Ben's Lego® projects

Lego®s aren't for kids anymore. I'm expanding my programming mind into the real world, by exploring robotics with the Lego® Mindstorms system. It's an eye opener- things never go as planned in the real world. The unexpected always happens, such as your robot falling apart, the bumper going under the chair, getting stuck in a corner, or getting attacked by the dog.


I've done some original projects, but most of them have sucked so I didn't take pictures. My multi-legged walkers are worth sharing. I'm also building other peoples designs from official Lego® instructions or independent books to see what's possible. The ones I find most impressive I'll post here.

Small Killough Platform 4/4/2002 This is a small Killough platform built from plans on Macs Robotics Page. A Killough Platform is a platform that can move in any direction as well as turn. I'm waiting for a few more parts to build the large platform, so I built this one while I wait. Since it doesn't use spherical wheels, it moves like it's got square wheels.
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Dodecapede 3/14/2002 I completely rebuilt my "decapede" to fit in 12 legs and 4 motors. Perhaps this is called a "dodecapede"? The legs move in 4 groups of 3, and it's quite stable and smooth. The design allowed me to change the gears easily. 1:9 is the slowest I can gear it, and here's a Slow-motion closeup movie to get a better idea of the gait. The fastest I can gear it is 2:3, and you can see it really scurries. I can gear it taller, at 1:1, but the torque is too much for even 4 motors. It moves if the batteries are fresh, but not as fast as 2:3.
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Hexapod 3/13/2002 I realized that if I took 4 of the legs off of the decapede, it would have the standard 6 legged "insect" gait, where it walks on alternating tripods. It actually goes the same speed as the decapede, but it doesn't look like it. This allowed room to use tires as feet, and I also stuck eyes on it.
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Decapede 3/12/2002 I call this a "decapede", since it has 10 legs and moves kind of like a centipede. It's the first thing I've made that can be described as "scurrying".
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RoboArm This is a Robo Arm, the last project in Dave Baum's the Definitive Guide to Lego® Mindstorms
It picks up all the white objects in it's reach, and drops them at the "home" position, where I've put a little box.
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Plotter This is a Plotter, a project in the "Ultimate Builders Set"
It draws on paper, using a very tedious sequence of movement commands. It's also not very accurate, so I'm not going to be trying to write a plotter driver so I can print out CAD drawings! It uses pneumatics for raising and lowering the pen.
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Lugnet the online Lego® community.

Lego® the Lego® store.

BrickLink a bunch of small online stores for Lego® parts.

Dave Baum author of NQC, a Lego® programming language, and two books on Lego® Mindstorms


updated: 4/4/2002


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