I’m on a Boat!

Posted: October 28, 2011 in LEGO, News, Robotics
Tags: , , , , ,

Well not really, but I made a robotic one. I have been working on a robotic board to hopefully compete in Brickworld Chicago Boat Race in June. I am on my third revision and I think I finally have something successful. The first 2 boats had a special unique feature that when they turned, they also flipped over. NXT + water != good. I added vertical and horizontal stabilizers to the rear of the boat, as well as lowered the center of gravity. While the boat does rock a bit, it is much more stable. I also wanted to reduce the mass of the boat. As you can see, it is quite simple to build.

I decided to do some simple NXT-G programming and link it to my controller I use for the segway. (I also used MindDroid on my Android phone. That worked well, though less precise than the segway controller.) Getting in touch with my inner 8 year old, I filled my bath tub and put the boat in a couple of nights ago. Much to my surprise, it was stable and controllable and fast! (Watch out other AFOLs!) I did discover one issue with it kicking up a lot of water. I need to add some splash guards to keep the boat from filling with water. I plan to add a sensor mast as well and attach a GPS, IMU, and compass to allow it to drive around on its own. My next testing grounds: Rose-Hulman’s Speed Lake!

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