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November 2008

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From:
Michael Blanpied <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Michael Blanpied <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Mon, 17 Nov 2008 12:32:08 -0500
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>Hi,
>Our team has been using the mini blocks for the first time this 
>year, and we are trying to find a way to accelerate out of base or 
>ramp up our speed during a program.  Can this be done with the mini 
>blocks and if so where can that be found.
>
>Thank you very much for any advice.
>
>Tracy Reed
>4-H L.E.A.D Huskies

Tracy,

I didn't see an answer to your question. It may be too late for this 
year, but in any case, yes, there is an easy way to add an 
acceleration or deceleration to the robot's driving (or to its 
movement of an 'arm'), through the use of Motor blocks.

The Motor block, when configured with a duration of Rotations or 
Degrees, allows an "Action" to be set as "Constant" or "Ramp up" (at 
the start) or "Ramp down" (at the end). The duration of the "ramp" is 
not adjustable, but by also experimenting with the "Power" setting 
and the "Motor Power" check-box, you should obtain the desired result.

(Another method would be to string together two or more Move or Motor 
blocks with increasing power settings, but that's a clumsy solution 
and the results may be sensitive to battery power.)

Many teams use Move blocks to drive the robot, as they're very 
straightforward. However, it's also possible (and sometimes 
desirable) to use a pair of Motor blocks instead. There are two ways 
to use Motor blocks to drive both wheels simultaneously. You can put 
two Motor blocks in series (next to each other on the sequence beam); 
configure one for the left wheel motor, the other for the right; and 
uncheck the "Wait for completion" check-box in the first block. Or 
you can branch the sequence beam (hold Shift while dragging a new 
piece of beam, click to bend it, and double click to finish it off), 
and put the Motor blocks in parallel.

For those wanting to learn (or teach) about MyBlocks, it makes a neat 
little MyBlock learning exercise to create an adjustable "Drive" 
MyBlock that contains the pair-of-Motor-blocks structure inside it 
and an adjustable distance parameter (or two, to allow steering).

-- 
Cheers,
Mike Blanpied
Reston, VA
2006 #4809 Nano People
2007 #1666 Power Bunnies
2008 #5013 BLT--Brilliant LEGO Team

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