manipulate objects with some type of claw. In the Creative Challenge, the possibilities are endless; you can make a robot that dances, draws a picture, resembles an animal in appearance and action, or anything else you can think of. You can view the challenges in full detail at the Region 4 Lego Robotics website.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Final Touches

Since we have completed our robot and we are satisfied with our gear ratio we must now make sure that it follows the rules. We found that our robot follows all of the rules except for having the drive wheel hideden from plain view. Therefore, we extended beams from in between the tank tread we have on the robot and made a structure off of that, extending to the right and covering the drive wheel from plain view. Now our robot follows all of the rules specified by Mr.Wirght and all that is left to do is compete and hopefully win.

This is our robot with the structure surrounding the drive wheel.

Friday, March 09, 2007

The Golden Ratio

We have finally finished our gear train and the robot which gives the gear train support and actually allows the gear train to perform the function of moving the robot. Also, since one of the rules is that all members of the group must know the gear ratio before competing in the "race" we have taken the time to claculate the gear ratio of our robot. We started by finding out the ratio for a worm gear box which is 1:24. Next, we used what I found about calculating complex gear ratios to find our gear ratio. i found that to find out a complex gear ratio you can multiply its parts. So for our gear ratio we have 3 worm gear boxes: 3 1:24 gear ratios and one 1:25 gear ratio which means we must multiply 24, 24, 24, and 25 which equals 345,600. Therefore, our gear ratio is 1:345,600 and our robot will take days to move the 0.5 meter "race" distance.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Re-Plan... Rebuild

We have decided to destroy our robot and rebuild it because it wasn't very robust and it would be difficult to attach the RCX brick and a drive wheel. We now have a gear train composed of 3 worm gears and a 1:25 spur geartrain. Also, we plan to attach gears on the last worm gear box and attatch them to the drive wheel. We have now attatched a tank tread on one side of the robot and a wheel on the other, which fullfills the requirement of having 3 or less tires on your robot.