A Crash Course in LEGO NXT Robotics - Getting Started - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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  1. A Crash Course in LEGO NXT Robotics - Getting Started Meri V. Cummings, Ph.D. NASA-sponsored Classroom of the Future Center for Educational Technologies Wheeling Jesuit University 316 Washington Ave. Wheeling, WV 26003 Phone: 304-243-2499 E-mail: meri@cet.edu URL: http://www.cet.edu/robotics/

  2. Why Study Robotics? • Robotics is an excellent way to introduce the students to integrated STEM areas (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) • Students participating in robotics learn about STEM careers and experience the same activities as professionals solving real-world problems • Everyone – girls and boys alike – should get a chance to see how much fun it is learning engineering skills this way!

  3. Organized Chaos Girl Scouts robotics team at the West Virginia FIRST LEGO League tournament - you’re welcome to observe our Power Puzzle competition on Saturday, Dec. 15, 2007!

  4. The Least You Need • One computer (ideally, a school computer lab with LEGO MINDSTORMS Education Software installed) • One robotics kit, LEGO MINDSTORMS Education Base Set ($250), per 2-10 youth - I recommend you start with a small group (e.g., 4 students) – 1 kit per 2 students is perfect – you might also want several Education Resource sets (spare parts) • LEGO MINDSTORMS Education Software to program the robot ($49 single to $265 site license)

  5. The Least You Need (cont’d) • The LEGO NXT robot can also be programmed with ROBOLAB software • One Mindstorms NXT Base Set and one computer (ideally, a school computer lab with ROBOLAB installed and one base set per two students) • ROBOLAB software to program the robot ($69 single to $265 site license) – you need ROBOLAB version 2.9 ($49 upgrade)

  6. The Least You Need (cont’d) • Instructional materials – I recommend the ROBOLAB Video Trainer CD, which has excellent programming video sequences ($50 single or $100 site) • Robotics kits can be shared in your school, county, or state in 6- to 8-week rotations – they can be used all day for different school and afterschool activities

  7. Funding Sources • Utility companies are required to provide educational grants – some have utility robotics program partner grants (e.g., American Electric Power has an AEP-FLL partner award to customers in its service area) – ask yours! • NASA Space Grant Consortiums fund outreach programs

  8. After you’ve learned the basics, then what? • There are lots of robotics competitions kids can participate in, such as FIRST LEGO League (FLL) and Botball - some are local, some statewide, some are regional • The tournaments tend to include multipart, real-world problems and research and occur over specific time periods - for instance, the FLL challenge is released in mid-Sept. each year and competitions occur from Nov. through Feb.

  9. The Problem-solving Process • What is the robot’s task? • What behaviors are needed to accomplish it? • Create the program – debug then download. • Run the program. • Is the NXT behaving badly (doesn’t do task)? • Check the robot first. If there’s a problem, can you fix it? • Next, check the program. Problem? Can you fix it? • Last, go back to the beginning and reread the task. Does your program really tell the robot what it’s supposed to do?

  10. Challenge 1: Line Program • Create and test a program to make the robot go forward in a straight line for exactly 1 second • Save your program as your first name and Line (e.g., FileSave as Maria LineEnter)

  11. Challenge 2: Square Program • Create and test a program to make the robot go in a square • Save your program as your first name and Square

  12. Challenge 3: Light Dark Program Create and test a program to make the robot: • Go forward until it finds a dark line • Stop for 1 second • Go forward until it finds light • Stop for 1 second • Reverse for 4 seconds • Save your program as your first name and Light Dark

  13. Challenge 4: Tracker Program Create a program to make the robot: • Go forward until it finds a dark line • Move forward along the edge of the line • Save your program as your first name and Tracker Hints: You need a loop, and it’s easier if the robot starts at less than a 90 angle

  14. Challenge 5 – Bump Program Create a program to make the robot: • Go forward until it finds a wall • Turn moving backward for 2 seconds • Repeat these behaviors for 5 “wall bumps” • Save your program as your first name and Bump Hint: You’ll need to use wait until Touch in for the first step.

  15. Bonus Beep Challenge Create a program to make the robot: • Go forward until it finds a line • Stop for 1 second and beep • Repeat for 5 lines • For fun, end with a different sound • Save your program as your first name and Beep

  16. ROBOLAB Video Trainer • ROBOLAB Video Trainer CD has lots of video sequences showing you how to program ROBOLAB and how the robot responds to the program • LEGO Mindstorms Education Base Set and ROBOLAB and ROBOLAB Video Trainer software are available from LEGO education (www.legoeducation.com under LEGO Mindstorms) • LEGO MINDSTORMS Education software has a built-in reference tool – Robot Educator, that walks you through simple challenges • Additional software can be found at the Robotics Academy (http://www-education.rec.ri.cmu.edu/ )

  17. Robotics Web Sites • NASA Robotics Alliance Project http://robotics.nasa.gov/home.php • NASA Robotics Curriculum Clearinghouse http://robotics.nasa.gov/rcc/ • Mars Exploration Rover Mission http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/home/index.html • Robotics Academy http://www-education.rec.ri.cmu.edu/ • Minnesota High-Tech Kids http://www.hightechkids.org • FIRST LEGO League http://www.firstlegoleague.org • Botball http://www.botball.org/ • BEST Robotics http://www.bestinc.org/MVC/

  18. Sample ROBOLAB Programs

  19. Sample NXT Programs Challenge 1 – Forward for 1 second Challenge 2 – Square with a sound Challenge 3 – Detecting Light/Dark

  20. NXT Programming Details Select a motor icon (you’ll see a blue border around it) to open its control panel - displayed at the bottom of the screen Additional control panels for sensors and wait for icons have similar displays

  21. NXT Programming Details (cont’d) • Due to the limited amount of memory available for the NXT, all currently installed sound files should be deleted • Sound files take up a lot of space and should be used selectively • Use the same sound file repeatedly in stored programs to cut down on memory usage

  22. Want to Learn More? • If you have a group of West Virginia educators that want to get started, contact me to schedule a workshop and design a program plan that will work for your situation – courtesy of NASA West Virginia Space Grant Consortium!

  23. Hands-on: Your Turn! • Use LEGO MINDSTORMS Educator to program the NXT robot to move in a square • Think about the robot’s required behaviors to move in a square • What motors have to do what for each behavior? • Which behaviors repeat? You can loop them!

  24. ROBOLAB Basics • Go to RCX settings in Administrator to unlock programs 1 and 2. • Single-click the silver Programmer button • Double-click the Inventor 4 button. • Maximize the lower Block Diagram window. • Drag the Function bar to move the Functions palette to the lower right of the window. • If the Block Diagram window is accidentally closed, open it by hitting Window -> Show Block Diagram. • Hit Tab key to switch from hand to cursor tool.

  25. ROBOLAB Basics (cont’d) • Hit spacebar to toggle between cursor and wiring tool. • Hit Esc to escape sticky wires. • Click on a wire or icon and hit Del to remove it. • Drag an icon within a cm of another, then with the mouse still down, tap the spacebar to shoot a wire between the icons. • Ctrl + B removes broken or partially deleted wires. • Right-click an icon to replace it with another using a new popup Functions Palette.

  26. ROBOLAB Basics (cont’d) • Always break a wire instead of placing a new icon on top of the wire; otherwise, the icon looks wired when it isn’t. • Click on Help-Show context help, then on the icon itself in the block diagram to learn more about a ROBOLAB icon, including seeing what modifiers each icon requires and where to attach them and to see the icon in a sample program. • If the white download arrow under Edit is broken, click on the broken arrow for information about where the program is miswired.