Tuesday, October 19, 2010

NXT Scope and Soccer Dribbler

NXT Scope (ME-84: Assignment 4)
The task for the fourth challenge in ME-84 was to use a pre-release version of HiTechnic's new prototyping board to create an NXT based Scope. The Scope was to include a signal generator, an oscilloscope, and a multimeter. I spent a lot of time trying to come up with a nice, reusable menu system and even more time working out how to generate signals. In the end, I was able to display either a sine wave or a square wav (both with adjustable frequency and amplitude), and I also had a functioning volt meter. *Then* I realised that there was a programming block that we had ben meant to use to take care of the signal generation for us!!! It would've save me a lot of time, but I'm sure I learnt more doing it the hard way. Unfortunately, I ran out of time to complete the oscilloscope. I was hoping to get back to it afterwards, but other projects have taken over since then. I guess that will be another project to come back to when I can.

Soccer Dribbler (EN-10: Assignment 4)
In En-10, we were given a challenge to create a line-following robot that could dribble one of the LEGO balls included in the Education kit to 3' from a goal, and then shoot a goal! I thought this would be a good opportunity to build a soccer "dribbler". A dribbler is a mechanism for applying reverse spin to a ball so that the ball tends to "stick" to the robot. I've had some experience with these in the context of RoboCup Junior Australia (RCJA) where this is a very common technique. I was, however, unsure whether it was possible to dribble the LEGO ball, given that it is significantly lighter than the RCJ soccer ball. Here's what I made...



  1. It's sort of all Greek (or geek) to me, but it does sound exciting, fun, and educational.