Wednesday, February 22, 2006

NXT Sports

Competitive sports are great fun. They bring people together, and push the limits of what you can do. For Lego, there is already the First Lego League. In that spirit, I wonder which "sports" could Lego Mindstorms NXT robots do. Off course, in all of these sports, only pure Lego parts, or NXT parts from third parties (especially third party sensors), are allowed. What sports was I thinking of?

Well, there is the obvious soccer game. I guess RoboCup has paved the way there.

Another cool candidate is robot racing. The Lego Mindstorms NXT have angular encoders on the motors, so you can drive them really accurate, and keep them on the race track. It has ultrasonic obstacle detection, so you see the other robots. How about a real race track (which is circular with some extra turns), with multiple robots that need to overtake each other like a real race? With a qualifying speed lap for pool position?

A very different kind of challenge might be a climbing/hiking sport, in which the robot must overcome very rugged terrain. There should probably be points for elegance, amount of ground contact (flying over it doesn't count), etceteras.

Finally, while not the most emotional sports, combat sports are always highly popular. Maybe Judo is a pretty clean sport. If you can turn your competitor on his back, or push him out of the ring, the jury gives you points. Sufficient points and you win. No non-Lego parts allowed!

What other sports do you think are cool? Or do you have changes to the ones I proposed?

UPDATE on February 23: Another robot sport already out there is Maze Running. Check out MicroMouse competition.


At July 18, 2007 8:13 PM , Blogger Tony said...

I'd very much like to know where you got that picture.... It's really caught my interest.

At July 23, 2007 3:47 PM , Blogger Filip said...

It is just a quick fabrication of my own.

At July 24, 2007 4:40 PM , Blogger Tony said...

So you modeled the whole thing up from scratch? Or took a picture of a pre-existing Lego model of the car and composited in the sensor? If the latter, can you point me to the model number of the set?


At July 25, 2007 12:08 PM , Blogger Filip said...

I composed three visuals from Lego.

The box for the Ferrari is 8653. The assembled car measures 47 cm (18.4 inch)! I briefly checked the Lego Ferrari site), but I didn't see it anymore. Back when I bought it, it was already announced as a "special offer". Perhaps they had a time-expiring license with Ferrari for this particular set.

The set is still featured on the Lego site for now, and Google still has the shop page in cache.

You can find a review of the set here. If you do a Google search on the model, you can still find models for sale.

At July 25, 2007 2:18 PM , Blogger Tony said...

Awesome. Thanks for the links!


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