Thursday, July 26, 2012

Super Sumo for NXT and NXShield Robots

A stylized sumo wrestler from here
We all know the deal with regular NXT sumo: 2.2 pounds (1kg), one foot square maximum, all Lego parts. Where is the bigger version? More motors? More sensors? More diverse electronics? I am thinking of a new category of sumo bot that is bigger, badder, and more fun to watch. 

The first thing that I think a super sumo category would have is a higher weight limit. Let's kick it up to 4.4 pounds (2kg). The increased weight will allow for more diversity for exotic drive trains and weapons. Right now, most sumo bots end up limited to 1 motor per wheel or 3 for the drive train in total if you use a differential like what I did here. There isn't a lot of weight available to make actuated plows, lifts, hammers, or whackers. Why not kick it up a notch? Raising the maximum weight would also help to allow room for the NXT to control other Lego systems such as Power Functions. In addition, a second NXT with up to 3 extra motors (totaling 6 motors) would also fit within the weight limit of 4.4 pounds since 1 NXT and 3 motors can fit within the weight limit of 2.2 pounds. How cool would that be?

But why make this a Lego purist affair? The NXT was designed to be an open platform for people to develop for. Places like Becreo, Mindsensors, HiTechnic, Dexter Industries have spent considerable amounts of energy building things for the NXT platform. Given a greater weight and size limit, more interesting accessories can be used. To accommodate both the purists and non, I would imagine that there would be a limited and unlimited category. The limited category would strictly be official Lego parts only. The unlimited category would be significantly more open. The caveat would be that the unlimited category would enforce that you would have to use an NXT or an NXshield. However, other than the controller, hobby servos, metal parts, 3D Printed parts, and home brewed sensors would all become acceptable things to use in your unlimited class super sumo robot. If you are looking to build your own dimensionally compatible parts, you can see a website here that has all the measurements you need.

One other important factor would be the sumo ring itself. I built one that is for regular sumo. Not to break any compatibility with the previous generation ring, I would imagine a four foot diameter circular and flat field would become the minimum size. I would then also suggest that the maximum size should go up to 6 feet in diameter. Moreover, there would be a 2 inch wide white stripe around the circumference of the field regardless of diameter.

Here is a brief summary

Super Sumo Specifications:

4.4 pound maximum weight
1.5 foot square maximum footprint
4 foot to 6 foot sumo ring with a white 2 inch wide circumference.
no enforced maximum number of motors, sensors, or Lego elements.
no limitations limiting the nature of the software platform

Limited Category
Official Lego parts only

Unlimited Category
Must use an NXT or NXShield to control the robot
Non-Lego parts allowed ;)

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