Posts Tagged ‘LMS Shuttle’

WP_20131005_008This past weekend was the Orlando Mini Maker Faire at the Orlando Science Center. I am not sure of the final attendance numbers, but I was busy the entire time. I brought a total of 15 robots to display. Naturally I had the Shuttle and segway bots, but this event featured a new NXT project in partnership with The MathWorks, makers of MATLAB and Simulink. The video will be coming (due to poor lighting at the event, I am having to shoot the video at home) but the project features control of the NXTs from MATLAB. Navigation is done by processing the image from a camera positioned above the bots, as you can see in the first picture. I will go into more detail soon, but The MathWorks provided a good foundation for the demo and I then added a few enhancements. The code running on the NXTs was written in Simulink and the image processing and control as in MATLAB. The bots communicated with the computer via Bluetooth. I was able to demo both the example The MathWorks provide and my enhanced version, but since the lighting was spotty, I was only able to do it once. (It was very sensitive to people walking by and casting shadows from the overhead lights.)

WP_20131005_001I also brought a long a few EV3 bots. I had a couple of ‘kit’ bots that were built with the instructions (EV3RSTORM and a robotic arm), but I also decided to make my own flyer stuffing robot. I will save the details of that bot for another post as well, but it is safe to say it was a hit with every one in attendance. You can see it right on the corner of the table in the picture below.

WP_20131005_003Below are a few more pics from the display. Everyone really seemed to like the interactive display. Other members of my LUG had displays that ranged from a trick or treating street, motorized technic models, and a BrickPi. We really had a nice showing and attracted a ton of attention.

WP_20131005_002WP_20131005_005WP_20131005_007I look forward to the next event, although I might need to scale it back a bit. 15 bots was crazy! Plus, I wasnt able to bring a few of my other projects. Stay tuned for more updates. I have quite a backlog and I hope to be updating them soon!

Life has been crazy these past few weeks. From Brickworld, to FIRST, to school, there has been little free time. However this weekend brought me to the great state of Maine. Just a few hours east of FIRST HQ in New Hampshire, southern Maine is just beginning to get into robotics. Leading the charge is the Southern Maine Gearbots. Combining FIRST (FLL and FRC), VEX and some custom challenges, this group is working hard to prepare the engineers of tomorrow. Naturally any robotics event is not complete without a visit from some famous robots. Making an appearance was the LEGO MINDSTORMS Space Shuttle and Boston Engineering’s Robotuna. For many this was their first experience with real engineers and robotics.  I was honored to be invited to the event and it really seems to be a great program! Enjoy a few pictures capturing this really great event! Next year will be event better. Hats off to all involved!


I am in the Sydney airport and found some free wifi. I have a few images taken a couple of days ago of the SkyMapper telescope and the sunset. The SkyMapper is a 1.35 meter scope that is computer controlled. Sorry for the bad resolution, they were taken on my cell phone. I had left me camera at the observatory that night. It is actually a really tight dome so it was hard to get a picture, let alone a good one.

I will be boarding in a few minutes for the 14 hour flight back to Los Angles. After I clear customs back in the USA, I will be on my way to Chicago and Indianapolis. In other news, the LEGO MINDSTORMS Space Shuttle will be making a special appearance on the east coast of the USA in early April! Stay tuned for more information!


I decided to do some work on the LEGO MINDSTORMS Space Shuttle. As some of you may know the orbiter’s mass alone is close to 5 kilograms. (Imperial units, that is about 11 pounds!) This puts a huge amount of stress on the gear boxes that drive the motion of both the Canada robotic arm and the rocking of the orbiter itself. Every 3 months or so, I have to take the shuttle apart and inspect or fix the gear boxes. The arm Baz built has been clicking lately, but I have discovered that is just a torque issue (too much in this case). I can fix that in software. The bigger issue is the gear boxes John built. They eat LEGO, literally. Check out the picture of the parts that I removed from the gear boxes. Those are half module bushings that have been eaten away.Yikes!

Also, special thanks to my brother, Anthony. He sent up his nice Nikon camera in preparation for my trip to Australia next month. It takes beautiful pictures!

This past weekend was the Greenfield Brick Expo in Greenfiled, Indiana. It was a great event with over 7,000 square feet of LEGO creations. I was out with several robots, including the LEGO MINDSTORMS Space Shuttle. The booth always had a crowd, but I was able to capture these before the beginning of the second day. Check out the pictures from my booth at the event. This next weekend I will be in Chicago at the Illinois State FLL Tournament! I will be bringing much of what you see here, plus a few more.  If you are in the area, stop by!

Do you see any new robots?! I will have a post later this week featuring some of my newer designs.

Joey over at Techn’xt posted a new video. This special video features an interview with me. Joey is a great friend and has an excellent blog. Check it out! I have reposted the video below.


Many have asked me if I had a video of the shuttle in action. During some down time at Brickworld Fort Wayne, I decided to take a quick video of the shuttle in action. Check it out! This is also the first video I have posted from my phone. Not too bad of quality. Shout out to Marc-Andre and John for helping build the shuttle!


Also, another interesting video from NI on the LEGO MINDSTORMS Space Shuttle. One of the Application Engineers explains the shuttle in Spanish at NIWeek. (I dont speak spanish, so I have no idea what it actually says.)



As promised, I have a bunch of pictures from the event. This post has a few, but I also have a public album on facebook if you want to see more. If you are in the area, stop by!


I decided to have some custom bricks made for the shuttle. First, I wanted to get some custom name beams to put on the shuttle. This beam, engraved with the name “Enterprise” will be mounted on the model to officially name it.

The engraves bricks show off every event the shuttle has attended in 2011. They will be added to the base of the shuttle. I plan on continuing this tradition for all future events of the shuttle. Special thanks to Jeff of IndyLUG for organizing the order!

You can catch the shuttle next at Brickworld Fort Wayne in Fort Wayne, Indiana