Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Results of Biped Building Challenge

Monday, April 7th, 2008

Earlier I blogged about the official Biped Building Challenge, and just recently the winners were announced here on the MINDSTORMS website. The winners are as follows:

Champion’s Award: “Bipedal Dragon Prototype” by billy259.

Robot Design Award: “NeXTBIRD (or MODEL 05)” by NeXTSTORM

Robot Performance Award: “Little Bigfoot” (shown below) by Mister.Tux

Creative Use of NXTLOG Award: “The helpi’vefallenandican’tgetup! biped” by jayko543

Congratulations to the winners and all the robots that received an honorable mention!

Little Bigfoot

Biped Building Challenge: Ideas, Anyone?

Saturday, March 15th, 2008

The official MINDSTORMS NXT Biped Building challenge, which was launched earlier this month, is asking NXT fans to create two-legged walkers—among the most difficult robots to build. Fortunately, the MINDSTORMS website lists some sample bipeds on NXTLOG to give inspiration to the community.


However, a simple video can be very effective when it comes to giving inspiration. Following is a video made by YouTube user Laurens200: it demonstrates one of his NXT biped creations. This robot implements one of several possible methods for creating an NXT biped–and it’s quite amusing to watch!

Winners Announced for NXT Camera Bot Building Challenge

Monday, March 10th, 2008

The results are in for the official Camera Bot challenge that I mentioned earlier. The Champion’s Award went to creator NeXTSTORM for OPTICKS (see below). The MINDSTORMS website reports on this amazing invention:

OPTICKS is capable of rotating an embedded camera on both a vertical and horizontal axis, making it possible to take detailed panoramic 360 photos, including a sky-view. OPTICKS can be triggered automatically (motion, sound, light) or manually (touch). This robot is equipped with three motors (A, B, C), four sensors (Light , Sound, Touch, and Ultrasonic), a single NXT brick and one digital photo camera. For an innovative concept, design, construction, and programming we award the OPTICKS the Champion’s Award.

Click here to find out the rest of the results for the contest!


NXTLOG 5000 Winners Announced!

Monday, March 3rd, 2008

On the MINDSTORMS website, the NXTLOG team “froze” submissions of robots at 4999 and then proceeded to determine a robot “that best demonstrates the true LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT creative spirit.” That 5000th robot is now chosen: Mars Explorer Mk1 by user mezzauk (see below). Click here to see the robot, and click here for a full list of winners: second place, third place, and honorable mention.


Winners of MINDSTORMS NXT Winter Wonderland Building Challenge

Sunday, February 10th, 2008

The official MINDSTORMS website reports that there were nearly 100 entries in the Winter Wonderland Building Challenge, and the results are now in! The Champion’s Award went to the robot Dancing Snowman (shown below) by Mini_Man176. You can find all the winners and see their robots here.


MINDSTORMS NXT Camera Bot Building Challenge

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

The official MINDSTORMS website is hosting yet another “challenge” or contest: the Camera Bot challenge. Can you guess what this challenge is about? I thought so. The website has this to say about the contest:

Lights, camera, action!

The MINDSTORMS NXT Camera Bot Building Challenge is asking you to create the NXT spy bot, paparazzi bot, photojournalist bot, or even a robotic fashion photographer.

We are looking for robots that can take still photos (not video), and we want you to also share the pictures taken from your robot’s point of view.

Get building! The deadline is February 29th. You can read the complete rule set here.


More Barnes & Noble Fun in Round Rock, TX

Monday, January 28th, 2008

On February 2nd from 10AM to noon, I’ll be demonstrating robots from my book The Unofficial LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT Inventor’s Guide at the Barnes & Noble in Round Rock. I recently did a book signing there, and they invited me back to participate in an event supporting the bestselling The Dangerous Book for Boys. This is a nationwide event for Barnes & Noble, meaning that BN locations around the nation are each hosting their own event with an activity that would interest readers of The Dangerous Book for Boys. I plan on bringing my “dangerous” Guard-Bot to the event as well as another robot.

The store will have copies of The Dangerous Book for Boys and my book available, and I’ll be available to sign copies after my demonstration. The address for the store is below. I hope to see you there!

La Frontera Village
2701 Parker Road Bldg A Suite 700
Round Rock, TX 78681


LEGO Celebrates the 50th Birthday of the LEGO Brick

Monday, January 28th, 2008

If Google’s response to an event measures the event’s significance, this month is incredibly important. As the LEGO Company celebrates the 50th anniversary of the LEGO Brick (the LEGO homepage reads, “Happy Birthday LEGO Brick!”), the Google homepage features the image below. Wouldn’t it be great if Google featured LEGO every day?


Barnes & Noble Book Signing in Austin, TX

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

On April 19th at 2PM, I’m going to be doing another book signing for The Unofficial LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT Inventor’s Guide at a Barnes & Noble in Austin, TX. I plan on bringing two robots from the book with me, of course, and I hope to meet some LEGO fans in south Austin.

Here is the address of the Barnes & Noble location where the book signing will be held:

Sunset Valley Village
5601 Brodie Lane Suite 300
Austin, TX 78745

Barnes & Noble

Update on Round Rock, TX Book Signing

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

The book signing last Saturday at the Barnes & Noble in Round Rock was a success and incredibly fun. It was great meeting everyone, answering questions, and signing copies of The Unofficial LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT Inventor’s Guide. A lot of parents showed up with their children who are MINDSTORMS maniacs, but some adult fans of LEGO came by as well as someone from National Instruments (the company that developed NXT-G). Not surprisingly, I heard more than one person say, “We got the NXT set for Christmas!” I’m sure a lot of people got the NXT set for Christmas.

And, yes, I managed to keep Guard-Bot and Tag-Bot on the table. I programmed Guard-Bot to walk in a square and Tag-Bot to sit still and turn its head every seven seconds. Tag-Bot, of course, appeared as if it was examining its surroundings, and I got some funny responses from people walking by.

I’m planning on having another signing at a location in Austin–more on that later.