Monday, March 30, 2009

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

~project's proposal~


Project’s Name: The Recycle Robot


1) Introduction

Recently, robotics has become a phenomenon especially in the education context. Thus, robotics technology and robots are being used by a lot of educators in schools and colleges as well. In schools, students and teachers have been introduced to a new set of robotics tool called LEGO Mindstorms. This kit has been used in schools in order to give basic education to students about robots and robotics technology. For this semester, we were asked to create a project that uses the robotics components. We were asked to come out with a robot that uses the principles of robots and robotics. It has to be related to the primary schools students’ syllabus as they also have to come out with the same project at the end of the lessons. After a few further discussions, we came out with this idea: Recycle Robot.

2) Problem Statement
We found out that there are not so many people especially in schools are aware about the importance of the recycle bins. Some of them especially the primary school students do not know how to use the recycle bins maximally. The government has put the recycle bins at almost all of the schools all over Malaysia. Unfortunately, the recycle bins are not filled with the things that can be recycled, but with banana skins, tissue paper, chewing gums, and the worst of all, the cans weren’t emptied. Due to this problem, we came out wit an idea to create this recycling robot. Generally, this robot will help people in putting the garbage in the particular bins.

3) Problem Solving
In order to create this robot, we have a set of tasks that need to be completed. The tasks are:
a) identify problems
b) investigation and research upon the project
c) brainstorming – giving ideas and solutions
d) sketching and design the robot
e) product development – programming and making the robot
f) testing and evaluation
g) documentation

4) Objectives
Every product created has it own purposes or objectives. The recycling robot is created to:
• To show the principles of robots and robotics.
• To show the functions of LEGO MINDSTORMS components; (motors, gears, NXT brick, sensors)
• To give exposure to students about design and technology in life so that they can create something that is more advance than this
• To educate students about the importance of putting the garbage into its particular bin.

5) Project Functions

The robot will use the robotics components like the gears, motors and sensors. The robot will manage to detect different types of garbage and put it into a particular bin. For example, if the robot detects a can, it will grab the can, bring it to the particular bin and put it into it. The procedures are same to any other materials detected. The important components that used in the robot are the sensors; ultrasonic sensor, light sensor as the robot will be able to detect the garbage to put it in the recycle bins.

quotes of the day:
"put your ears down close to your soul, and listen hard"

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

~hitting the ball~

Date: 11th February, 2009
Time: 0800-1330
Topic: Hitting
Instruction: Build a robot that can hit a ball

Objective:
By the end of the lesson, students should be able to:
a) Use the components of the LEGO Mindstorms to build the robot
b) Program the robot that can hit a ball
c) Build a robot that can hit a ball using the touch sensor
d) Build a robot that can move using the voice sensor

Materials and Tools:
a) LEGO Mindstorms Set
b) Touch sensor
c) A ball

Procedures:
a) We’ve given a theme where we have to build a robot which can swing it’s hand and hit a ball
b) Build a robot that can hit a ball
c) Design the robot using our own imagination
d) Fix the components of the robot according to what have been planned
e) Set up the program using the MIDSTORMS software
f) Download the program to the NXT brick
g) Test the robot either it functions well or not
h) Modify the program and the robot so that it will meet the objectives.
i) Present it to lecturer and friends.




Results:
The robot managed to move and swing its hand and hit the ball.
Problems Encountered:
We found that we have to deal with the degrees as to set the hand of the robot. We also have to fix the power of the swing as it will ensure how far the ball will go. We only managed to get it aligned with the objectives after a few attempts.

Conclusion:
If the robot managed to follow the instructions given, it shows that the objectives of the lesson are met.

Quotes of the day:
“If you judge people, you have no time to love them”

~lifting up the ball~

Date: 4th February, 2009
Time: 0800-1330
Topic: Lifting
Instruction: Lift up a ball and put it in a recycle bin.

Objective:
By the end of the lesson, students should be able to:
a) Getting used to the Lego Mindstorms
b) Build a robot that can deliver things
c) Build a robot that can lift up things
d) Build a robot that can lift up things using the light sensor
e) Build a robot that can put things in a particular box

Materials and Tools:
a) LEGO Mindstorms Set
b) Light sensor
c) Ball
d) A box

Procedures:
a) We’ve given a theme where we have to build a robot which can lift a ball, and put it in a recycle bin.
b) Design the robot using our own imagination
c) Fix the components of the robot according to what have been planned
d) Set up the program using the MIDSTORMS software
e) Download the program to the NXT brick
f) Test the robot either it functions well or not
g) Modify the program and the robot so that it will meet the objectives.
h) Present it to lecturer and friends.


Results:
The robot managed to lift up the ball when sensed by the light sensor and it moved back and put the ball in the box when it hit the box.

