Introduction: Lego Robot for Beginers

I first got into robotics when i was given a Lego mind stormers kit for Christmas

I quickly built all the robots in the book and got hooked on robotics
For me the best part was being able to take a robot designed to do one thing and program it to do something else
Being hooked i soon moved on to other robotics and the Lego got shelved 

while packing for uni the other day i found my Lego and remembered the joy programming it had given me

i built the "bugbot" (so named because of the look of the bumper and its compact(ish) size) in the hopes of getting others hooked on robotics 

the bugbot is designed to be easy to build, robust and easily customized, a perfect toy robot for beginners 

Step 1: Parts List

misc bricks (image 1)
1 - rcx brick
2 - pipes
4 - short connection cables 
1 - light sensor
1 - button
2 - large wheels
2 - motors
4 - wheel hubs
2 - pair shaped pieces
1 - rubber band

thin bricks (image 2) each brick is named by number of "studs" at the top
6 - 1*16
6 - 1*12
2 - 1*10
4 - 1*8
6 - 1*6
12 - 1*4
5 - 1*2

axles (image 3) each axle is named after its length compared to a studded brick
1 - 6 length
4 - 5 lengths 
4 - 3 lenghts
3 - 2 lengths 

flat bricks (image 4) 
3 - 2*6 (filler bricks can be changed see note)
1 - 2*4
2 - 1*4
1 - 1*2
4 - corner bricks

axle connectors (image 5)
4 - "1" angles
1 - axle right angle
2 - peg to axle adaptors
8 - peg to axle right angles
11 - pegs
4 - holey 1*1 blocks
1 - flat axle stabiliser
4 - small axle spacer
5 - large axle spacer 

thick bricks (image 6)
2 - 2*4

bumper bricks (image 6)
2 - yellow angle bricks

Step 2: Base

lock motors together using a flat 2*4 piece (image 1)

flip motors over and connect together with flat 1*4 pieces (image 2) 

connect a thin 1*16 brick either side of the flat connectors (image 3)

invert motors  and attach wheels, and connect thin 1*12 bricks to either end of of the 1*16 bricks (image 4)

add corner pieces under the 1*12 bricks (image 5)

finish base by attaching 1*16 bricks down the sides

Step 3: Wheels

sandwich a peg to axle right angle between two "1" angles using a 3 axle, make two (image 1)

attach to a 1*6 with 2 pegs (image 2)

attach 3 spaces in from the outer rail, the peg section facing out (image 3) put aside

start to build the wheels by attaching wheel hubs either side of a peg axle right angle, the axle must go through the hole os the wheels spin freely, make 2 (image 4)

attach a 5 axle to both, followed by two large axle spacers, add an additional small spacer to one, this becomes the back wheel (image 5)

attach wheels to base through the previously attached wheel housings, use a large spacer to attach the front and a small spacer for the back (image 6/7)

Step 4: Build Up

add thin 1*2 pieces between the motor and the back wheel housing (image 1)

stack the 3 thin 2*6 pieces together and add in behind the front wheel housing (image 2/3)

lock wheel housings in place using four 1*6 pieces (image 4)

lock down frame using 1*4 pieces on each corner (image 5)

finish the front and back by adding 1*4 pieces between wheel locks (image 6)

on the front fill the gap between motor and wheel housing with 1*4 bricks (image 6)

lock the back down using a 1*12 brick across the middle (image 7)

add holy 1*1 bricks to the corners with the holes facing front and back (image 7)

Step 5: Bumper

push the button down on top of the built up area at the front of the robot (image 1)

start the bumper by laying a pair shaped piece flat and and adding 3 2 axles (one either and and one in the middle)

attach the yellow bumper pieces to the outer 2 axles and the axle right angle to the middle (image 2)

lock in place with the last pair shaped piece

two holes in from the bend in the bumper pieces attach peg axle right angles, attach axle peg adaptor as shown (image 3)

attach the two final peg axle right angles to the inside , with the axle holes point the same way (image 4)

connect a 6 axle to the middle connector and the 5 axles to the out sides

slide a thin 1*12 brick over the axles so that the 6 axle is through its middle hole (image 5)

on the end of the 6 axle Sandwich the axle stabiliser between two thin axle spacers (image 6)

thread a rubberband through both the axle stabiliser and the hole in the 1*12 closest to the 6 axle and hold with peg (image 7)

by stretching the rubberband thread it through the other side axle stabiliser and 1*12, holding it with another peg (image8)
(this step can take a bit of patience and can be made easier  by flattening out a paper clip pushing it up through both hooking the rubber band and pulling back through)

attach the 1*12 brick between the 1*1s on the front of the robot (image 9)

