Tars from Interstellar with LEGO set 51515 (v1.0)



Build Tars, the robot from Interstellar with just one kit of MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor 51515. This download includes pdf building instructions, python code, and world block code for this semi-dynamic LEGO MINDSTORMS walker.

Tars walks by lifting his shoulders and swinging his arms. The movement is rather tricky because MINDSTORMS Tars tends to fall over with the slightest movement mistake. Tars uses all four motors in the set and cable management was rather complex. I wanted the cables to be inside the robot as much as possible, while still allowing for enough freedom of movement. The building instructions have full wiring and cable management instructions! This is pretty rare for LEGO MINDSTORMS building instructions.

Tars was never really possible on EV3 because the EV3 brain was too heavy and there were not enough motors in the kit. The new LEGO MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor 51515 makes new kinds of walking robots possible.

This download is version 1.0 of the model. It works, but I aim to make the performance more solid. With solid, I mean that it should be able to walk on different surfaces and also be able to turn. Maybe Tars can even remote-controlled in the future. I will be adding updates for this robot when I refine it further. If you buy this model now, you will get email notifications when I update the code or building instructions.

I am developing both World Blocks and Python program files for MINDSTORMS Tars. The world blocks program is simple and uses the synchronization tricks I shared on YouTube. The Python program is more complex and allows for fine-grained control over timing and movement. In Python, the movement is abstracted in a Mechanism() class. That class takes a list of motors and a list of functions as input and then synchronizes all movement using a timer.

All program files are for use with the original MINDSTORMS app. After downloading them, at them to your documents folder or use cmd-o (mac) ctrl-o (windows) to open them.

The code is written as clearly as possible and has a lot of comments to help you understand how it works. In the future, I will be publishing articles on my blog to explain in-depth how to code in MicroPython for walking Robots.



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