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About - LEGO Mindstorms Junkbots


About - LEGO Mindstorms Junkbots: "The idea behind the LEGO Mindstorms Junkbots is to bring together the motors of the LEGO and use them to power the robot which is otherwise created from junk. The key aims of the project are;
To give children at a KS2 primary school level an insight into what can be achieved through the use of simple programming.
To provide a fun and engaging activity for children to be creative and design their own robots.
To use the robots and programming software to achieve basic movements of the Junkbots.

The original junkbots project combined the idea of using motors and vibrations to move the bots with limited control however the new project uses the idea of programming to add a further element of control and as such the simplicity of the self contained NXT device was decided upon as a branch of this.

Aiming the project at KS1 and KS2 gives the opportunity to introduce basic programming from a young age and demonstrate just one of the interesting possibilities that comes from it."



'via Blog this'

If you would like to know more about the Junkbots project contact scott.turner@northampton.ac.uk

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Controlling a junkbot with a Micro:bit

A new direction has been developed for the junkbot project (http://junkbots.blogspot.co.uk/); previously Raspberry Pis have been used to control the junkbot’s movement (http://robotsandphysicalcomputing.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/python-junkbot.html) – but what about the recently released Micro:Bits; can it be used to control a junkbot?
Matthew Hole, a student from Wrenn Academy, Northamptonshire ; has been investigating this idea whilst on a Nuffield Research Placement (http://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/nuffield-research-placements) working with Dr Scott Turner, University of Northampton. The project was to look into developing junkbots controlled using a Micro:bit and also to produce some materials for schools to use with or without outside assistance.





What is a Junkbot? For this project, it is a moving ‘bot’ made from waste materials, combined with an electric motor and a programmable device (in this case a Micro:Bit) to control (or try) it. An example is shown above. More details on junk…

Do it yourself: 'Radio' Controlled Micro:Bit Junkbot

I
In an earlier post, I showed how you could build a Micro:Bit controlled Junkbot. In this post I want to show a modification to it, to use one Micro:Bit to control the junkbot controlled by another Micro:Bit. A nice feature of the Micro:Bit using micropython, is it can send and receive simple messages via radio - so here is my take on it.

The first problem is the Python editor available on https://www.microbit.co.uk/ does not seem to work with the radio API. One solution to this is to change to the mu editor.


Two pieces of code are needed.

Sending Code for the 'remote' control:
Essentially it is set up to send two messages, via the built-in radio module, spinl or spinr depending on which button is pressed.

import radio
from microbit import button_a, button_b

radio.on()

while True:
   if button_a.is_pressed():
       radio.send('spinl')
   if button_b.is_pressed():

       radio.send('spinr')

Junkbot Code
This takes an adapted form of the previous Junkbot code to work by; on r…