Monday, January 4, 2016

LEGO Mindstorms • BB-8

This is a project I've been working on for quite awhile. When I first saw the trailers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I was absolutely ecstatic. I've been a Star Wars fan for awhile but I had never been to see a Star Wars movie in a theater. However, with the new movie coming out, I finally had my chance. So, I thought about what I should wear to the premier. I ended up wearing a Kylo Ren t-shirt my aunt bought me.

After watching the trailer on YouTube for the umpteeth time, I noticed my eyes seemed to be drawn to the new droid in the Star Wars movie- BB-8. Watching the way he rolled reminded me of a previous robot I built- my WHEEL BIK3. So, I decided to build BB-8 out of 100% LEGO. The robot is still a work in progress. However, I've made enough progress that I feel the robot resembles BB-8 and has an acceptable level of performance to say that the robot will eventually completely work.

I decided to use my two NXT's for this project, because I was using my EV3's for other projects, and it wasn't necessary to use EV3s.

The robot is controlled by an Android phone I got off Amazon for less than $20 USD on black friday. I built an app for the phone using MIT App Inventor 2 as suggested by Xander Soldaat. I then used RS485 blocks so the first NXT could communicate with the second NXT as suggested by Marc-Andre-Bazergui. The blocks were written by Andy Milluzzi  and can be downloaded here. Below is a diagram that shows the communication method I used for the robot.

Here is a video I made of the progress I've made so far:

All I have left to do is program the two hemispheres to roll. I'll program it as soon as possible, but I have work. I also have school starting back up an January 19th, 2016. I'm really excited about this project.

Following are some photos from a Facebook Album I made for BB-8 as I made progress: