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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! . 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.


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