Sunday, July 26, 2009

Technic Lego Programmable Vehicle Prototype Stage #2 (WITHOUT Mindstorms)

"Mindstorms" lego contains electronics and computer chips to control functions.

But you can program a lego vehicle without any electronics except for a basic motor.

Here is Stage #2 of the prototype I'm working on - I say prototype because I think even when I've finished it I'll rebuild a better version.

My vehicle can be programmed (using a mechanical card that you feed into it) to steer left and right and move forward and backward. Stage #3 will have other functions too.

I have to laugh at how loud it sounds - I heard that noise is a sign of poor engineering! But I'm a French teacher, not an engineer! I have an ARTS degree!

In the video you'll see the vehicle in action for a minute and then an explanation and some close ups of the mechanisms.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Technic Lego Programmable Vehicle Prototype #1

Proof of concept prototype for a programmable vehicle, controlled via a card which you'll be able to change/customize to change the timing of the vehicle functions.

For this prototype I just wanted to make sure I could get the card going backwards and forwards indefinitely in a loop, and still remove/place the card easily. The card hits the motor switch which puts the motor into reverse.

The two switches are connected so hitting the one resets the other. One of the switches is under tension with a hair elastic, so the motor just has to push it past its tipping point (this is a real issue because to reverse the switch you have to go via the 'off' position - my fear was the card would nudge the switch to the 'off' position and no further, thus stalling it. The hair elastic pushes the switch further, meaning there is no off position possible.

Next phase is to make it look nicer (not my strong point) add steering, forward/backwards movement, and some kind of crane device on the top. These will all be driven via the card, by other ratchet thingies (as you can see in this video along one edge of the card. The hope is I'll be able to change the movement sequences really easy by taking out the card and rearranging the ratchet thingies.

Stay tuned if this is your kind of thing! Subscribe to my youtube channel! (I also post education videos to this channel, BTW). Also come say hello to me on Twitter - @steve_collis -

Monday, July 13, 2009

A cat, a rat, and a technic lego buggy.

Self-explanatory. For your viewing pleasure below: