Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Mindstorms Robots Create Artificial Bone Samples

Created by: Scientists from Cambridge University
Found at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=WBEtUJmp05w
Details: Building artificial bones is a very time-consuming, tedious process. As explained in the video here, it requires dipping a sample into a mix of calcium and protein, rinsing it, and then dipping it into a mix of phosphate and protein. This process has to be done over and over again. Needing a quick way to automate the process, they turned to the education edition of the LEGO Mindstorms NXT kit. In something of a rare occurrence, the comments at the YouTube link above are actually helpful and explain more about how these robots were made. Most surprisingly, they were able to get the correct amount of precision out of the robots using the graphical language (NXT-G) that LEGO ships with the kit. Also explained in the comments: why there are three motors on robots that only have two degrees of motion (arm back/forth and winch up/down). Most impressively, one of the builders mentions that it was their first time using Mindstorms!

No comments: