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Creating Linear motion for your NXT projects - Part 1

Last week we learned how to do a self balancing robot - including an excellent follow on post from Kirk. This Saturday's series looks at ways of creating linear (straight) motion for your NXT robotics projects. This is part one of a two part introduction to Linear Motion.

There are many uses for linear motion in a robot. In simplest form it could be flexing of a robot arm or controlling the bucket of a bulldozer. More complex examples might involve shifting gears in an automatic transmission or activating a trigger.

We are going to look at three simple ways to create linear motion using a motor under NXT control:

Linear motion Using Levers attached to a spinning motor:

This is really simple and the most common way a linear motion is created. Implementing is very easy with parts available in a NXT kit. Here is a video of how this works:

Creating your custom actuator:

It is pretty straight forward to create a custom actuator like the one below - it can be made with components that comes with aNXT kit - such as two worm gears and the TECHNIC pulley that acts like an inverted corkscrew.

When the motor turns the two worm gears, the pulley travels in a linear fashion. Here is a video of one of these in action in a Zamor Ball firing mechanism. You can see more about this in NXTLog.

In the final part of this (hopefully this Monday), we will look at how to achieve linear motion using the new Linear Actuator.


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