Enable Builds a Delta Robot, Part Four: Over Easy

The Delta robot was looking sharp, as Smit and Navjot worked through the afternoon assembling the components onto the frame.  Ben would be testing it the next day to give it final approval, but there were still a major part missing.

The Egg dispenser was envisioned as being a gravity-fed machine that would give out a single plastic egg filled with silly putty to anyone who got a high score on the Delta-bot game, or to anyone who tweets “@enabletc #NIWeek #eggme”.  People love robots.  People love twittering.  People love silly putty.  This is to be a perfect storm of fun, and Enable will surely require the assistance of the Texas National Guard to help control the throngs of adoring crowds surrounding their booth at NI Week.

What will be the happiness-delivery-system for this wanton press of humanity?  The LEGO egg dispenser robot, nicknamed the Yolk-a-Tron 5000 (“Yolk” because of the plastic egg shape, “Tron” because it robotic, and “5000” because ever robot should have a cool number after its name), will be constructed from a LEGO elements, and use a LEGO Mindstorms motor, in conjunction with the NXT brick from the spinner-bot.

As with every part of this project so far, trial and error are the herbs and spices that go into our original recipe blend.  Smit and Navjot, our fearless LEGO maniacs, work tirelessly, only stopping to complain, and refuel on Mountain Dew: Code Red.  After several hours, they produced a working structure, and a solid plan for operating the motor.

Smit was able to use a handy-dandy Android App on his phone, to control the NXT brick.  The initial plan was to have a gate at the bottom of a shoot that would open and close quickly enough that only one plastic-fantastic egg would be released from the machine, into the waiting hands of its proud new owner.  While it took some time to dial the motor into its butter-zone (the zone that would not cause it to flip a plastic egg into the stratosphere, nor lazily open and close while the shoot released all of the eggs), eventually we had a working egg dispenser.

It would be in bad taste to make a yolk in the caption.

While Navjot made some last minute changes to the Yolk-a-Tron 5000, Smit took to the open road to pick up our custom made Plexiglas disk from a manufacturer in Mississauga.  While it should have only taken about half an hour to return with the new disk, four hours after he departed, he had still not returned.  The Enable Team had become rather worried.  Had his car broken down? Had he blown a tire? Had he been attacked by Plexiglas bandits?  No one knew the answer.

When Smit finally returned, his clothes were filthy, he was missing one shoe, he did not seem to be able to speak, but he had the Plexiglas disk.  We attached the disk to the spinner, and prepared to show our work to the Boss.

Delta-bot gets a fancy new Plexiglas disk, at the expense of a Co-op student’s health (and sanity).

-by Andrew Baxter, Curriculum Specialist

Delta Bot 6 Projects 14

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