Thursday, 18 July 2013

Lego NXT Science Bot as a Dynamics Trolly

When I was at school and when I taught in schools a few years ago dynamics trolleys with ticker tape timers were often used to teach the fundamentals of mechanics and newtons laws. My son at 18 and having just survived A level and GCSE physics had never seen such a trolley so with the help of Lego and an NXT brick here is an updated version. I have used this with my students to perform similar experiments without using the ticker tape timer. The NXT acts as a data logger and then uploads the information to the PC where the files are displayed as graphs in Excel.
Building Instructions for the Science Bot.
Program for the Science Bot

When the Science Bot is ready to go, the program removes the old data file and then records the number of 1/16 rotations (this corresponds to 1cm distance traveled. The distance and the time is recorded. This information is then sent to the PC as a comma separated file and then graphed in Excel.

The time is taken every 0.02 seconds which gives plenty of data per second.

As assembled the science bot has uses an acceleration sensor (not used in this program) and one of the old RCX mindstorms rotation Sensors.
The yellow box on the side is an old rpm sensor, which works independently of the mindstorms.

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