Friday, 15 August 2014

Controlling junk with LEGO

In a recent post (http://computingnorthampton.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/physical-computing-junkbots-with-brain.html)  adding Mindstorm NXT brick and motors to a drinks can to produce a junkbot was consider as an idea. As a new stage for the Junkbots project (http://junkbots.blogspot.co.uk/ ) some preliminary work has been done into this.

Up to this point the junk bot building has largely being about building a moving (or drawing) 'bot' moved by vibration - limited control, but fun. A Nuffield funded bursary student, Hayden Tetley,  has being working within staff from the University of Northampton on whether LEGO NXT or Raspberry Pi based solutions can be incorporated with the bot to add some control of the movement (still by vibration).


Idea One 

Is to add a LEGO NXT brick, to move a junkbot similar.The motor and broken propeller combination in the earlier junkbots is replaced with the NXT brick and LEGO motor. A good potential feature is it a self-contained unit with power and control together, as well as being potentially fairly simple to set-up. This is the focus of this post. 

Here are some videos showing idea one in action using LEGO motors, brick and the software that comes with the LEGO Mindstorms NXT (LEGO):





For more information on how this was done go to: http://legojunkbots.weebly.com/uploads/3/7/2/2/37227791/nuffield_nxt_mindstorms.docx or http://legojunkbots.weebly.com/

Idea Two

Is to do a similar approach as idea one but keep the motor and broken propeller combination but control the motors via a Raspberry Pi. This will be discussed in another post.

Details of the work will be published on the Junkbots Blog (htttp://junkbots.blogspot.co.uk/ ) as the project progresses.