I have a cute, but not so little, Beagle-Dachshund dog that
happens to suffer from a little “separation anxiety” every time I have to leave
her alone for a while. “Calming treats” didn’t seem to work, so I tried to come
up with a way to ease the anxiety a bit by hiding a couple of treats around the
apartment, but she became so good at finding them by the time I was out the
door.What to do for my poor dog????
LEGO to the rescue!
A Doggie Treat Dispenser…
It is a NXT robot that was programmed with EV3 software. The
recorded voice calling my dog sounds pretty close to my voice (I think). It is
timed to call her after 90 minutes and toss her a treat. Due to memory
constraints, timing had to be done in 3 (1800 seconds) blocks. The voice
recording also had to be done in separate one-word blocks, instead of a
sentence. The sleep feature on the controller brick is set to “Never” to
prevent shutting down before the 90 minutes. It didn’t take many practices for
her to get the idea – she’s a smart dog!
For the teacher teaching a STEM or STEAM curriculum, the models can be used to teach various science concepts such as, gearing, Newton's Laws, Potential & Kinetic energy, etc. Also, for the teacher who has limited equipment, because these are small models using only a few elements, 2 or 3 models can be made from one Mindstorms® Resource set and a few Power Functions®sets; allowing more students to have the hands-on experience. No doubt, these little models will inspire students to create their own.
The books are all picture directions of the models with a list of the building elements you would need to build it, so having the eBooks (which is free with the printed book from No Starch Press) where you can enlarge the pictures for details is wonderful. Check out his websites for videos of some of the models:
If you own a Mac and are using LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0, you might have noticed that starting with Snow Leopard if you have Adobe Flash Player installed, NXT-G 2.1 software will not load. Now, with all the NXT kits that I have, that caused a bit of a panic. Ok, so you uninstall Flash Player!
I am now using Yosemite on my new main computer and guess what?? Flash Player still prevents Mindstorms NXT 2.1 Education version from loading. Mindstorms NXT 2.0 Home version cannot even be installed. So, now I have to use NXT-G 2.1 without Flash Player on my computer or I use my Windows 10 PC (sorry not that crazy about Windows). Looking into the near future of not having a Mac that will run NXT-G is a little scary; particularly with all the Mindstorms NXT controllers I have in excellent working condition, that might not be able to be programmed. Plus, LEGO is no longer supporting the NXT, as of 2016. Yes, I can use the NXT motors, touch sensors, ultrasonic and color sensors to some degree with the EV3 kits, but the future looked grim for the NXT Controllers, but wait…
Could it be??? Yes, I found a couple of articles from LEGO(R) ENGINEERING blog site - the NXT Controller CAN BE programmed with EV3 software! Of course, not all the sensors and blocks work with it. The NXT Touch sensor, Ultrasonic sensor, Sound sensor, and Motor can be programmed on the NXT with Ev3 software. Even the RCX motor and RCX/NXT Lamp with a NXT conversion cable can be directly programmed on the NXT Controller using the Large Motor block of the EV3 software (otherwise they would need a little “trick” program to work directly with the EV3 Controller) - see Gary Garber’s book, Learning LEGO Mindstorms EV3 p. 124. (See Review of thee book @ http://roboticrealm.blogspot.com/2015/06/a-review-learning-lego-mindstorms-ev3.html An of course, the EV3 Medium and EV3 Large motors can also be programmed on the NXT with EV3 software using the Move Steering block or Move Tank block to operate them simultaneously, or the Move Tank with one motor set to zero or using the Large Motor block to operate one Medium or Large EV3 motor.
The Brics~2~Bots Engineers have been busy learning about Double-Leaf Bascule (Draw) Bridges. Probably the most famous one is the London Bridge in England.
A little history about the rhyme and the London bridge; the rhyme was from a song in a play (1659), then later published as an English nursery rhyme about 1744. The 1st. bridge across the Thames River was around AD 55. In 1176, after a number of wooden bridges were destroyed by fire, a permanent stone crossing was built. It took 33 years to build. It was a drawbridge for the passage of tall ships up-river, and defensive gatehouses at both ends. In addition to shops and houses there were multi-seated public latrines; guess where the poop went! By the end of the 18th century, the old London Bridge, now over 600 years old, needed to be replaced. The New London Bridge also known as the Rennie's bridge was opened in 1831. However, by 1896 they discovered the bridge was slowly sinking. Finally, in 1967-73 a Modern London Bridge was built. So what happened to the New London Bridge of 1831? Where is it now? We’ll let you find out; you will be surprised!
So here is our LEGO(R) Double-Leaf Bascule (Draw) Bridge..
As you can see my students, Olivia and Jonas, have an interesting imagination.
The bridge was “robotized” with an EV3 Controller brick, three EV3 Touch Sensors (to control the toll barriers and the draw bridge), two EV3 Medium Motors, and two NXT Motors (simply because they fit better).
