NXT hacks: tanks and heaters

Here’s a double-dose of Lego NXT goodness; a robotic tank and an automatic aquarium heater.

The image to the left is a robotic tank powered by the popular Lego Mindstorms NXT kit. The brains rest inside of a tube, including the controller brick, ultrasonic range finder, a gyroscope, and a compass. Two sets of treads surround each edge of the tube making us wonder which end is up? We’ve embedded a video of this beast after the break. You’ll see that the tank is incredibly agile in this configuration.

To the right is an aquarium heater. [Dave's] kid were growing some tiny water dwellers which we’ve always know as Sea-Monkeys. The problem is that the tank needs to be between 72-80 degrees Fahrenheit for the little shrimp to thrive. He dug out his NXT controller and paired it up with the Lego temperature sensor and a dSwitch relay. This setup monitors the Aquarium for temperatures between 72-78 degrees and switches a lamp on an off to regulate the temperature. This keeps his kids and the stagnant pool happy.

Now that we’ve whet your appetite for NXT check out the wiimote operated NXT Segway and the NXT Sudoku solver.

[TubeIt via Make]

Comments

  1. Icarus says:

    Meh…
    I mean, it’s just lego. Not like he actually built something (am I wrong?)
    It’s kinda cool but I doubt the efficiency as a tank.
    On the other hand, the aquarium heater IS a hack so that’s pretty cool (and useful)

  2. Jake H says:

    Aquasaurs are not Sea-Monkeys! They are triops, which are much cooler than brine shrimp (commonly called sea monkeys).

  3. spiderwebby says:

    whats with the porn music??

  4. McSquid says:

    @icarus

    the concept and design is no less awesome just because he executed it with an easy building medium. it the same design had been implemented with custom machined metal would you be more impressed with his ideas? by that logic we cant appreciate the cardboard hexapod robots because they are made from cheap and easily obtained materials.

  5. Jack says:

    Reminds me of that one tank from BattleTanx for the N64.

    It’s definitely cool but not quite the same as if he had built the whole brains and controller circuits himself.

  6. octel says:

    @Icarus
    Lego hacks are the best IMHO because it’s difficult to do anything *really* wild due to the rigid design constraints of the pieces.

  7. dan says:

    @Icarus

    Did you want to see an Arduino in this build?

  8. Icarus says:

    @McSquid & octel
    Sorry, I meant the guts of the thingy
    I respect lego but I don’t think it being a great deed assembling something that was meant to be this way…
    It’s as if you took two Ikea shelves about the same size and made one with most of the parts. It’s not a creation, it’s factory made thus no credit.

    @dan
    Yes I would. The arduino, even if it’s used too much to your opinion, is an excellent board with which you can do almost anything quite fast for cheap. Of course you’re going to see it a lot around, it’s an easy developement base.

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