Yearly Archives: 2011

Li-Po Batteries & LEGO Mindstorm NXT

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Both the LEGO 7.4 Volt Rechargeable Batteries for Mindstorms NXT (Part #x1678 & #bb495), are of Lithium-ion Polymer construction. Lithium-ion polymer batteries, polymer lithium ion, or more commonly lithium polymer batteries (abbreviated Li-poly, Li-Pol, LiPo, LIP, PLI or LiP) are rechargeable batteries (secondary cell batteries). Normally batteries are composed of several identical secondary cells in parallel addition to increase the discharge current capability.

LEGO PF to NXT Adapter Cable

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I really despise the NXT Motor design. The shape of the motor was basically just designed to allow construction of the LEGO Mindstorms NXT Kit’s, AlphaOne‘ Robot easy. As a result, it makes it hard to use the NXT Motors in a lot of situations without extra bulk being added to your design. Often I just ditch the NXT Motor in preference for a LEGO Power Functions Motor. The downside to this approach is you have no feedback from the Power Functions Motors, unlike the NXT Motors with their Quadrature Rotary Encoders. You can use a LEGO Mindstorms RCX Rotation Sensor for a lot of applications.

ExoForce Wheeled Rover Prototype

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This is my ExoForce Rover Wheeled Prototype Chassis. Using the Exoforce Wheel Mounts discussed in my previous post, I now have the basic chassis set-up. The Chassis allows both the front and rear wheels to be driven. Also both front and rear axles steer in order to help to decrease the robots turning circle.

Mars Rotacaster Rover – ‘Mark II’

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Lookout NASA, you have Rover competition. And it uses the amazing Rotacasters for unsurpassed maneuverability in confined spaces. The Mars Rotacaster Rover is based on the current NASA Mars Rovers with their unique suspension set-up.

I’m the Winner of a Dexter dIMU Sensor

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The Guy NXT door, (Aswin Bouwmeester) had a competition where you could win a LEGO® Mindstorms NXT dIMU sensor from Dexter Industries. It is the same sensor sent to Aswin for evaluation purposes, from Dexter Industries. Aswin recieved it for free for testing, and is probably is the best tested sensor available.

Modifing ExoForce Wheels for Mindstorms

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Using LEGO® ExoForce Devastator Wheels (160mm D. x 28mm) to go Off-road with your LEGO® Mindstorms NXT Robots is a great idea, but as they are, they are pretty useless for a robot. This is due to the mount arrangement of the wheels hub mounting points. As mentioned in my previous post, ‘Using ExoForce Devastator Wheels’. I came up with a reliable method of connecting the wheels to your robot’s chassis. This in mind, I decided to go one step further….

Using ExoForce Devastator Wheels

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Using LEGO ExoForce Devastator Wheels (160mm D. x 28mm) to go Off-road with your LEGO NXT Robots is a great idea. But, the biggest problem is creating a solid attachment to you Robot. 

A Simple LEGO Mindstorms NXT Trike Base

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I needed a simple Trike type LEGO Mindstorms NXT Vehicle Base, that had to meet the following criteria:
  • Quick and Easy to build
  • Easy access to the Recharge socket on the NXT Li-Po Battery
  • Easy access to the NXT’s Sensor Ports and Motor Ports
  • Easy access to mount various type of sensors
  • Rotate as close as possible to the Robots own footprint

BrickLink Order #2470728

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Items in Order:

The Mars Rotacaster Rover – Part II

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Lookout NASA, you have Rover competition. And it uses the amazing Rotacaster Omni-wheels for unsurpassed manoeuvrability in confined spaces. The Mars Rotacaster Rover is based on the current NASA Mars Rovers with their unique suspension set-up.

The Mars Rotacaster Rover

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Part I

Lookout NASA, you have Rover competition. And it uses the amazing Rotacaster Omni-wheels for unsurpassed maneuverability in confined spaces. There is no need of a steering mechanism to turn the Rotacaster Rover thanks to the unique wheel design.

Ball Sorting Crane with Ultimate Grabber

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As mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been working on-and-off for a couple years now on a reliable LEGO Technics, Crane Claws which will pick up balls reliably. To show case my ‘Ultimate Crane Grab’, I’ve built a LEGO Mindstorms NXT Coloured Ball Sorting Crane, which runs along a geared tressel, which features my Ultimate Crane Grab mechanism! The Crane picks up coloured Ping-Pong Balls, and drops them into cells according to their colour.

The Ultimate LEGO Technics Crane Claw

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I’ve been working on-and-off for a couple years now on a reliable LEGO Technics, Crane Claws which will pick up balls reliably. Initially I started of with a two sided clamp type claw with a rounded cage to secure the ball, but this only worked reliably if the claw was directly over the ball. There had to be a better way!

Download LEGO Mindstorms NXT-G v2.0

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The LEGO® Company has made NXT-G v2.0 available for FREE Download. If you’ve lost your original CD of NXT-G v2.0 you received with your LEGO® Mindstorms NXT v2.0 set, or you want to upgrade from NXT-G v1.0. You can now download a ‘LEGAL’ copy of NXT-G 2.0 retail from the LEGO® website.

Build a Solid LEGO NXT Killough Platform

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Building a solid and reliable Killough Type Platform is not easy using the standard LEGO Technic Parts List. For the last 12 plus months, I have been refining my designs which use the standard NXT Motors. Due to the NXT Motors shape, keeping the Robot’s overall footprint as small as possible has been difficult.



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