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NXT robot: The Brown Rat
Watch this rat in the field. It’s a robot that behaves like a rat. It can see, hear, feel, squeak, run and … it steals eggs from cute ducks! Watch the video to enjoy our animal story!
About this creation


The Brown Rat or Rattus Norvegicus is a very successful rodent. It can be found almost everywhere in world. Our rat has a brown fur as his name suggests. However brown rats with a grey or black fur also exist.
Rats eat vegetables, small animals and … eggs! The interest for eggs is shown in the video.


Video: “The duck family and the bad rat”



Rat design
Our rat is entirely made with Lego bricks in true scale (1:1). All kind of bricks are used like Lego Technic, NXT Mindstorms and Creator bricks. The fur is mainly sculptured with Lego plates in different natural colors. A color scheme of 12 colors is applied.






Rat behaviour
The intention was to copy the behaviour of real rats as good as possible. The robotic rat interacts with its environment. It runs fully autonomous. And it also interacts with other animals. For instance, our rat searches for duck eggs. To realize animal interaction, I did co-operate with Anika Vuurzoon who created a complete duck family in true scale (see links below). The technology to realize rat behaviour is presented below.






Technical features
1. moving random at variable speeds.
2. avoiding objects with ultrasonic "eyes".
3. avoiding objects with "whiskers" touch sensor.
4. returns when crashed into object, to set it selves free.
5. avoids dangerous area's as marked by a yellow line.
6. creates randomly real rat sounds as recorded.
7. runs away when scared by dangerous loud sounds.
8. movable forelegs & head (both actuated by motor A).
9. sniffs around at random time intervals in search for food;
head & forelegs will move gently.
10. searches for a duck nest to take the eggs away (by following the blue line).
11. movable rat tail (actuated by 3rd wheel).




Movable forelegs & head: closed (left photo) & open (right photo). Head respectively forelegs rotate along different axes, but are driven by the same motor. The upper right photo shows a prototype of the mechanical design.


References
Photo’s of real rats where used to get the right shape and proportions. In particular the photo shown below, made by Jaap Blom. See the following link for his work:
> www.pbase.com/jaapblom .


For details of the Lego duck family as created by Anika Vuurzoon, see the following links:
> Lego NXT: The White Duck
>
Lego Power Functions: The Little Ducks



Enjoy our robotic animals!
Arjen Vuurzoon.



Comments

 I like it 
  April 20, 2014
Awesome work! [Ess]
 I like it 
  January 5, 2014
amazing!!!
 I like it 
  June 22, 2012
Very nicely done. It really looks like the real thing.
 I made it 
  June 6, 2012
Quoting Mequel De Vaughn Can I buy the instructions for making the squirrel from you so I can make it at home. Thanks
Hi Mequel, Unfortunatly I don't have instructions. However if you like the squirrel, you can support it to become a Lego set. See: http://lego.cuusoo.com/ideas/view/7162 Thankx for your comment.
  June 5, 2012
Can I buy the instructions for making the squirrel from you so I can make it at home. Thanks
 I like it 
  December 24, 2011
does anyone else think rats are cute?
 I like it 
  December 23, 2011
One medium step for man, one small step for mankind.
 I like it 
  October 12, 2010
WOW!!!!! You are an amazing builder!!!!! I would rate this higher if I could.....
  October 8, 2010
Wow its super cool! Great scale and features.
 I like it 
  September 21, 2010
DUDE THATS ROYALLY HARDCORE!!!!! Keep up the awesome work!!
 I like it 
  August 24, 2010
I got a nice spot for the Duck family in the park near my house, A Rat cage for the rat and a tree next door for the squirrel. Do i need to say more. This is the real deal. I love it.
 I made it 
  August 24, 2010
Hi Justin, Thanks for your great feedback! The "eyes" were challenging: NXT sensors don't have any studs and are thus difficult to combine with normal bricks. The ears are also nice: we used the bonnet of a race car to get the right ear shape
Quoting Justin L. Never thought anyone would do this, explaining my idea that NXT things are bony and unrealistic. It's cool how you hid the "eye" pieces, I thought they were made of regular LEGO elements! Way cool M.O.C., man, should have way more "I Like It's"! It's a brand new idea!
 I like it 
  August 23, 2010
Never thought anyone would do this, explaining my idea that NXT things are bony and unrealistic. It's cool how you hid the "eye" pieces, I thought they were made of regular LEGO elements! Way cool M.O.C., man, should have way more "I Like It's"! It's a brand new idea!
 I like it 
  August 22, 2010
At first I thought it looked like a real rat! Very realistic, and scary..
 I made it 
  August 20, 2010
Hi Sam & others, Thank you for the enthousiastic reactions! I am pleased to read that the Lego rat looks like a real one. It was quite a challenge to get all the technology inside the rat and at the same time create an outside that also looks like a rat.
Quoting Sam I Am Wow, this is crazy awesome. The side-by-side comparison pictures were surprisingly similar. Pair that with the nice little details and impressive internals, and you've got yourself one sweet robo rat. The ducks are cool, too. =P
 I like it 
  August 19, 2010
I have rats, and they're adorable! A lot of people vilify rats, but they are excellent pets.
 I like it 
  August 19, 2010
Can you use it in pranks to scare people who don't like rats? Really accurate great build.
  August 19, 2010
Wow, this is crazy awesome. The side-by-side comparison pictures were surprisingly similar. Pair that with the nice little details and impressive internals, and you've got yourself one sweet robo rat. The ducks are cool, too. =P
 I like it 
  August 19, 2010
There it is! The mean rat stealing the eggs of the duck. Very good!! Congratulations! Apo.
 I like it 
  August 18, 2010
Most lego creations have awesomeness written all over the outside of them. This one has awesomeness written on both the outside and inside of it! Great work!
 
By Family Vuurzoon
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LEGO models my own creation MOCpages toys shop NXT robot: The Brown RatAnimal


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