Crossing the Gap

Crossing the gap 2

Crossing the Gap is a free-form robotics activity that requires a minimal amount of setup. It is an excellent choice for novices, but can also present a challenge to experienced students. The idea for this activity came from an earlier post. One of our after-school robotics classes recently completed this unit – check out the […]

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Design, build, and program recycling solutions


5th grade robotics project Equipment/Materials: 8 laptops 24 Mindstorms kits Internet access Purpose: To design, build, and program a working model for a real world recycling problem. In addition, students were required to demonstrate their working model and give a digital presentation about the engineering process from beginning to end. This project was completed with […]

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How to build and safely use a bridge tester


Because I described how my students and I used a bridge tester to prepare for scaling up our walking machine in my TrotBot post, I thought I should describe how to use a bridge tester safely, and how I built mine. Overview There are probably better, or simpler bridge testing methods for LEGO bridges than […]

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TrotBot Walking Machine


After teaching a challenge-based LEGO Engineering class for two years, I wanted to offer a really difficult challenge for a dozen of my most motivated students (grades 6-8). I settled on linkage-based walkers, like Theo Jansen’s Strandbeest. Rather than copy prototypes or plans, I had the class study various linkage mechanisms, their trade-offs, and how they can […]

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Regular, old, LEGO Engineering (and some accidental learning)


We homeschool. Unschool primarily, or hackschool, if you like. Our son, Lex, will turn thirteen this summer and has spent his life following his own interests, learning from the world around him and creating his own experiences (sometimes with facilitation and guidance from us). He has learned (as have we, on this journey) that if […]

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Mountain rescue (Ramp climber)


What is the best design for cars used by people on sloping paths? Construct a car that is capable of climbing steep inclines.     What is torque and why is it important? This lesson is one in a series of introductory lessons that is applicable to all types of robotics kits. The lessons are […]

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Platform 9 3/4


Design and construct a car and learn to program the car to travel a specified distance using multiple methods (time, touch and light). Get your car’s passenger from home to the train station. Going too far or not far enough leaves your passenger in the ghost world.   Resources Platform 9 3:4 lesson plan – […]

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bulldozer RCX

Design and construct a sturdy car that can push dirt, and program it to be controlled by touch sensors.      Tip 1 : How can the touch sensor be used to trigger the bulldozer to generate more torque? Resources Bulldozer Lesson Plan – NXT + NXT-G/ROBOLAB (PDF) Bulldozer Lesson Plan – RCX + ROBOLAB […]

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Rotation sensor challenge


Rotation sensors are very important in the field of engineering because they track and measure the motion of rotating objects. The NXT motors and EV3 large motors have built- in rotation sensors that are accurate enough for most purposes, but what if you need something even more accurate? How can you design and construct a […]

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