Lego Robotics: engineering and science made fun!!!

Lego Robotics and More

Friday, September 29, 2006

Recent Work

Three weeks ago in Lego Robotics class we began setting up the missions and the game board. My teammates; Sean, Shayna, and Eric and I have set up the mission "Smart Medicine." During the process we found a solution to it. Our idea is to have a "cup" in the front of a worm-gear box that we will put the Buckyball in since we can touch it because it is in the homebase.
The robot will ride towards the "bone" andturn the "cup" until the Buckyball falls out, hopefully into the "bone." Also, during the process of building the mission we learned that assembling the mission ourseles and following the directions can help with learning the rules for the mission, finding a possible solution to it, and when you follow the directions you can see the thought behind the idea to the mission and its design. This year you can definetely see that the missions are being enhanced because they are no longer knocking a fish down they are more complicated. We decided to use a wedge for the mission "Atomic Force Microscopy" since an object has to give way when a wedge is used. Also, for "Smell" we will put something on the robot so that it can simply move the pizza molecules to the person's nose. This year First Lego League (FLL) is allowing the use of both RCX and NXT kits and since the NXT is more advanced than RCX FLL has made allowances for RCX users. Instead of being allowed to have one touch sensor, one light sensor, and one rotation sensor for RCX you can now use three rotation sensors, two touch sensors, two light sensors, and either a third touch sensor or a third light sensor.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Final Challenges

These are the last two challenges:

Molecular Motor
Mission: Deliver an adenosine triphosphate (ATP) molecule to power a molecular motor, causing it to spin and release energy. The robot must deliver 1 of the 2 ATP molecules through the molecular motor’s black frame for 40 points (even if nothing else happens). The second ATP molecule represents a second chance to complete this mission, but points are only given for 1 delivered molecule.

Space Elevator
Mission: Operate the space elevator. At least one robot must cause the car with the yellow cargo to come down. If this mission is completed, no matter which robot or robots worked on it, both teams get 40 points.

In addition to the points from doing seperate missions a team will get 20 points for completing 3 missions if they are using the RCX system or 6 missions if they are using NXT system.

This is what the complete board looks like:

Overall I think this year's challenge will be harder than last year's challenge and require much more thinking outside of the box. However if we all put our minds together we can acomplish many things and have a succesful year in Lego Robotics Talent class.

More Challenges
Here are some more of this year's Nano Quest challenge:

Atomic Force Microscopy
Mission: Free the probe’s nanotip. The robot must separate the nanotip from the material surface. The nanotip separated from the surface is worth 40 points.

Mission: Start the self-alignment of atoms. The robot must cause the angled blue nanotube segments to align horizontally end to end. This alignment is worth 30 points.
Smart Medicine
Mission: Target medicine to reach only a specific problem spot. The robot must release the Buckyball containing medicine into the person’s arm. The Buckyball is placed anywhere in the red/yellow channel of the arm bone is worth 50 points (even if it hasn’t reached the problem spot).

My Comments: Though this mission may give 50 points it isn't that easy. In order to this mission you have to pick up the "Buckyball" which if you think about it will roll away if your robot hits it. Also, if you even pick up the "Buckyball" it is very difficult to out it into the"bone" accurately.

Nanotube Strength
Mission: Lift the truck by a thin cable of carbon nanotubes. The robot must move the truck onto the lift frame and activate the lift. The truck completely on the frame is worth 20 points. The truck and frame supported completely and only by the cable is worth an additional 20 points.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Back to Work: Nano Quest 2006

First Lego League (FLL) has released the information about this year's challenge and it time to get back to work! This year's challenge is called Nano Quest and it is all about exploring the world of nanotechnology. Here are some of the missions:

Individual Atom Manipulation

Mission: Move individual atoms accurately. The robot must remove at least 1 white atom from the blue surface without removing any red atoms. Counting atoms left on the surface, a count of fewer than 8 red atoms is worth no points. A count of 8 red atoms and 7 or 6 white atoms is worth 30 points. A count of 8 red atoms and 5 or fewer white atoms is worth 40 points.
My Comments: This seems do-able and not as hard as some of the other challenges as long as we think outside of the box. This is because if we find some easy way to do this that no one else does we can get quick and easy points.

Mission: Transfer molecules from the pizza toward the nose. The robot must get pizza molecules completely off the paper plate for 5 points each, and transferred to the yellow or black areas of the person’s head or neck for an additional 10 points each.

My Comments: I believe that this is one of the easier missions since you only have to move the molecules out of the pizza plate or to the person on the challenge mat.

Stain-Resistant Fabric

Mission: Test some stain-resistant fabric. The robot must deliver the dirt trap to its location mark and completely dump out the tester’s dirt dumper. The dirt trap at its mark is worth 15 points, and the dirt dumper when empty is worth 15 points. The dirt pieces are Bonus Objects, worth 5 points each in the dirt trap, and 3 points each everywhere else on the table. When removing dirt for a Bonus Loss, the referee takes stray pieces first, then pieces from the dumper, and pieces from the trap last.
My comments: I don't think this is something we should go about doing first since points will be taken away from what we did in this challenge if we touch our robot.
The above information was taken from the official First Lego League website(