Early NXT Racecar

This is a very old reflective post and video, about one of my first ever Lego Mindstorms NXT project, in 2012.

Nick and I are finally done with our NXT racecar.
Although we didn’t win the race, we did better than we ever imagined. We had the fastest qualifying lap in the grade at 1:43. We received one of two A’s that were given out. We didn’t get the A+. We actually would have been really happy with an A-, but being the fastest, we received an A.

As you can see in the video, we had about 10 distinct versions. Our fifth was the first one that got close to completing the time trial. It made four laps around on an unofficial test, so we decided we would do the time trial the next day. Unfortunately, later that day, our robot was dropped by a classmate. After that, it never really went straight until we made a program that makes one motor accelerate faster than the other. We failed our first time trial.Three weeks later, we made another unofficial lap. We didn’t want to fail the time trial, though, so we tested the robot again to make sure. It didn’t make it.

A week after that, we made another lap at the end of the school day. We were ready to do the time trial in the morning. Someone (me) had a dumb idea to replace the batteries, which made it go way faster. We had to turn all the turns down and shorten the distances. Because of the batteries, we came close to head-on smashing into the wall three times, but we clocked a 1:43.

As you can see in the video, the race didn’t go well. The batteries were drained so it didn’t turn all the way. I’m still very happy about how this project turned out, though. This project helped me realize that I really like engineering.