Skip to main content

The Green Monster, Team Hassenplug

Steve Hassenplug has done some amazing work over the years, and one of his newer models is no exception. I first saw this in person at NI Week '07, and was impressed with both the abilities of the big green wheels, as well as the novel turning and steering system. In The Green Monster, the front wheels are independently driven to allow differential steering. But in addition, the rear wheels are articulated to the front body, but also driven by the third NXT motor, leading to more power, and a wonderfully fun skidding way of going around tight turns.

Much more impressive than the look or power of this beast (it handles dirt, grass, and other surfaces with ease... I'm waiting for the snow fan-tailing videos), is the fact that Steve has used it as a testbed for coupling GPS navigation with the NXT. Take a look at the videos (from 14 Sep) on Steve's webpage for some impressive (not to mention rather humorous) navigation attempts (PS, Steve's back yard is considerably steeper than it looks in the video). Currently Steve is using RobotC to drive the robot, which is completely autonomous, simply following a set of waypoint coordinates. He's also used pbLua to communicate with the GPS, and there are even some people who have managed this with the stadard firmware (although it's rather unclear right now exactly how that is done).

Now, anybody know where I can get a really small, simple, BT-equiped GPS unit? Serenity needs a captain... :-).

Brian Davis

Popular posts from this blog


2023 is the 25th Anniversary of the MINDSTORMS brand. For 25 years, MINDSTORMS has educated and inspired a generation of robot builders, both children and adults. Unfortunately, the LEGO Group decided to end the line on December 2022. Many ROBOTMAK3RS have been passionately involved with the development of MINDSTORMS through the MUP and MCP programs. Even with the newest Robot Inventor line, several ROBOTMAK3RS were invited to submit additional bonus models that were included in the official app. Regardless of the retirement of a major LEGO robotics product line, ROBOTMAK3RS continue to MAKE-SHARE-INSPIRE using all LEGO robotics platforms available to us. Here is the official statement from LEGO. Since its launch in September 1998, LEGO MINDSTORMS has been one of the core ‘Build & Code’ experiences in the company’s portfolio, carrying with it significant brand equity and becoming a stand-out experience for the early days of consumer robotics and leading to current Build & Code

Celebrating 25 Years of MINDSTORMS

In celebration of the 25th Anniversary of MINDSTORMS, we take a trip through history. Please also visit ROBOTMAK3RS Community every week as we highlight different projects all through 2023 in celebration of the anniversary. Some of the early history is based on the content shared by  Coder Shah  in our  MINDSTORMS EV3 Community Group . Some of the text and links may have been edited from his original posts for consistency and clarity.  1984 - Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen watched a TV program called "Talking Turtle," where MIT professor Seymour Papert demonstrated how children could control robot "turtles" using LOGO, a programming language he developed. 1988 - The collaboration between MIT and LEGO resulted in LEGO TC Logo in 1988, which allowed students to control LEGO models using computer commands. The video shows Papert demonstrating TC Logo. 1990 - LEGO TC Logo was hampered since the robots you built had to be tethered to a personal computer. LEGO and MIT

Celebrating MINDSTORMS with a Remix Part 1

In honor of the 25th Anniversary of MINDSTORMS, we asked ROBOTMAK3RS to combine a LEGO set of their choice with a MINDSTORMS set. Here is what these five ROBOTMAK3RS came up with.  MINDSTORMS Chess Assistant by Arvind Seshan Overview: When you are new to chess, it can be a challenge to remember which pieces go where. Now, you can use machine learning and LEGO MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor to build a tool to help you learn where all the chess pieces go on the chess board. Sets used: LEGO® Iconic Chess Set (40174) and MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor (51515) Review: I really like how the chess set base can store all the pieces underneath and that the board neatly splits in half for handy storage. The chess pieces themselves are very sturdy and well built. My only criticism is the building of the box itself. It was quite difficult to see what pieces to use and since the entire box is made mostly of thin plates, it took a lot of time and patience. I would have liked the storage area to be sliding dra