NXT exercises – One approach

Another mentor and I developed the approach described below after we hit several roadblocks trying to show concepts, show programming examples, and then have the students replicate the demonstrated work. Instead of setting examples and showing the programming in detail, this approach provided the students with only an NXT Domabot with light and ultrasonic sensors, a computer with […]

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Why I like educational robots

With all the available STEM options, we often get asked Why Robotics?  So here are some quick thoughts to kickstart your thirty second elevator speech for robotics program support. See what you think. I like educational robots because they make abstract concepts real. With this opening salvo, and depending on your primary expertise and your audience’s understanding of your […]

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Area measurement – part one – follow the path

Area the Easy Way

I’ve often wanted to see greater educational use of LEGO robots more in alignment with how robots get used in the real world – taking on that dull, dirty, dangerous, or distant task. One approach could be to measure an area, map the features, and then conduct missions based on the calculated map.  The idea […]

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Program structure – simulating publish and subscribe

Program flow

Many times I see teams I’m supporting decide to run their GUI-based programs in a straight line from start to finish. But I’m not sure that’s always a great idea. Consider the program structure outlined below: In this model, the first thing that happens after the blue start block is the definition of variables and […]

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Pendulum mathematics

multiple pendulum streams

Pendulums are one of the earliest machines we see and Physics courses can take advantage of that familiarity to reveal fundamental principles and demonstrate the mathematical relationships. In this demonstration, I suspended an NXT with three sensors from above, and let it swing back and forth, recording the data via Bluetooth to the NXT-G data […]

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