Mini bot Brain

Is the brain for the mini bot really a Nxt brain or is it something else, and also what is the programming language we can use to program the mini robot?

The Lego NXT is the brain, and you can use what the FTC team’s use which is RobotC to program the robot.

Depends on whether you opt to use the NXT. Yes, it is optional. I’m sure you can come up with something using a pair of light switches and/or some limit switches if you wanted to. If you do use the NXT controller, don’t forget to disable Bluetooth.

As others have mentioned the NXT is the brain, and you can either program in RobotC or in LabView. To program the motors with the NXT and RobotC / Labview, you will need a HiTechnic Motor Controller for TETRIX which cost $80 ($55 if you’re in FTC team).

Can the NXT handle the shock of hitting the top?

Although one of my team members once dropped a NXT to the floor and it still works, I doubt it because the NXT would have to withstand the shock multiple times. Most FTC teams cover their NXT so it that it is visible and protected by metal rather than leaving it exposed.

I’ve been thinking about this lately and have come to the conclusion that you could just wire up the mini bot to always be turning the motors, if that’s how you’re doing it, and completely get rid of the brain. It would save weight and space. Also being someone who is loaning out mini bots it saves me the worry of what would happen if a NXT brick were to fall from over 10 feet. I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t think it will be a good result. And to stop what is going to be the immediate next question if I don’t answer it now. Yes, you could shield the brain to survive that fall, but again you add weight and space, as well as extra design time that could be used instead for practice.

The only problem I see with this is it would drain the battery during a match, but then again we have light switches we can use so why not turn it on when it hits the pole.

Hitting the top should be fine, but not hitting the bottom from the top

I run FIRST FTC 35. It’s not the exposure that worries me. It’s the acceleration/forces that the brain will be regularly subjected to while riding on the backs of FRC bots. We have had several occurrences of our NXT freezing after a hit during FTC season. I am hesitant to rely on them at this moment.

I suspect many mini-bot brains will have 1 bit memory, and the processor will only understand 1 instruction…

I see no reason whatsoever to add an NXT.

Here’s one: Weight = more work needed to reach the top. If power is constant among the minibots, then the one that is lightest will win.

so do we need to have a “brain” in the mini bot or can it be simple switch electronics?

Brain optional. IIRC, Q&A clarified this already.

Adding an NXT would not remove weight.

Yeah, funny what you think when you don’t see the negative in a statement, hmm? My Bad.

You could use some of the rubber tubing and make shock mounts for the NXT.

So we dont need a brain to run the minibot?

You need a brain to design and build the robot but not to run it…no, you don’t need the NXT if you make use of the 2 allowed standard light switches.

You are exactly right. All you need is a light switch facing upward on the top of the mini bot to stop it once it hits the top of the pole and one that is pushed when the minibot is “attached” to the pole and ready to go up. Simple circuitry

You could use RobotC or LabVIEW depending on your preference. What I can tell you is programming in LabVIEW isn’t hard at all. You can download the NXT toolkit here (and you need this!)