Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Vader - THE sumo robot

Vader is a LEGO sumo robot that I built when I got my first black NXT.  It has three motors, two light sensors, and two ultrasonic sensors.

This year at Brickworld, it won the sumo event for the fourth year in a row.  After being reprogrammed, it also won the joust event on Sunday. 

It's won a few other events in the last five years, and has done much n better than I ever expected.  At this point, I don't see taking it apart any time soon..

Thursday, June 19, 2014

More Super Robo Rally

I took Super Robo Rally to a summer camp at Purdue on Wednesday.  It was a good chance to test out  a new feature that we'll have available this year at Gen Con, where robots can be programmed using tablets, instead of (or in addition to) the playing cards previously used.  With the tablets, players were able to enter programs faster, meaning they played more turns in the same amount of time.

 Take a look at a screen shot from the tablet/phone view

We were also in the local media:

JC Online

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

VEX IQ Highrise scoring

In order to help us with scoring, I made a web page that we can use to keep time and score on a phone, tablet, or PC.

Check it out here: Scoresheet

Friday, May 23, 2014


I've recently been introduced to the new VEX IQ system, which is very similar to LEGO MINDSTORMS.  The plastic pieces snap together, with no cutting or gluing.

I made up a page to compare the two systems.


I intend to compare the VEX IQ challenge to FIRST LEGO League in a future post.

Monday, May 5, 2014

My next hobby

Time to revive this blog with my latest hobby thoughts.  Starting with color...

Friday, March 30, 2012

Premier Group at Gen Con

I recently found out that Team Hassenplug will be listed as a Premier Group at Gen Con in 2012.  That means we'll have a special write-up in the event guide, and priority scheduling for our events.

We earned this honor because last year our games were more than 70% full (we were above 95%).  We ran around 22 games of Super Robo Rally over the course of four days.  We're scheduled to do about the same this year, and I expect them to fill up, again.

If you can make it to Gen Con in August, you really should come check it out.


Friday, March 16, 2012

Mt Tech

Building a mountain
Bryan, John and I wanted to build an area to display Technic vehicles at shows like Brickworld.  Bryan initially suggested we pile bricks on the table, and put the trucks on it.  John and I put a bit more work into it.
The internal structure will be totally rebuilt, before we take it to another show.  Neither of us were happy with it.

I took a bunch of pictures, so we can show how the whole thing developed.  Unfortunately, I think the mountain turned out better than the pictures.

The mountain has an entrance, so vehicles can go inside.

There's also a path where trucks can drive right up the side.  This normally requires a winch...

John did a good job with the stream.

Showing Mt Tech

In the end, it turned out pretty good.

The only bad part was we didn't have enough space on Mt Tech for all the Technic vehicles we brought. So, a few sound their way to an nearby table.  (not shown)

We thought it would be cool to put some construction equipment inside the mountain.  Again, it's a bit crowded in there.