Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Day 2...More Reading and the beginning of Building :-D

Today was spend doing quite a bit of reading from Baum's book. He does a really good job introducing the RIS.
I will be doing a quick overview of what I learned today from my reading, then I will be showing the beginning of building one of the Robot models in the Knudsen book.

For the RCX (the brain):

  • The programming code is not compiled into an assembly code like you might think. It actually compiled into byte codes that are read by the firmware in the RCX brick. Which makes the RCX able to maintain a safe and reliable environment.
  • The program it can hold 10 tasks, which are a list of instructions for the Robot.
  • Subroutines are a way to call code within a task that you do not want to write directly into a task or that you might want to call over again.
  • The variables that are used in the Lego code, are global and can be used in any task. But the value that it will hold will be the last one that was assigned it.
  • There are three output ports with three modes: on, off, floating. The floating mode means that no energy is going to the motor but that it is allowed to spin freely.
  • Sensors come in two different types with the basic model of the kit: touch and light.
  • The touch sensor has a button that gets pushed in by something and then sends a signal.
  • The light sensor uses a phototransistor in order to sense light. It also can sense colors by this sensor. The light sensors are know to be picky and can cause the need to readjust code in order for it to work properly.
  • The RCX keeps track of time from the moment that it is turned on.
  • The datalog that it can keep can be loaded onto a computer in order to be able to see it.
  • It will automatically shut itself down after a certain amount of time, even if it is running a program.
Now for some pictures of the beginning of the Robot.....
I am following a design in the Knudsen book. I have found the pictures to be helpful in constructing a good base. Although because they are black and white and on regular paper, some of the details can be hard to figure out at first, making you back track with the snapping together of pieces.

Hours Worked: 2.5

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