LEGO Mechanisms to Solve the Engagement Mission


As we head to State, it would be nice to make a statement on the robot mat even if winning is out of reach this year.  As a rookie team, it would be nice to plant the flag for next year by conquering the most difficult mission in a clever way.  The Mt. Everest of the missions this year, the one that is conquered the least, it the Engagement Mission.


While many teams successfully flip the yellow engagement bar south for 20 points and even rotate the pinwheel for a few percentage points more, rarely have any teams completely mastered this mission.  The few that have came up with very ingenious yet complicated mechanisms that have garnered a lot of attention, notably Hollis Lightening #969 out of NH (Engagement Mission starting at 2:12):

If the team is up for it, in the 3 weeks we have before our State Tournament, I would suggest we simply clean up our code, improve our navigation, solidify what we have already and have fun taking on an outrageous challenge like this.

We discussed this mission a few times in our meetings, yet have only gotten a 20 percent solution so far.  Let’s step back and reanalyze the problem, decompose it into several major component challenges and brainstorm an even better solution that the one in the video above.

The last time we researched this problem on the web we left off with a harness to engage the mission and a simple reciprocating to rotary mechanism to turn the pinwheel.  We had problems locking the harness to the mission and translating our linear motion to a rotary motion several centimeter above the mat.

Here are some of the videos we researched and a number of new ones potentially related to solving the Engagement Mission:

LEGO Semi-Automatic Rubber Band Firing Mechanism

LEGO Reciprocating Linear to Rotary in Perpendicular Plane

LEGO Cam for Simple Intermittent Rotary Motion

Scottish Yokes (rotational to linear motion)

Stirling Engine (variant in LEGOs)

Whitworth Mechanism (reciprocating to rotary motion, quick return mechanism)

Air Powered Piston Engine (Linear to Rotary or Rotary o Linear powered by Air Flow)

LEGO Steam Engine with Walschaerts Valve Gear

LEGO Steam Engine with Modified Brown Value Gear

LEGO Steam Engine with Southern Valve Gear

LEGO Steam Engine with Marshall Valve Gear

Reciprocating Rectilinear Motion

LEGO Rotational to Reciprocating Linear Motion

Wooden Rack and Pinon

Pushing Rod with Intermediate Rotation

Converting Linear to Partial Rotary Motion

Translating Cam and Continuous Crank Shaft Mechanism

LEGO Continuous to Intermittent Rotary Motion

Rocker Stepped Rotational Motion from Gun Mechanism

LEGO Rubber Band Windup Motor

LEGO Planetary Gear System

Geneva Mechanism

(Just Joking)


As in any software development process, let’s completely think through possible solutions and map out the best overall strategy before we touch a brick.  Too much bad code, unused attachments and wasted time have been lost this season jumping the gun before we have clearly thought through and developed a complete plan.


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