Robot Programming Lesson

Last night, Emily, Nancy and I learned how to program our robot. We learned the basics: going forward, turning left and right 90 degrees, how to activate the sensors in the robot, using attatchments with the time feature, Myblocks, and displaying the value of variables on the screen. To program the robot to do things, we used a special lego programming software called Mindstorm. In Mindstorm, there are blocks to tell your robot to do things. To go forward, we used a motor block, and to turn left and right 90 degrees, we just turned off either port B or C, depending on which direction you want to go. To make sure you turn the robot 90 degrees, you can calibrate the rotation sensor, and that tells you how many degrees to turn the wheels to ensure the robot turns 90 degrees. After learning these things thuroughly,  Emily, Nancy and I programmed the robot to move in a square. We also experimented with the light and the touch sensor. With the touch sensor, we used a special block called the “wait until” block to program the robot to go backwords until the touch sensor hit the wall. With the light sensor, the robot measures in a range of numbers, not color. The three of us programmed the robot to make the it stop when it sees green. To make sure the we knew what the range of numbers was for green, we calibrated the light sensor. Once we hovered the light sensor over green, we found that the robot reads green as “32”. Then, we went over to Mindstorm and put “less than 35” so it could go until green. Next, the time feature. The time feature was special because we could use it instead of the degrees feature, but only in one other situation: using attatchments. If there was something blocking the attatchments, you can make the arm move for one second only. Then it wouldn’t knock into anything. Myblocks were the coolest thing, in my opinion. You can make a program, save it in a Myblock, and call it something. The beauty of Myblock is that you can make as many Myblocks as you want, or you can reuse. We also learned how to display a value of a variable on the NXT. First, we use the variable block and wrote a value in for “x”. Then we strung it through the “number to text” block, or we read it.  Then, we put the “display” block on the program and the “wait until” feature so it would wait until we pressed the orange button on the NXT. We did the same thing for a “y” variable. Last night was really fun and informative and it was cool to see our robot in action.

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