Instruction Guide: Introduction to NXT

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Slide 1 Use the Powerpoint file Introduction to NXT.ppt  to transistion from a discussion of robots in general to the specifics of the NXT.

Slide 2 Different Types of Robots:

  •  Asks studetns to come up with examples of real robots.
    • Discuss what type (Military, Domestic, Industrial, Entertainment, Exploratory, Medical) each example represents
    •  Discuss how each example addresses the 4D's: Dangerous work, Dull (repetitive) work, Delicate (precision) work, Dirty work (hostile environments, beyond human capability), etc.
  • The first slide has some sample robot images

Slide 3 NXT: Our Robotics Technology of Choice

  • Ask how many students have worked with Lego
    • Lego is the "manufacturer" of the NXT (first robot characteristic)
  • Explain we will explore hardware vs firmware vs software in future lessons
    • Hardware – what you can see/ touch
    • Software – instructions programmer (student) gives robot 
    • Firmware – instructions manufacturer gives robot 
  • We’ll be focusing on the hardware for the next few lessons 

Slide 4 Hardware includes tradition Lego building pieces plus NXT parts Slide 5

  • NXT sensors (light, touch, sound, ultrasonic)
    •  Have students compare these to human senses
    • These are how NXT robots “sense their environment” (second robot characteristic)
  • NXT motors
    • Have students compare these to human capabilities (muscles)
    • These are one way NXT robots “respond to instructions” (third robot characteristic)

Slide 6

  • NXT “brick”
    • Have students compare these to human capabilities (brain)
    • Controls motors, lights and LCD screen based on instructions and sensory input

Slide 7 NXT – Although made by Lego, the NXT not just a simple toy 

  • Show video examples of Rubik’s Cube Solver, Sudoku Solver and Portrait drawing NXT
    • Exact same hardware as students will use in class
      • Point out brick, motors and sensors in videos 
    • More complex software than students will start with, but all within reach in advanced classes