Sadly, Dr. E’s WeDo Challenges and Dr. E’s MINDSTORMS Challenges will no longer be posting new challenges. However, both websites will remain up so that you can continue to access the previous challenges and all of the wonderful submissions. Thank you to LEGO Education and to the Center for Engineering Education and Outreach at Tufts University for their years of support (and thank you to LEGO for their amazing robotics platforms). During the six years of WeDo challlenges and five years of MINDSTORMS challenges, we received almost 1000 submissions from around the world. The two websites had a total of 1266 registered users from 57 different countries. We were truly a global community! We have always been inspired and energized by the creativity and innovation shown by the Dr. E's Challenges community; while new challenges won't be posted moving forward, we hope that you continue doing awesome stuff in your homes, clubs, and classrooms and that you continue to share your projects with the world! Collaborating with all of you has been a joy and an inspiration. Thank you, The folks at Dr. E’s

Larry the Dropbot


 Larry the Drop bot


 Dropping mechanism


Background story for Larry 


 Its into the future and we finally found a planet that is almost the size of our Earth and perfect for humans to inhabit.  It has water, gaint trees (for the lack of Carnivores on the planet), breathable air (granted its 21.5% of oxygen instead of 20.95%) and clean good water.  After a few years of research and sending probes/bots to analyze soil, plants and all, scientists found the perfect place to start settlements.  As final leg for the decade(s) long project is done in 3 stages

Stage a is what this bot, Larry, is all about.  Larry (and there are lot more of Larry's) is sent with supplies to build a habitat and basic tools.  All the supplies are embedded inside the bot.  Larry(s) will be put in individual pods and sent down the planet atmosphere to the co-ordinates predetermined by the scientists.  Once Larry wakes up on the planet surface, he has to look for spots with basically no big objects/trees etc,  If Larry encounters an object in the way, he will turn 45 degrees and continue the search again to find suitable space.  If there are no obstructions, the plan is to build habitats in a row (ideal).  

Second stage bots (which are currently under design and scheduled to finish prototype by Sept 2018) will be launched once Larry(s) finish their objective.  The second stage bots will then open the supplies and use them to build livable habitats.  The third stage will be to send humans along with seeds (for crops, trees etc).

To achieve the objective of dropping the supplies, I used a new method with piston.  Connecting the piston to a motor, I used the rotation and advancement of the piston to push the supplies out of the hole.  This helped me to keep the supplies horizontal rather than vertical which helps in keeping the height of the bot lower (that helps with center of gravity).   Ofcourse to detect any obstructions, ultrasound sensors worked great although might need some on the side of the bot as well for more accurate picture of the surroundings.

Larry worked great as a prototype!  Hope you enjoyed it as well.

1 Comment

  1. bbratzel

    What a clever mechanism for doing controlled drops of LEGO bricks! It works beautifully. And I love the plans for stages two and three.

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