We build a catapult that can be used by the kids to play bowling. We coded the catapult so that a kid controlling the catapult would be able to designate the power/speed of the catapult launching the ping pong ball. This is done by an additional NXT motor attached to the side that is used to read the motor rotation as the input for the power/speed of the motors of the launching arm. The launching arm is coded so that no matter what power/speed it is launched at, the arm would stop at 80 degrees. Then, after a second, the arm goes back to its original position. The objective of this game is to knock out the 10 pins that are also made of lego pieces.
So we asked a couple questions to the kids that goes as such –
Did you have fun with the game?
How do you think we can make this game more fun?
1. Make the pins a little bigger, they are too hard to hit.
2. Add a third ball, so I can hit more pins.
3. Find an easier way to change the direction of the robot.
4. The pins are too small! Make them big.
5. It’s already the most fun.
6. Maybe make a wall that catches the balls from falling.
7. The catapult should shoot FASTER!!!
8. Make the button a little bit more nicer.
Did you like how you controlled the speed of the catapult?
Our Future Plans: So after the feedback from the children and some people from the center, we decided we might have to make a 180 degree turn on our robot project. Whilst we may keep our current game idea, we may change the way the robot launches the balls. Instead of a catapult, we are thinking of building a cannon-like mechanism that would be able to shoot the balls more efficiently without a hassle to calibrate the robot. The robot should also be fixed to the tabletop so that it doesn’t sway whenever it launches the ball. And yes of course, for our final project we will bring better, bigger, and more hittable pins!