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New Mindstorms Challenge (Halloween)!

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« on: October 04, 2011, 03:57:15 pm »

The Mindstorms Team released a new contest! I was surprised at first to see that it was Halloween themed and we have less than a month to enter. However, now that I think about it, it makes sense to have a contest that can be completed quickly and with enough time left to have a winter holiday themed challenge. They even gave us plenty of ideas, as displayed in the text below.

"It’s been four years since NXTLOG has hosted a spooky Halloween challenge, and it’s time to get boo-ilding! Will you design a robot to dispense candy in a helpful way, or one that “tricks” you when you go to grab a “treat?” How about a robot that shows what your costume would be, or one that can carve a jack-o-lantern, or even a fright bot representing a classic Halloween icon, character, monster, or beast! There's no limit on amount of Spooktacular ideas there are or the amount of LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT sensors, motors, NXT programmable bricks, HiTechnic sensors, or Bluetooth communication you can use on your NXT Halloween Bot. All entries must be tagged "spooktacular." Entries must be submitted by Halloween! October 31, 2011. What will boo, um we mean "you" make? "

I hope to enter this one, but I'm not sure that I'll have time. I will definitely try to find time over the weekends though. Anyone here entering or have ideas? Read more about the challenge here.
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« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2011, 10:38:33 pm »

Have you decided what you want to build yet?
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« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2011, 11:07:24 am »

No, I haven't thought of anything to build yet. I've been going back and forth a little with Legodac, wondering how well he would do if he had a Mindstorms set.  Smiley

Anyone have any ideas for me?  Smiley I need your help, awesome brickers of MLNO! Just start throwing out ideas... "No idea is a bad one when you are brainstorming. In fact, it might even result in someone thinking the perfect solution." -certain robotics mentor
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« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2011, 01:48:33 pm »

How about a robot that you can set on a table, and then it will help you button/zip up the back of your costume?  Or a robot that rolls around on four wheels, carrying your halloween candy bucket, that can also climb stairs AND lift the bucket up to waist height to recieve candy when you ring the bell?  (That last one would be AWESOME if you made it look like a spider.)

EDIT: To clarify: I'm imagining one of these, but with stair-climbing legs, and made to look spider-esque:
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« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2011, 04:17:13 pm »

Oh, Flipz, that would be awesome!  Cheesy A scissor-lift that lifts up a candy bucket to receive candy, and rolls around by itself (I think climbing stairs would be unrealistic, especially because even getting a robot to climb stairs without a load is difficult). Another potential problem would be the scissor-lift itself. In non-LEGO, such as the picture above, pneumatics or hydraulics are used. Because I don't own any LEGO pneumatic pieces, I would need to transfer the rotational energy motion of the motor to linear. Unfortunately, that results in a friction and gear slippage, making me worried that it wouldn't be able to lift a bucket, let alone one with candy. I need to explore my ways of transferring rotational to linear before I consider building.

In the mean time, any other ideas? Just throw them out there.  Wink
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« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2011, 05:44:22 pm »

From the other end, imagine you are hosting a haunted house party.
You have a very spooky greeter at the door, who says,  come on in.. nothing to be afraid of here, follow meeeee.
If you have sound capability, that is.
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« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2011, 09:22:24 pm »

I considered something similar too... my NXT only makes the basic sounds. Maybe I can get it to say "boo!" but the capabilities don't go very far beyond that.

Now I'm considering something that can sit on a shelf inside the house, and can be fun, scary, or cute for the little cousins to look at. Are there any Halloween related rides? I love including minifigs in my projects...
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« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2011, 10:24:33 pm »



how about something like that?
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« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2011, 10:59:19 pm »

I considered something similar too... my NXT only makes the basic sounds. Maybe I can get it to say "boo!" but the capabilities don't go very far beyond that.

Now I'm considering something that can sit on a shelf inside the house, and can be fun, scary, or cute for the little cousins to look at. Are there any Halloween related rides? I love including minifigs in my projects...

http://thenxtzoo.com/sound/sound_windows.pdf
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« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2011, 03:20:02 am »

or, maybe, a monster that can walk or something like that Tongue
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« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2011, 09:05:00 pm »

Thanks MsRR, I'll look into that.  Smiley

mtm, that occurred to me but I didn't consider it for long because I figured at least half a dozen other builders would do the same. It is simple and even implied as a good idea in the challenge description. The only way to win with something like that is to create it in a unique way or mostly perfect way, which I believe trekdude already has (love the spider, by the way, although I wished it was able to move around a bit more). No, I wanted to do something different... which I still haven't decided on. I either want to do something iconic to Halloween, or something scary. It would be great if it included physics...
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« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2011, 09:28:06 pm »

How about a pumpkin tht opens to reveal lots o candy??
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« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2011, 10:43:08 pm »

The problem is that I have a very small amount of orange bricks.  Tongue This challenge really is challenging for me. I have an idea though.  Cheesy I thought of it just a few minutes after I typed "physics".  Grin
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« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2011, 10:47:29 pm »

I knew the orange bricks would be a killer...
Want to share your idea?
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« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2011, 11:09:20 pm »

Umm... I would love to! Something makes me reluctant to post it on the interenet though... I'll pm it to you.  Smiley
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« Reply #15 on: October 10, 2011, 11:16:02 pm »

Great! Thanks
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« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2011, 11:23:48 pm »

No problem. I love sharing my ideas; it helps to work out problems.  Smiley
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