Once again Megan
Rothrock, Meg, takes us on another adventure with the storyline written in text bubbles with cartoon LEGO characters
as she is in pursuit of
and along the way she introduces the reader to some of the world’s amazing LEGO
builders. The featured builders are seriously talented AFOLs from all walks of
life - a Postman, a Science teacher, Aircraft Parts Manager, IT Developers,
Police Constable, and a Historic Preservation Advisor. A mini profile, with a
custom minifigure, is given for each builder with web links showcasing their
As in the previous
books, Rothrock features some awesome models with amazing details. There are 40
step-by-step breakdowns on how to build the models such as a classic movie
theater, an ice cream truck, and even sushi, plus nearly 150 example models in
full color. Also, included are building tips from the builders themselves.
The LEGO Adventure
Book: Robots, Planes, Cities, & More. (Vol. 3) by Megan H. Rothrock, No Starch
Press 2015, is another great read to add to your LEGO book collection. With the purchase of a printed book , come a free eBook. It may also be purchased at Amazon
course, our heroine catches up with Destructor and he is captured, again… but
wait, what is this???
If you are looking for ideas for a STEM or STEAM curriculum,LeGology Technology: Brics~2~Electronics is a book of lesson plans and ideas for teachers/instructors who want to use LEGO(R) elements as another tool in teaching a variety of subjects. The flexible lessons cover Pre-K to Middle School. For teachers of students with Special Needs, you will find that many of the lessons are doable & adaptable to meet their students’ special needs.
Using an outline-narrative form; the lessons cover the concepts being taught, suffused LEGO elements, materials needed, info and worksheets, and brief instructions with sample pictures for the projects. The lessons can be incorporated into various subject areas: science, math, literacy, social studies, technology, art, & music, or the lessons can be taught as a separate discipline that touches on several subject areas. The lessons encourage the creative use of LEGO elements while teaching various concepts. For the electronics LEGO Power Functions(R) are used and other products such as littleBits(R) are suggested.
Invited to the FIRST (World) Championship in St. Louis, Missouri
2nd Place Champions Award
Chapin Bots Team 1 - Chapin School
3rd Place Champions Award
Chapin Bots Team 2 - Chapin School 1st Place Robot Performance Sonic Gears - Neighborhood Group 2nd Place Robot Performance
CN: Rouge - IS 192Q
3rd Place Robot Performance
TopGearz - IS 119Q 1st Place Mechanical Design Sonic Gears - Neighborhood Group 2nd Place Mechanical Design
Transformation Master Builders - Transformation School
3rd Place Mechanical Design
7 LEGO All Star Builders - Transformation School
1st Place Programming Award
AfterPop - Dalton School
2nd Place Programming Award
FLASH - Sacred Heart School
3rd Place Programming Award
New Schoolers - IS 227Q
1st Place Robot Strategy & Innovation Award
Ryan Lions - JHS 216Q
2nd Place Robot Strategy & Innovation Award
LEGOMINDS - Neighborhood Group
3rd Place Robot Strategy & Innovation Award
Genesis Incinerators - Xaverian HS
1st Place Research Award
Genesis Oscars - Xaverian HS
2nd Place Research Award
TopGearz - IS 119Q
3rd Place Research Award
Brooklyn Bots - PS 161B
1st Place Research Presentation Award
St. Clare Transformers 2 - St. Clare School 2nd Place Research Presentation Award Robotics Squad - IS 51S 3rd Place Research Presentation Award Flying Bison - Neighborhood Group
1st Place Innovative Solution
Trinity Gold - Trinity School
2nd Place Innovative Solution
Future - School of the Future HS
3rd Place Innovative Solution
Agents of T.R.A.S.H. - Forest Hill Robotics League 1st Place Global Innovation Award The Anderson Dragons - PS 9M
2nd Place Global Innovation Award Robotics Squad - IS 51S 3rd Place Global Innovation Award Brooklyn Bots - PS 161B 1st Place Core - Gracious Professionalism Robo-Panthers - Michael Petrides School 2nd Place Core - Gracious Professionalism St. Clare Transformers 1 - St. Clare School 3rd Place Core - Gracious Professionalism The Dorkables - Girl Scouts 1st Place Core - Teamwork Cadette Supergirls - Girl Scouts 2nd Place Core - Teamwork Grace Gremlins 1 - Grace Church School 3rd Place Core - Teamwork Chelsea FLL 2 - PS 33M Chelsea Prep 1st Place Core - Inspiration BOOGIEBOTS - JHS 67Q 2nd Place Core - Inspiration SRCA Royal Sages - Salve Regional Catholic Academy 3rd Place Core - Inspiration PS 11 Team 2 - PS 11M Judges Award RoboRebels - PS 9B