Basics of NXT

Welcome & Introductions

1. Care of Kits

        • Be very careful of pieces. If you hear one fall, stop and find it.
        • Please don’t leave lids or trays on the floor to be stepped on and broken
        • Please be careful with the books and cardboard parts lists (hold up) so they last
        • Robots must only be run on the robotics table or on the floor, never on a table without a wall to stop it from going over the edge.

2Tour of select parts:

        • Plates verses bricks & how to name size (i.e. 1 by 4, 2 by 6)
        • How to tell length of axles (line up with brick or beam and count nubs or holes)
        • NXT brick (Letter ports and number ports)
        • Quick tour of sensors

3Build the robot in the book. For teams of 3 have 1 person find the part, 1 person install the part, and one person check against the picture. Rotate every 5 minutes. Teams of two, both check against picture.

4. Overview of programming with projector. Have students follow along with their laptops and robots

5How to program a set distance

        • Modify program to use rotations and have students try to get as close as possible to a black line (can use electrical tape on white)  from a fixed starting line
        • Modify program to use degrees
        • Show how to use View instead of trial and error
        • Explain that the problem with using time is that as the battery weakens the robot will not go as far in a set period of time.

6. Modify program to drive backwards 3 seconds

7. Touch sensor: add if it is not already on robot

8. Program robot to drive forward to the wall then reverse for 3 seconds when touch sensor is pressed.

9. Turns

        • Explain difference between swing turn and pivot turn
        • Modify program to do a swing turn in reverse away from the wall and then a 2 second pivot turn

10. Ultrasonic sensor: change out touch sensor for ultrasonic. Have student modify program from 9 to reverse when robot gets to 4 inches from wall.

11.  Light sensor

        • Explain how it reads reflected light and can be affected by room light.
        • Light sensor must be within a ¼" of the surface it is reading
        • Have students add light sensor
        • Have students use View to take a reading of white on the mat and black on the mat.
        • Have them add the two values and divide by 2 to get the average.
        • Explain that their programs will assume that any reading over their average is white and any reading less than their average is black. Note if they are using a mat with many colors they will need to use more values in their programs and not use average.
        • Program robots to stop at black line from #5.

12. Line following depending on time and progress of group. If short oo time cover highlights (can program your robot to follow a line by having it turn one way when it sees black and back the other way when it sees white. Can’t drive at full power though as you’ll shoot past the line.

13.  Designing attachments and robots for specific tasks

        • 2 videos from Teraformers
        • Exploring strength: Have students make square with four 1 by any plates. Is it sturdy? Cross bracing. What shape does a cross brace make? (triangles)

14.  Let’s solve missions. Pick a mission and brainstorm all the ways it can be solved. No bad ideas. Your final method will be a combination of a number of ideas and your first will not be your best.

15. Gearing Demo: Use this to start off a day or at any time once students have started on missions. Show how different gearing trades off between speed and power. Have them take two different size gears and turn one while the teeth are engaged in the other to show the difference in revolutions between the two gears.

16. Teamwork exercise - find some on the internet and do 1 per session.

17.  The 2011 Research project

18. The Components of an FLL Team:

        • FLL Core Values (
        • 25% Robot Performance
        • 25% Teamwork
        • 25% Technical Interview
        • 25% Research Project

19. Take apart robots and sort kit back to original condition. If using Action Works loaner kits, there is an inventory sheet in the bottom of each tub to note any missing parts. The parts in the white tubs should be put in the trays as illustrated just under the lid. Best to sort parts on a tablecloth or towel to prevent slipping and rolling off desks or tables.