Lego Mindstorms Nxt 2.0 The Snatcher
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How to Build and Program The Snatcher: A Robotic Arm with LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT 2.0
If you are looking for a fun and challenging project with your LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT 2.0 kit, you might want to try building and programming The Snatcher, an autonomous robotic arm that can find and pick up objects. The Snatcher is one of the robots featured in The LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT 2.0 Discovery Book by Laurens Valk, a comprehensive guide to building and programming NXT robots.
The Snatcher uses two NXT motors to control a set of treads, allowing it to move in any direction. It also has a third motor that operates a grabber mechanism, which can open and close to grasp objects. The robot uses an ultrasonic sensor on port 4 to detect objects in front of it, and a touch sensor on port 1 to sense when the grabber is closed.
The Snatcher can be built with just the pieces in the NXT 2.0 kit, following the detailed instructions in Chapter 13 of the Discovery Book. You can also download the programs for the robot from Robotsquare, where you can find more information and videos about The Snatcher and other NXT robots.
The program for The Snatcher consists of four main parts: a loop that makes the robot drive around until it finds an object, a subroutine that makes the robot approach and grab the object, a subroutine that makes the robot lift and carry the object, and a subroutine that makes the robot release the object. The program uses variables, switches, loops, sensors, and math blocks to control the robot's behavior.
The Snatcher is a great example of how you can use LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT 2.0 to create complex and intelligent robots that can interact with their environment. By building and programming The Snatcher, you will learn advanced programming skills and techniques that you can apply to your own NXT projects.
One of the challenges of building The Snatcher is to design a grabber that can open and close with just one motor. The solution is to use a clever mechanism that uses gears, axles, and rubber bands to create a spring-loaded action. When the motor turns one way, the grabber opens; when it turns the other way, the grabber closes. The touch sensor helps the program to know when the grabber is fully closed, so it can stop the motor and avoid damaging the mechanism.
Another challenge of programming The Snatcher is to make it find and grab objects of different sizes and shapes. The program uses a variable called Closest to store the distance of the closest object detected by the ultrasonic sensor. The program compares this variable with a constant value called GrabDistance, which is the distance at which the robot should start grabbing. If Closest is smaller than GrabDistance, the robot stops driving and starts grabbing. Otherwise, it keeps driving until it finds an object within range.
The Snatcher is not only a fun robot to build and program, but also a useful one. You can use it to pick up and move objects around your house, or to compete in robotics contests. You can also modify it to suit your needs and preferences. For example, you can change the shape and size of the grabber, add more sensors or motors, or create different programs for different tasks. The possibilities are endless with LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT 2.0! 061ffe29dd