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Weston, Massachusetts
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Lego EV3 Roboticst-Activities and Projects

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Activities from Tufts Center for Engineering Education and Outreach:

See Video: SImple Robotics Fall 2014 http://youtu.be/fvghHG3mAwc

(1) Plastic Pieces Only( to understand Technics building system)

Tell Me About Yourself: In 15 minutes, build something of Lego pieces that expresses something about you- interests, origin,etc.

A Chair for Mr. Bear- Basic building with Lego beams

Build a Box- Build a box, using the NxT brick as its base, with a hinged lid, that will contain two Lego  balls or similar objects.

Challenge level: Add a latch.
( Barbara Bratzel)

Fishing Pole: Build a fishing pole at least 24" long of Lego beams with a string at the end that can hook wooden 'fish' set in a toy wading pool.

Challenge level: Create a winding system for the fishing line with a crank and gears.

Comments: How many pins are needed to create a stable frame?

(2) Simple Robots( 2 motors):

Silly Walks- Build a vehicle that does NOT use wheels and moves in a silly way. See Tufts Videos: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8FDFC770343D3280

Challenge level: Create silly walk robot that uses linkages ( http://www.thenxtstep.com/2013/04/lego-silly-walking-machines.html ). See also Theo Jansen Strandbeest ( http://youtu.be/rebf6-pQhF0 ).

Snail Car- Using gear trains, build a car that goes the slowest, given that both motors are on full power.

Challenge Level: Make a drag racer that goes the fastest using gears ( trade-off of speed versus torque).

Clock: Make a clock with second and minute hands that rotate at the correct speeds. Hands do not need to rotate continuously.

Parking Space Challenge- (1) Measure how far your car goes with a given time/rotations (2) Enable your car to "stop" in a randomly assigned parking space.

Challenge level: Park in several spaces, or parallel park.

Stop for Pedestrians- (1) Measure how far your car goes with a given time/rotations (2) See how close your car can stop to a crosswalk without running over the minifigures.

Maze Challenge- (1) Using dead reckoning, program your vehicle to navigate a maze using the rotation sensor( http://youtu.be/gfCkNSNFhCQ )

Challenge Level:  Using a color sensor, program your vehicle to 'read' colored tape road instructions( http://youtu.be/4M9gJQGYsTI )

Draw Bot  Program your robot to draw a square on the floor using a felt-tipped marker.

 Challenge Level:  Draw a more complex image.

(3) Sensor- Based Challenges:

Sensor Investigations- Investigate what each of the sensors does, and have the robot do something interesting using the sensor.

 Examples: Start on sound, stop on white, stop on distance, back up if touched.

Ball Sweeper/Snow Plow/Candy Push-
Push as much candy to your area- eat what you win!

Line Follower -(1) Program your robot to follow a black-white edge using a one-motor algorithm (2) Modify the algorithm to go faster by giving some power to othe other motor (3) Make a faster algorithm that goes straight with full power if sensor in a given mid-range.

Challenge Level: Pedestrian Avoidance- Modify your line follower algorithm to avoid pedestrian 'obstructions' sensed with the ultrasonic sensor.

Color Line Follower: Using color sensor and multi-case switch  statements- program your robot to follow a track marked in 3 colors slow, medium, and fast  http://youtu.be/3nD7PKcPpWw

Walk the Dog- (1)Drive your robot using a pair of touch sensors to control left and right motors

Challenge Level: Have your robot dog bark or run away or do it's business if it sees a certain color

Robotic Claw: (1)Build a robotic claw that can pick up a ball (2) end it with two more motors (3) Use the Record function to teach it to do a task

Mini-Golf : Create a mini-golf hole. When you putt a golf ball into the hole, your robot must try to block it or respond in some way with motions, sounds, lights, etc.

Toilet flusher: Create system that plays flushing sound after toilet used.

Traffic Light System:  Create a traffic light system with red, yellow and green lights( use EV3 lights)
  • Add a push-to-cross button that enables pedestrians to cross safely
  • Add walk/don't walk display
  • Add audio instructions for the blind
  • Add traffic control that adjusts timing depending on traffic conditions
(4) Project-based Challenges:

LEGO Amusement Park: Build a Lego carnival ride. Must need a ticket to start, run for a certain time, have sounds and movements.

Sociable Robots- Make a robot  that responds socially with words, sounds, and actions to human actions.

Challenge Level:Puppet Show- Have your robot act out a script of interactions, by itself or with a second robot.

Robotic Zoo- Build a robotic creature with at least two sensors and several behaviors

Artbotics- Kinetic Art:

NxT/EV3 Player Piano: Use the color or light sensor to 'read' a roll of paper with a song encoded using 1" color dots. A second sensor could be used to read a parallel row of dots controlling volume, or a second note. Movement of the paper roll is controlled by a motor-driven roller.( see http://youtu.be/1MNcMi80ri8  ). Music could also be configured as a rotating disk.

Tune could also be encoded onto a paper disk(like an LP record) rotated by a motor past a sensor.

Rollerball- Create a 2' x 2' track that uses sensors, pushers, and mechanism to make a ball turn corners and change levels,etc.

Put Stuff away( best for EV3): Build robot that will receive objects it is given, and sort them into different piles depending on color

Transportation System

(5) Advanced Challenges:

Self-Parking Vehicle- vehicle finds an empty parking spot, then parallel parks into it

Virtual Springs:
Build a car that follows the car in front of it using the ultrasonic and a proportional controller. Video: http://youtu.be/Tys8-F6MiQo

Build-A-Game: Create an interactive game for children 4-8, that requires them to hit things, turn knobs, throw balls, etc. Must be non-violent.

Microwave Oven- Run simulated oven for a selected time, with safety interlocks( http://youtu.be/i6BeiRYRkWw )

Voting Booth- take in paper ballots, tally votes for bubbled-in candidates.

Keep Score Game- Keep track of basketball hoop shots

Etch-a-Sketch- Draw on screen using motor rotation sensors to control etch-a-sketch in drawing mode.

Elevator- Program motor to control an elevator car. Should display current and requested floor.  Must decide correct direction, then stop car at the requested floor


Lego Engineering


Lego Playground egion5

Revised January 2015  by Jonathan Dietz, dietzj@weston.org