Many robots are designed to do simple tasks in an efficient way to make our lives easier. But what if robotic machines did simple tasks in an over-complicated way? This is the type of Machine that Rube Goldberg envisaged for his weird world. Above is an example of a 'Rube Goldberg Contraption'. I have attempted emulate this crazy idea of Goldberg's, with my very own over complicated LEGO Mindstorms NXT based 'Light Switch'.
About this creation
The Contraption uses two LEGO Mindstorms NXT's to control it. I could have just use the one, by using a couple of extra long Home-brew NXT Cables. The two NXT's control the six modules involved with making this Crazy Contraption turn on your 'Table Lamp':
The (random) distance measuring unit[NXT 1]
The Keyboard for inputting you distance guess[NXT 1]
To operate my NXTLOG 'Crazy Contraption' Entry, you first need to know how to subtract! No basic maths. No light to read by!
My NXTLOG 'Crazy Contraption' Entry
When the first NXT's program is run, the measuring target is positioned a random distance from the Ultrasonic Sensor at the extreme left of the gantry. The user's goal is to get the Trolley with the 'Red Plate' to move along the gantry until it is 100mm from the Ultrasonic Sensor. If you go closer than 100mm, you are forced to start again.
When you managed to have the Trolley 100mm from the Ultrasonic Sensor, you win and a 'Ball' is dispensed. The ball drops onto a 'Trigger Mechanism' which fires 2x 'Darts' at the Black and red target which then triggers a Touch Sensor attached to the second NXT. Once the Touch Sensor has been depressed, the second NXT sends a signal to the Mains Voltage Appliance Controller which in turn turns the 'Reading Lamp' ON!