Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sneak Preview of Our Tape Reader

Can you afford one extra NXT motor? Then sometime this Fall you'll be able to build a dedicated paper tape reader to load programs directly from paper tape into an NXT robot! We're working on this prototype, and will open source it when it's done.

Not only does it feel great to hold a copy of your actual program, but it also enables you to program your robot with no computer at all! And many kids can write their paper tape programs at once, again without needing their own computers.

However, the programming language we're currently developing with these office supply stickers is not as complete as NXT-G. But it will be a fun, useful first paper-tape language. How will you use it? There's an "interpreter" program that goes in your brick. And a "loader" program that reads in the paper tape and stores the data (sticker colors) in a file. Then when you're ready, at any time you can run the interpreter to process your file, interpreting all the instructions in it.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Plane Parts Were Laser-Cut Tonight

The parts for everyone's plane designs were laser-cut tonight, out of 1.2mm presentation board. Big thanks to Richard at Metrix Create Space, who got it done for us super quickly!  Friday in the club meeting we'll see if the pieces assemble correctly.  It's our first laser cutting, and our first stab at making slots and tabs, so it might need adjustment.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

LaSER at Seattle Mini Maker Faire

On Sunday we gave a short presentation about LaSER at the Seattle Mini Maker Faire. Some slides, and then some of the kids demonstrated our MindCuber. It had only one scan error, and then on the second try it solved the cube!

Friday, May 18, 2012

3D-Printed Models

Our 3D models of Mars habitats came back from Ponoko.  After we designed them in Tinkercad, coach Matt hollowed them out and tweaked them for printing. Maybe we'll print one larger, but cost goes up roughly by n cubed!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

MindCuber Test This Friday!

We're almost done with building all of MindCuber's sub-assemblies. On Friday we should be able to finish assembly and do our first test run.  Be prepared for it to have trouble working at first :-)  That's part of being engineers on a big project.

Also, soon we will post our discoveries about how school groups can work together on MindCuber.  We've also been in touch with the creator, David Gilday, who offered some useful thoughts which we'll discuss this Friday.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

MindCuber Build Steps on Friday

Last week we started designing our own Rubik's Cube-turning robot, and some ideas came out of it.

This week, we're bringing in building plans for David Gilday's MindCuber!  

We can build up to two copies of this bot, but kids who want to continue with their own designs can do so.