Bomb Squad Special Unit

September 9th, 2014

FTC team 7572, Bomb Squad Special Unit, had an outstanding season last year. Here is what they have to say:

“We’re from Mountain Home, Arkansas and finished undefeated in the qualification rounds at the Arkansas State Championship and ended as captains of the finalist alliance. 7572 also won the Design Award at this event. The key to our success was our constant implementation of a, light, quick, simple, and overall efficient robot made possible with the use of the convenient geometry of the Matrix Robotics Kits. Our robot was easily the fastest scorer there and was defeated by two 50 lb machines that kept us crammed in the corner for most of the finals matches. Efficiency in design is the key to our success. A very unique aspect of the team is that it is almost completely student run.”

The team is composed of 6th and 7th graders. John Taylor, a high school student, founded the team and now is the main mentor for the Special Unit. This is an inspiring team lead by an inspiring mentor. Keep up the good work!

Dual Omni Wheels

September 3rd, 2014

Omni Wheels are here! You can now order Dual Omni Wheels separate from a kit. Add the ultimate mobility to your robot with the 96mm (3.8 inch) Dual Omni wheel. The Dual Omni wheel has two complete wheels fully assembled and ready to install with 12 high grip rubber rollers. These wheels fit the Matrix 4mm axle. Mount them free spinning on the opposite side of your drive wheels for easy turning or on all four corners at 45 degree angles for omni-drive. Order Now

LabVIEW 2009 VIs and Sample Programs for the Barometric Sensor

August 30th, 2011

Announcing LabVIEW 2009 support for the new HiTechnic Barometric Sensor!  Use these VIs to get temperature, atmospheric pressure, and altitude in your LabVIEW programs.  The main read VI gives you these pieces of data in both imperial and metric units.  There are also support VIs to calibrate the sensor and to calculate altitude pressure, the pressure at sea-level.  Sample programs include a LabVIEW version of the Altimeter program, similar to the NXT-G version already released, that displays an airplane style altimeter.

Read the rest of this entry »

New IRLink IRBeacon Block

August 19th, 2011

The HiTechnic IRLink is two-way IR communications sensor.  This sensor can be used to communicate with a LEGO RCX or to control LEGO Power Functions motors via a LEGO Power Functions receiver.  With the new IRLink IRBeacon block it can also be used to create an infrared beacon signal for the IRSeekerV2.  This block lets you choose between sending a 600Hz or a 1200Hz signal which can then be detected by an IRSeekerV2 sensor to determine the direction to the IR source.  You can use it on one robot to have another robot follow it.  This block can be used by itself as a one block program or it can be used in a loop and you can control when you want the block to be active or not.

Update (Nov 2011): Now also available as a LabVIEW 2009 VI.  This VI should also work with LV2010/LabVIEW  for LEGO Mindstorms

Read the rest of this entry »

HiTechnic and World Robot Olympiad

July 28th, 2011

HiTechnic is an official sponsor of the World Robot Olympiad. WRO is an international robotics competition that believes that solving robotic challenges builds innovation, creativity and problem solving skills in students, and because robotics cross multiple curriculum subjects, students must learn and apply their knowledge in science, engineering, math, and computer programming. The most rewarding part of designing robots is that students have fun, work together as a team, and learning occurs as naturally as breathing air. WRO has been building this learning platform for 7 years, ever since their first robotics competition in 2004 where they had 12 countries and 4000 teams. This year they anticipate over 35 countries and over 13,000 teams from around the world taking part in WRO activities in local, regional, and national competitions. WRO 2012 will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, November 9-11, 2012.

Official WRO2012 Website:

Altimeter Gauge using the new Barometric Sensor

July 27th, 2011

The new HiTechnic Barometric Sensor can be used to measure altitude since air pressure varies with altitude.  The NXT-G block for this sensor includes actions to read altitude as well as to adjust the altitude base pressure and to set the altitude pressure using a known altitude.  The NXT-G programs presented in this blog post shown an airplane style altimeter on the NXT screen.  Like a real altimeter, the altitude pressure can be adjusted to account for different meteorological conditions.

Read the rest of this entry »

Android App for the HTWay

June 27th, 2011

A fan of the HiTechnic HTWay, Michael Backus, has created an Android phone application that lets you control the HTWay with your phone! The application uses the internal acceleration sensor so that you can drive the HTWay by tilting your phone!
Read the rest of this entry »

Enhanced IRSeekerV2 NXT-G Block and NXC Function

June 24th, 2011

Enhanced IRSeekerV2 functionality is now available as both an NXT-G block and as an NXC function. This NXT-G block and NXC function uses a combination of AC and DC modes for improved IR direction determination when used with the HiTechnic IRSeekerV2. This block and function were specifically designed to assist in creating WRO Football Robots.
Read the rest of this entry »

Three New NXT-G Blocks Available for Beta Testing

June 14th, 2011

HiTechnic has just made three NXT-G blocks available for beta testing. Two of these are specific to the IRSeeker sensors and the other is a general purpose math block. There is a new IRSeeker Block will replace the current V1 and V2 IRSeeker blocks and adds support for selecting 600Hz AC mode (you can still use the default 1200Hz AC). The other sensor block is the Enhanced IRSeekerV2 block which is designed to give you improved short range performance versus the standard IRSeeker block. This block allows you to easily limit the range of a number by either clamping or wrapping around to a certain range.
Read the rest of this entry »

New HiTechnic Motor PID Block

May 12th, 2011

The latest NXT-G block from HiTechnic is not a sensor block but a Motor block! This block implements a Proportional – Integral – Derivative, or PID, controller. Unlike the standard Motor block, which tends to emphasize relative movement, this block is designed to give absolute position control over the motor. The main input to the block is a Set Point value which is the angle position that you want to the motor to drive to. The block also supports several Reset actions to establish a reference position for the motor.
Read the rest of this entry »