Kickoff of the "Enable my LEGO" robotic LEGO photocopier project.

Here at ETC we do a lot of work with LEGO robotics (WeDo, Mindstorms and TETRIX) and with LabVIEW. Plus, we have three University of Waterloo Engineering students this term who have to write work-term reports.

We also have quite a pile of parts…

So, this post is officially (whatever that means) kicking off the “Enable my LEGO” project. Our ultimate goal is to build an automatic, PC- and NXT-driven robotic LEGO photocopier.

Here are the lofty goals (now, forever publicly and blogospherically listed) of the system:

  • one webcam to capture the object to be copied
  • a second webcam to capture and identify a pile of LEGO elements
  • one netbook running LabVIEW to process the images and provide motion paths to the…
  • one LEGO Mindstorms NXT brick driving an XY stage built out of TETRIX DC motors, servos, and/or Mindstorms motors
  • a Z-axis carried by the XY stage capable of picking and placing a LEGO element

I’ve tasked the students with getting something working by the end of their term. (Don’t tell them, but I expect it will be a humble subset of the list above.)

I’ve also tasked them with blogging on here about their engineering design process, to describe successes and failures, hints, tips and tricks.

Here’s how the tasks are broken down:

Akos Bakos: XY-axis stage

Kasyap Patel: Software architecture

Kevin Wang: Z-axis mechanism

Dhrov Gupta and Corey Eagle: support

I think Pat and I might find some time to play, too! 🙂

Stay tuned!