Friday, December 23, 2011


I decided to challenge myself a bit when building 9391 Mini Crane. The instructions were put aside (without browsing) and I was only allowed to see the photos on the box to build the set.

It went surprisingly well, all the parts was there and a lot of the parts could be traced from the photos. In the end I only made one mistake, I only used one bushing on the turret rotation knob instead of three:

One thing that got quite a bit confusing was where the support for the boom was suppose to be attached. I first attached it at the end of the beam with five empty holes until the brace, as it later turned out this is the correct way.

But while playing with the model I noticed that I could not lower the boom as much as the box photos. Upon closer inspection I noticed that the beam continues past the black mechanism in the photos. On the left it is also quite clear that there are only four empty holes. But built this way the supports collides with the bottom of the superstructure.

TLG has cheated with the model for the box photos (which is pretty common).

All in all this was a very fun little exercise and I will build more small sets this way in the future!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday, January 7, 2011

Robotkampen 2011

Finally Robotkampen was planned for a day where work did not interfere so badly. We had not joined in on the LEGO robot competition since 2005, good thing we could participate in this tenth installment!

Lot's of things had changed since the last time. I've been more or less in a new dark age and it became quite clear that the NXT-kit was way better then the old RCX, especially since the motors now has rotation sensors built in. I bought a kit and had planned to look at both building and programming but time up to the competition was mostly spent on other things.

So coming to the competition ill prepared and finding a super hard task gave us much trouble. After over four hours and with 1½ hour until competition time our robot looked like this:

And since we did not have a robot to test the programming on not much was done there either. Ooops! :D

So what was the super hard task? Take a look at this photo:

The task was to move all red balls into the red hole, all the blue balls into the blue hole, all gray into gray and two yellow corner balls into the yellow hole. Each color earned different score based on how far the balls had to be moved. The red and blue could quite easily be knocked down into their holes but the gray and yellow needed to be collected and carried some distance.

I suppose I don't have to write that we did not succeed very well in this. We only got time to practice twice on the table, there were 21 teams queuing to do the same so time got even sparser. But we had a lot of fun!

Speaking of time getting sparse, 15:00 the robots had to be finished and placed on a certain spot. We did so with nine seconds left. :)

Here's my teammate Harri and our two fans Supermario and Nextuz.

The competition has begun!

The scoreboard after two competition runs. Max was 400 but the best team "only" managed 160. We got a mere 20. :)

Some of the 21 robots, the ones missing are getting fine-tuned for the finals.

The teams. Some had traveled half the country to get there!

Judge keeping track of the scores.

Our robot as it finally turned out. We did not use any sensor and only two motors after the motto Keep It Simple Sutpid. On the left (right in this photo) we put a ball carrier, to empty it we planned on going close to the hole so the balls fell out under it. Alas we never got that far. :)

Here's hoping Robotkampen 2012 also will be on a day where we easily can skip work! Until then I hope to find some real programming environment for the NXT and perhaps even get a few ours of practice. :D