Yearly Archives: 2010

Line Following Killough Platform

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This Rotacaster equipped Killough Platform Line Following Robot uses a set of 3x Rotacasters with the new Black Hub-centres and S45A Hardness type rollers. The S45A’s roller colour is a perfect match for Lego’s “Dark Bluish Gray” colour scheme. I’m excited about testing the new wheels using softer durometer materials on the rollers. The S45A provides better traction, which is especially good for lighter robots.

Rotacaster Omni-wheel Grip Tests

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I received a parcel from Rotacaster Pty. Ltd. a fortnight ago which contained a new set of4x Rotacasters with the new Black Hub-centres and S55A Hardness type Orange Rollers and a set of 3x Rotacasters with the new Black Hub-centres and S45A Hardness type rollers. The S45A’s roller colour is a perfect match for Lego’s “Dark Bluish Gray” colour scheme.
I was excited about testing the new wheels using softer durometer materials on the rollers. The S45A do provide better traction, which should be especially good for lighter robots. The S45A compound is very similar to the white oblong type pencil rubbers.

Should I stay (safe) or should I go?

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Instinctively knowing how to avert danger and stay safe—or not—may depend on a brain area known as the Amygdala in both humans and animals.

FlexiPicker: Advancing to a New Level

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Delta kinematics Robot:

by M. Zavatsky

When one talks about industrial robots, most of people imagine robotic arms, or articulated robots, which are doing painting, welding, moving something, etc. But there is another type of robots: so-called parallel delta robot, which was invented in the early 80’s in Switzerland by professor Reymond Clavel. Below the original technical drawing from U.S. Patent 4,976,582 is shown, and two real industrial delta robots, one from ABB, and one from Fanuc.

Christmas really has arrived early this year. …

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Christmas really has arrived early this year. Today I had a visit from the Postman with a parcel from Rotacaster Pty. Ltd in hand. Inside the parcel was a new set of 4x Rotacasters with the new Black Hub-centres and S55A Hardness type Orange Rollers and a set of 3x Rotacasters with the new Black Hub-centres and S45A Hardness type rollers. The S45A‘s roller colour is a perfect match for Lego’s “Dark Bluish Gray” colour scheme. I’m excited about testing the new wheels using softer durometer materials on the rollers. TheS45A should provide better traction, which should be especially good for lighter robots.

Close-up of FlexiPicker Sorting

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A close-up of my Lego Mindstorms NXT FlexiPicker sorting coloured balls. The is based on the ABB IRB 360 FlexPicker. The IRB 360 FlexPicker™, is the SECOND GENERATION delta robot for precision pick and place applications. The robot has outstanding motion performance with shortest cycle times at high accuracy, and with up to a 3Kg payload. The IRB 360 is designed to work in in Food Industry applications.

Technics Mount for RC type Servo Motors

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I have tried a number of methods of mounting Radio Control type Servo Motors to Lego Technics models over the years. Non were overly successful, mostly due to alignment issues. Then in the wee hours this morning, whilst trying to sleep, the answer hits me. Out of bed I jumped (tip-toed), because finally there was a solution, thanks to Lego’s new new Part #64179: Gray Technic, Lift-arm with 5 x 7 Open Centre. 55gram RC Servo Motors fit tightly inside these new frames, accepting the Servo output shaft doesn’t align with the mounting holes in the 5 x 7Liftarm Frame. But this is a relatively easy fix that takes about 10 minutes, plus a day for the glue to reach full strength.

NXT FlexiPicker Sorting Coloured Balls

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This Lego Mindstorms NXT FlexiPicker is based on the ABB IRB 360 FlexPicker. The IRB 360 FlexPicker™, is the SECOND GENERATION delta robot for precision pick and place applications. The RB 360 FlexPicker™ has outstanding motion performance with shortest cycle times at high accuracy, and with upto a 3Kg payload. The IRB 360 is designed to work in food industry applications.

Mindstorms Modular Plug Compatible Crimp Tool

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I tracked down a compatible RG11/ RG12/RG45 Modular Crimp Crimping Tool on eBay for only US$8.58 or Approximately AU$9.00. It is very well made and works extremely well, despite the price. It is also extremely easy to modify to make it compatible with the Lego Mindstorms NXT Cable Modular Plugs. It took me under 5 minutes to complete the modification with a Philips-Head Srewdriver and a Sharp Modelling knife.
NXT Modular Plug Crimp Crimping Tool Modifications

Mindstorms NXT FlexiPicker – Test #2

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This Lego Mindstorms NXT FlexiPicker is based on the ABB IRB 360 FlexPicker. The IRB 360 FlexPicker™, is the SECOND GENERATION delta robot for precision pick and place applications. The robot has outstanding motion performance with shortest cycle times at high accuracy, and with upto a 3Kg payload. The IRB 360 is designed to work in many applications within the Food Industry.

My Lego Mindstorms NXT FlexiPicker.

Building Curiosity’s Rover Rocker-Bogie

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Guide to building a Lego Mindstorms version of the NASA Mars Rover Curiosity and a close-up of it’s Rocker-Bogie assembly.

Use a Wii-Nunchuk as an NXT Sensor!

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The Wii Nunchuk is designed to work together with the Wii Remote on the Wii console. Contoured to fit perfectly in your hand, the Nunchuk adds extra buttons, an analogue joystick, and additional motion-sensing control to expand the game play possibilities. It is also an I2C type device which makes interfacing to the Lego Mindstorms NXT easy. You can pick-up a Wii Nunchuk from eBay for under $10, and a pack of 5x NXT Compatible Male Plug from Mindsensors for $5.95. In essence a new NXT Sensor/Controller for under $20.00.

Mindstorms NXT FlexiBot – Test #1

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This Lego Mindstorms NXT FlexiPicker is based on the ABB IRB 360 FlexPicker. The IRB 360 FlexPicker™, is the SECOND GENERATION delta robot  for precision pick and place applications. The robot has outstanding motion performance with shortest cycle times at high accuracy, and with upto a 3Kg payload. The IRB 360 is designed to work in meat and dairy applications. A stainless option with all metal parts in stainless is IP69K validated so that it can be washed down with industrial detergents and high pressure hot water. The robot is designed with smooth and rinse-off surfaces and lubricant free joints.

NXT Particle Filter Demonstration

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This is a Monte Carlo Localization demonstration using a LEGO Mindstorms NXT Robot. It uses an IR remote control to control the odometry and the sensors used are an ultrasonic and a compass sensor from HiTechnic.

Dexter Industries NXT dGPS Sensor

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Dexter Industries have released the dGPS Sensor, which is a GPS Sensor for Lego Mindstorms NXT Robotics. The Dexter Industries dGPS Sensor provides GPS coordinate information to your robot and preforms calculations on the navigation information received that can be used to navigate to your target coordinates. The sensor provides  real-time latitude, longitude, time, speed and heading information to your robot.  It also has powerful navigational calculators that can be used to navigate to target coordinates.



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