How to build and safely use a bridge tester

Bridge

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 […]

Continue reading "How to build and safely use a bridge tester"

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 […]

Continue reading "TrotBot Walking Machine"

RCX constructopedia

Giraffe

The RCX constructopedia (PDF, 55Mb) includes an extensive set of instructions designed to introduce beginners and advanced builders alike to new concepts in building with the RCX. 418 pages! Contents include: Stationary builds Sturdy structures Bracing Change axis Moving parts Motors Gears Pulleys Special gears Cam Differential Worm gear Gear rack Animal parts Beaks and jaws […]

Continue reading "RCX constructopedia"

Sturdy tower

Capture

The idea of this challenge is to build a structure capable of supporting a textbook. The structure must be at least as high as one hand width, although changing the height restriction can make the task more or less challenging. How would you design and construct a tower (approx. 10-15 centimetres high) with LEGO bricks […]

Continue reading "Sturdy tower"

NXT Constructopedia

Screen Shot 2013-06-25 at 10.12.07 AM

The NXT Constructopedia Beta 2.1 (PDF) is a set of building hints for the NXT Education Base Set (9797). It contains smaller hints and a few larger models. Its aim is to provide users with inspiration to build their own advanced creations. Contents include: Simple shapes and structures Square Reversing trick Cube Arch Beams Triangles Ways […]

Continue reading "NXT Constructopedia"

RCX quick guide

crown

Building a sturdy structure The keys to building a sturdy structure are as follows: 1. Use interconnecting bricks. When you interconnect your bricks, the structure will not fall apart when you move it. 2.  Flick Test: Test the durability of your structure with a simple flick of your finger. If the structure falls apart, look […]

Continue reading "RCX quick guide"

How can we build a sturdy wall?

An example sturdy wall

Students will investigate the properties of sturdy structures by constructing a LEGO wall. The wall must be about 6 bricks high and withstand the “Flick Test”. The Flick Test involves flicking the top of the wall to see if it fails or tips over. Lesson features: Predicting structurally sound building practices. Class discussion of different […]

Continue reading "How can we build a sturdy wall?"