Everyone loves to see a giant row of dominos getting knocked over in perfect sequence, with lines of the falling tiles snaking off into every direction. Everyone loves to see the finale, but what about all the hard work that went in to lining up thousands of those blasted little things? Robot builder Dave Astolfo came up with a solution: the RCX-powered DominoBot.
Astolfo explains on his website that some aspects of the build were particularly challenging, especially coordinating the actions of the three motors to properly place the dominos on their edges:
“Without giving away too much, DominoBot consists of sub-sections that are built seperately and the combined into the final model. The biggest challenge that I faced was using three motors to drive, steer, and lay the dominos. I met that challenge with the Loader mechanism (seen below), which has the ability of dispensing and placing each domino with one motor and sensor.”
The original DominoBot took Astolfo rough 20 hours of testing and experimentation to complete the build, as well as additional time to create the building instructions. Astolfo’s creation was featured as one of 10 Mindstorms robots featured in the LEGO Mindstorms Ultimate Builder Projects book by Syngress Publishing.
An updated version of DominoBot based on the new Mindstorms NXT (DominoBotNXT) has been created by Astolfo as well. (Source: Dave Astolfo) – [Jeff James]