Problems Encountered:
During the practical work, we found that it’s not easy to use the light sensor as we have to set the percentage of the lights. This is because what we see is not the same as what our robot can see. We have to set it several times but managed to overcome the problem finally. Other than that, it is also not easy to make the robot lift up the ball as we have to set the hand of the robot using degrees. However, we managed to overcome the problems after a few attempts.

Conclusion:
If the robot managed to follow the instructions given, it shows that the objectives of the lesson are met.




quotes of the day:
"if you always focus on what you have left behind, you won't see what lies ahead"

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

~project's brainstorming~

date: 25th February 2009
time: 0800-1330
topic: brainstorming ideas

brainstorming... for today's lesson, we have conducted a brainstorming session in order to select the most relevant ideas to be conducted as our project. before this, we have already conducted the brainstorming session. we find the information about the projects from books, magazines, and also internet. however, internet give big helps to us as we found many information trough it. trough the discussions, every group members have given our own ideas regarding to the project. some of the ideas are:
  • grabbot - robot that can pick up things
  • cleaning robot- robot that can wipe the table and floor
  • recycling robot- robot that can lift up things and put it in the bins
  • forklift- robot that can lift up things and put it on a higher place
after a few further discussion about all of the ideas, we chose one of the idea to build our project. we chose to build the recycling robot and we started to find more information about it. the reason why the recycling robot was selected is because we think that it is the best way in educating pupils about recycling yet in a fun way. students will get the information about recycling as well as robotics by building this robot. after that, we try to build the robot. since this is the early stage of building the robot, we decided to create the body of the robot first. other details will be uploaded in future entries. we'll update you later with more details and images...

quotes of the day:
"we can not detect the wind, but we can adjust the sail"



Monday, February 23, 2009

what do you know parts inside the LEGO MINDSTORMS

hi, my friends...we think, all of you know already what have inside the LEGO MINDSTORMS but you all do not know what is part inside the the LEGO MINDSTORMS untill you all can create a robot...

this part actually, really important for us to know when we want to teach for our student in the class....so, my friends..,we, afrobot will give some information about parts that have inside the LEGO MINDSTORMS...



technic angle connector 2







technic angle connector 6






technic axle pin (tan in NXT)

technic axle pin with friction (blue in NXT)




technic pin ( gray in NXT) technic pin with friction (black in NXT)




technic long pin (gray in NXT) technic long pin with friction (black in NXT)




long pin w /stop bush







technic 3 x 3 bent with pins (hassenpin)








technic axle joiner perpendicular



technic axle joiner perpendicular 3L with center hold







technic axle joiner perpendicular with 2 holes






to be continue......

Friday, February 20, 2009

what do you know inside LEGO MINDSTORMS??



Actually, this is an overview about the LEGO MINDSTORMS all about...we, Afrobot will define about part that involve in the LEGO MINDSTORMS...this information we get it from http://mindstorms.lego.com


THE NXT




The NXT is the brain of a MINDSTORMS® robot. It’s an intelligent, computer-controlled LEGO® brick that lets a MINDSTORMS robot come alive and perform different operations.

Motor ports
The NXT has three output ports for attaching motors - Ports A, B and C

Sensor ports
The NXT has four input ports for attaching sensors - Ports 1, 2, 3 and 4.

USB port
Connect a USB cable to the USB port and download programs from your computer to the NXT (or upload data from the robot to your computer). You can also use the wireless Bluetooth connection for uploading and downloading.

Loudspeaker
Make a program with real sounds and listen to them when you run the program

NXT Buttons
Orange button : On/Enter /Run
Light grey arrows: Used for moving left and right in the NXT menu
Dark grey button: Clear/Go back

NXT Display
Your NXT comes with many display features - see the MINDSTORMS NXT Users Guide that comes with your NXT kit for specific information on display icons and options

Technical specifications
  • 32-bit ARM7 microcontroller
  • 256 Kbytes FLASH, 64 Kbytes RAM
  • 8-bit AVR microcontroller
  • 4 Kbytes FLASH, 512 Byte RAM
  • Bluetooth wireless communication (Bluetooth Class II V2.0 compliant)
  • USB full speed port (12 Mbit/s)
  • 4 input ports, 6-wire cable digital platform (One port includes a IEC 61158 Type 4/EN 50 170 compliant expansion port for future use)
  • 3 output ports, 6-wire cable digital platform
  • 100 x 64 pixel LCD graphical display
  • Loudspeaker - 8 kHz sound quality. Sound channel with 8-bit resolution and 2-16 KHz sample rate.
  • Power source: 6 AA batteries
Without the NXT, the LEGO MINDSTORMS
cannot be operate. therefore, the NXT is really important to create a robot.


SERVO MOTORS




The three Servo Motors give your robot the ability to move. If you use the Move block in the LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT software to program your motors, the two motors will automatically synchronize, so that your robot will move in a straight line.

Built-in Rotation Sensor
Each motor has a built-in Rotation Sensor. This lets your control your robot’s movements precisely. The Rotation Sensor measures motor rotations in degrees or full rotations [accuracy of +/- one degree]. One rotation is equal to 360 degrees, so if you set a motor to turn 180 degrees, its output shaft will make half a turn.