Step 6: Build Up

fix the motors in place using 4 1*8 bricks (image 1)

lock in the 1x1 bricks using 1x4s (image 1)
(NOTE: i did not have enough 1x4s to complete this step so i used 2, 1x2 bricks on one corner)

add wires to motors and buttons, facing backwards (image 2)

finish the body using the 2, 1x12 and the 2, 1x16 bricks (be careful not to lock the wires into place) (image 3)

finally lock down the motors using the 2, 1x10 bricks as shown (image 3)

Step 7: The Final Touches

connect a flat 2x1 piece to the bottom of a thin 2x1 piece, this then needs to be attached to the front of the robot, by pushing it in to the outwards facing holes on the lowest body piece...  (image 1)

attach a light sensor to the pieces just added. thread the wire up behind the bumper (image 2)

the light sensors wire will not be long enough to reach the RCX brick when that is attached later, so connect in to the main body of the bot between the bricks locking down the motor, and add another short wire (image 3)

to add the housing for the RCX flip the robot over and attach 2x4 pieces between the motor supports and corner pieces (image 4)

connect all the cables to the RCX, standing it on the pieces just added, the motor cables will need to be attached as follows right into A and left into B (image 5)

to make sure the RCX stays in place while the bot is spinning in circles (with the right programming it can spin on its own axis) it needs to be stopped from moving side to side, this is where manly pick tubing comes to its own =P

connect two tubes together with a peg and add pegs at either end (image 6)

theses tubes then need to be connected around the RCX, by pushing the pegs into the 1x1 on either side of the RCX (image 7)

** additional** you may wish to strengthen the support pieces for the RCX just in case it nose dives of a table or something =S
to provide more support add 2 additional flat 2x2 pieces to the corner supports(to build it up to the same height) then add a flat 2x4 piece to provide more stability

Step 8: FINISHED!!!!

the easy part is now done.....

the bugbot is ready to program.... what it can do is up to your imagination
here are some ideas

program it to: 
avoid walls
follow lines
stay inside a box taped on a table top
dance the hokey pokey
add a pen to the front and get ti to draw letters

using a combination of the above the bugbot makes a really good toy which can avoid the edge of a table and turns around when the bumper is hit...

thanks for reading by 'ible
if i could get my hands on mindstorms nxt i would make a mark 2 version
so please vote for me in the toy contest


mazmi made it!(author)2011-09-10

do we need just a light sensor? Or microcontrollers and stuff because lots of robots use that and its kinda expensive so i dont buy it

knexfreak32 made it!(author)2011-06-18

whats the button for , it seems to me like when the robot hits something the bumper depresses the button switch witch then tells the r.c.x to ....stop,revers,turn,?

Team_Panic made it!(author)2011-06-18

all of the above and none of the above.... when the button is depressed it sends a signal to the rcx, the rcx can be programmed to do anything u want it to when it gets this signal. the must usual thing to do is have the rcx read this signal, stop, put motors in reverse then turn left or right given personal preference to avoid what ever is in its way.... how ever you can program it do do other things... that is the beauty of this robot is a (reasonably) solid little robot that can be programmed in many different ways

knexfreak32 made it!(author)2011-06-19

thanks man.

r-philp made it!(author)2011-06-11

How are you programming the old RCX brick? I've got one, but the software doesn't support any OS more current than windows 98. I'd love to introduce my son to RCX programming, but I haven't found a software platform that will program them anymore.

Team_Panic made it!(author)2011-06-17

can you get the program installed on your computer and then it doesn't run or will it just not install?
to fix the first case for windows xp and up, find the .exe file and right click go to properties, then find the compatibility tab, select run this program in compatibility mode and select something earlier then 98 from the drop down, (side note if your using vista or above it might be a good idea to run the .exe as an admin as well)

to fixing the second case is harder, and not something i have run into much before, how ever try "exploring" the CD it installs from finding the .exe and using the above steps.
i hope this helps, the RCX is a brilliant way to get into programming, enjoy

jimopertrat made it!(author)2011-06-16

try this place:

About This Instructable




Bio: An Aussie guy with a passion for teaching STEM and tinkering with all things electrical, especially robotics.
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