Archive for September, 2011

This is a busy time of year for me. I have a few major events in the next few weeks! First, if you are in Terre Haute, this coming Saturday is the Rose-Hulman Homecoming. The LEGO MINDSTORMS Space Shuttle and some other bots will be on display at the new Student Innovation Center. The very next day those bots will be paying a visit to the Terre Haute Children’s Museum to celebrate their first birthday in the new building!

If that wasn’t enough, Brickworld Fort Wayne is only a week away! You can come by and check out all my robots. If you want more information on Brickworld, check out! There are a few more in late October and November so stay tuned for more details!

LEGO is conducting some product testing in the New York City area. If you are between the ages of 10 and 13 and own an NXT set, have your parents visit Here is the post:

Attention LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT fans!

If you own a LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT robot, if you live in the area of New Jersey/New York City, USA, and if you are willing to help us with some product testing in early October, we are asking for help from our 10-13 year old fans! Parents can download and complete the form, found here: and send it back to us by 9/28/11

Once we receive the signed form, you may be contacted by a representative from the company, that conduct the focus group for the LEGO Group. If you are chosen, we may end up having you join us to help with some consumer product testing on October 8th or October 9th.

*Note – you must own a LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT robot, and live in the New Jersey/New York City area to be eligible to participate.

It is September and you know what that means! It is FIRST LEGO League Season. This year FLL is taking on a tasty challenge in looking at how we get our food. My team has already begun to meet and ideas are flowing! Over the course of the season we might have a few guest bloggers to share what the team has been working on!

DI IMU: Coming Soon!

Posted: September 11, 2011 in News
Tags: , , , ,

Dexter Industries has new product: the DI IMU. An IMU or Inertial Measurement Unit is a sensor that can measure rotation and acceleration about the x, y, and z axis. This sensors has a ton of applications, from data logging different movements, to balancing a segway. In addition to its awesome uses, the sensor is small, so it can be easily integrated into a robot. While much of the software is still in development, you can see some initial readings on the screen (sorry for the bad picture). Just think if you couple this bad boy with NXTBee, you now have a wireless IMU.

I have updated the examples for the NXTBee on the files page. These updates include timing so the screen shows the correct text and updating it to work with the 2.12 version of the block. If you have any issues with the newest update, please let me know!

Next, I am planning to update a revision to the NXTBee block in the coming week. It will likely be around version 2.20. This update adds a timeout to both sending and receiving. Sending will try 10 times to send and if it does not hear back form the other NXT, it will stop. Receiving will listen for 20 ms before it times out. This should make it so the software is easier to use. If you are interested in testing this, please leave a comment or email me.

As I mention back in August, the Day 3 NIWeek keynote was delivered by Tim Samaras. The video of his presentation is now online and you can watch Tim share his passion with the NIWeek attendees. Tim is both an inspiration and role model for future scientists and engineers. If you ever get the chance to catch Storm Chasers on The Discover Channel, you know the passion and drive that goes into one of the world’s most dangerous jobs. And I encourage all engineers to begin to measure wind speed in “cows per minute”. Enjoy!