Robots, a French uprising, and more…
It’s been a really nice weekend. Arlene got me a Lego NXT robot kit… always thought it would be fun to build a robot… and Julianna and I broke it out this weekend. I was happy to see that the NXT ships with a "quick start" option. Basically, all the pieces and directions for a basic three wheeled, three motor platform that can be further built out are put into a separate box. A great idea to reduce the complexity up front and make it easy to make something simple without having to sort through all the stuff in the box. It took a little more than the 30 minutes advertised, but Julianna built as much of it as I did and we both had a good time.
As for the programming, it was fun to dink around and figure out how to make the robot do stuff. We added a sound sensor, ultrasonic sensor, and a touch sensor. Then, we added a little software to make the robot do a few things like: go forward until it hits something, and then back up quickly; listen for noise and say "silent" or "loud"; and sense for objects within 10 inches and say "object" or "no object". Really, just kind of a basic training.
Today, before the Super Bowl, we went to local theatre that was putting a on production of Les Miserables. Typically, this theatre does kids plays and uses primarily kids in the cast, so we were surprised to see them trying something so ambitious. They did field a young cast full kids, but they definitely pulled it off. Not quite a big name professional production, but an awesome show. Amazing, really. Lots of fun. A bit long for the kids, though. Josh slept through nearly half the show, and Julianna tried to sleep through it.
Then, when we got home Josh, Arlene, Julianna, and I all had a blast in a snowball fight, and made a small snowman. Finally, we finished the evening off watching a pretty good Super Bowl. All in all, a nice weekend. :-)