A Week in the Life #8: Moving With Linkages

LEGO Strand Beast

I teach an introductory course using the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 set. My students are 7th graders who are required to take the course and may not necessarily have any background in programming/building. My school is on a trimester schedule so the course runs for thirteen weeks at a time. For this particular trimester I have […]

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TrotBot Walking Machine

TrotBot

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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Artificial intelligence: Exploring movement

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The way a creature is built greatly affects how it behaves. By observation, one can note that birds usually perch and fly, roosting high in the treetops, while fish use their fins to propel themselves into the depths of bodies of water. While the fundamental idea seems basic, the use of such a concept in […]

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