Weston Middle School

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Weston, Massachusetts
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Lego NxT Roboticst-Artbotics-Sociable Robotics

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Design, build, and program a robotic "2 -1/2-dimensional" sculpture which communicates socially with the viewer.

Challenge: Build a robotic face with moveable parts that will respond to interactions with people. For example, you might have eyes “bug out” or spin around when someone yells or comes too close to it. At the same time, the tongue could be wagging or the ears twitching. Animals, science fiction, or cartoon characters are all acceptable.

Project Ideas: Come up with 2 and choose the one that interests you the most and is workable within the time allowed.

Nova Science Now: Sociable Robotics: Profile of Cynthia Breazel

A daring engineer designs robots to communicate and interact the way people do.


IDEA 1______________________
IDEA 2_______________________

What will your project do? Describe its actions in the form of a story.



Draw a sketch and label the parts that move:

Requirements: use three motors and at least 2 sensors. Describe the sensor/motor interaction in the diagram below, by drawing a line (wire!) from the sensor to the motor it will activate.

Sensors Motors: Eyes, Nose, etc.

Light Motor A, controls ____________

Touch Motor B, controls____________

Sound Motor C, controls____________


Now you are ready to manage 2 tasks:

1. Play with building mechanisms such as gear trains or cams, etc., that will move the features on the portrait, and play with paper cutouts of features to see if they provide the “look” you are aiming for. When your experiments are over,


2. Draw a life size template for your portrait. Label where all the motors, sensors, and NXT will be placed by tracing them onto your template. This way, you will know that everything will fit before you do any cutting and drilling.

Finally, you are ready to build and program your robot. You will be given the proper materials and demonstrations of cutting, gluing, assembling and trouble shooting.

Good luck!

Above- matching mechanisms with art-layer template

  • Build Motor Mechanisms; axles should match sketch locations
  • Attach Motor/mechanisms to rear of foamcore chassis layer

  • Build front mechanisms( cams, arms, etc.)
  • Draw/Print Out face/art layer picture- mouth, eyebrows, etc.; glue to foamcore; cut out with bandsaw or razor

  • Attach Face layer over front mechanisms using standoffs

  • Attach moving face features to axles( glue small attachment pieces to face feature)
  • Make Cut outs for NxT, sensors in chassis layer and attach

Rear view, showing motors attached to chassis layer

Front View, Showing Art Layer

Artbotics Presentations on Vimeo


Oil Pump Jack- A type of crank


Cabaret Mechanical Theatre

Artbotics-UMAss Lowell

Digital Voice Recorders

Sound Modules

Discount School Supply

Cabaret Mechanical Theatre(Home)

CMT-Youtube Channel

Revised January 2011 by Jonathan Dietz, dietzj@mail.weston.org