The built-in Rotation Sensor in each motor also lets you set different speeds for your motors [by setting different power parameters in the software]. Try running the motors at different speeds.

Test it!
Test the built-in Rotation Sensor’s ability to measure distance:



1. Connect a motor to the NXT
2. Select the VIEW submenu on the NXT
3. Select the Motor Rotations icon.
4. Select the port where you have connected the motor
5. Attach a wheel to the motor and measure the rotations as you roll the wheel along the floor

This SERVO MOTORS also one of important part in the LEGO MINDSTORMS part. it will help our robot to make a movement in particular ways.



Inside the LEGO MINDSTORMS, there are 4 types of sensor. There are LIGHT, SOUND, TOUCH and ULTRASONIC sensor. This sensor will help our robot to indicate which kind of obstacle that the robot will face which is depending with the programmed taht we have made for our robot.


i.LIGHT SENSOR





The Light Sensor is one of the two sensors that give your robot vision [The Ultrasonic Sensor is the other]. The Light Sensor enables your robot to distinguish between light and dark. It can read the light intensity in a room and measure the light intensity of colored surfaces.

This is what your eyes see



This is what your robot will see if the light sensor add into your robot.

Suggestions for use
You can use the Light Sensor to make a burglar alarm robot: when an intruder turns on the light in your room the robot can react to defend your property. You can also use the Light Sensor to make a line-following robot or a robot that can sort things by color.

Detecting ambient [surrounding] light
Test the Light Sensor’s ability to read ambient light by measuring the light level in different locations of the room. For example, first hold the sensor against the window. Then hold it under the table. Watch how the readings differ.


ii. SOUND SENSOR




The Sound Sensor can detect both decibels [dB] and adjusted decibel [dBA]. A decibel is a measurement of sound pressure.

dBA: in detecting adjusted decibels, the sensitivity of the sensor is adapted to the sensitivity of the human ear. In other words, these are the sounds that your ears are able to hear.

dB: in detecting standard [unadjusted] decibels, all sounds are measured with equal sensitivity. Thus, these sounds may include some that are too high or too low for the human ear to hear.

The Sound Sensor can measure sound pressure levels up to 90 dB – about the level of a lawnmower. Sound pressure levels are extremely complicated, so the Sound Sensor readings on the MINDSTORMS NXT are displayed in percent [%]. The lower the percent the quieter the soundFor example:

• 4-5% is like a silent living room
• 5-10% would be someone talking some distance away
• 10-30% is normal conversation close to the sensor or music played at a normal level
• 30-100% are people shouting or music being played at a high volume

Test it!

Test the Sound Sensor’s ability to read sound volume:






Connect the Sound Sensor to the NXT.
1. Select the View submenu on the NXT’s display. Select the Sound Sensor icon and the port where you have connected the sensor.
2. Make some sounds into the Sound Sensor and watch the readings displayed on the NXT. Use the sensor to read some sounds around you.
3. How loud do your parents speak? How loud is your front doorbell?

iii. TOUCH SENSOR




The Touch Sensor gives your robot a sense of touch. The Touch Sensor detects when it is being pressed by something and when it is released again.



Suggestions for use
You can use the touch Sensor to make your robot pick up things: a robotic arm equipped with a Touch Sensor lets the robot know whether or not there is something in its arm to grab. Or you can use a Touch Sensor to make your robot act on a command. For example, by pressing the Touch Sensor you can make your robot walk, talk, close a door, or turn on your TV.


iv. ULTRASONIC SENSOR





The Ultrasonic Sensor is one of the two sensors that give your robot vision [The Light Sensor is the other]. The Ultrasonic Sensor enables your robot to see and detect objects. You can also use it to make your robot avoid obstacles, sense and measure distance, and detect movement.

The Ultrasonic Sensor measures distance in centimeters and in inches. It is able to measure distances from 0 to 255 centimeters with a precision of +/- 3 cm.

The Ultrasonic Sensor uses the same scientific principle as bats: it measures distance by calculating the time it takes for a sound wave to hit an object and return – just like an echo.

Large sized objects with hard surfaces return the best readings. Objects made of soft fabric or that are curved [like a ball] or are very thin or small can be difficult for the sensor to detect.

*Note that two or more Ultrasonic Sensors operating in the same room may interrupt each other’s readings.

Test it!

Test the Ultrasonic Sensor’s ability to measure distance:


1.Connect the Ultrasonic Sensor to the NXT
2. Select the View submenu on the NXT. Select the Ultrasonic Sensor icon and the port where you’ve connect the sensor.
3. Measure the distance to an object. For example, move your hand closer to the sensor and watch the readings change



Hopes, with this information, you can get the information about some part inside the LEGO MINDSTORMS...

Therefore, we will meet you all again in next session...That all from Afrobot, for you all viewer.