We’ve talked about stronger structural components – metal and gears. We’ve talked a bit about Bluetooth communication and improved interface with robots including two-way communication. This week we’ll get into detail on sensors, motors, and expandability.
The NXT is the brain – but we’ve added expansion capability to the NXT. Specifically the new kit will include a controller that extends the capability of the NXT to handle more sensors, DC drive motors, and servos. The additional controller is a product supplied by HiTechnic and plugs directly into one of the NXT sensor ports.
DC motors, servos, and sensors can all be wired directly into the HiTechnic FTC Controller terminal block – greatly expanding the capability of the robotics kit.
The range of sensors available includes touch sensor, compass, light sensor, color sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, ultrasonic, and there will be more in the future. Additionally, there is a prototyping kit that allows the inventive users to create sensor modules for the NXT controller. The sensors we’ll include in the kit will depend on the feedback we get from teams and the game designs we’ll use in the future.
Now that we’ve got a stronger structure and gear train we can use more powerful motors. To drive those motors we’re moving to a 12VDC system. The batteries will be 7.2VCD NiMH, wired in series for a nominal 14.4VDC power input. The controller will direct this power to heavy-duty 12VDC drive motors rated for 152 RPM and a stall torque of 231.5 oz-in.
The kit will also include DC servo motors with Karbonite gears rated for 76.37 oz.in.
The new kit is stronger, has higher voltage – longer amp hour batteries, includes DC drive motors and stronger servo motors, incorporates a wide variety of sensors that will be expandable in the future, and a communication protocol that allows for more options including the game controller and bi-directional communication.
These changes allow us to challenge teams in ways not possible in the past.
An example of the power we’re talking about can be seen in the video below.