Fan creation by Mike Brandl
This robot draws nearly the entire world on a blank white ball. For this robot the coordinates of the continents were prepared as a zigzag line, drawn with a green felt tip pen. After the continents are drawn the robot switches colors from green to black. With this pen the continents are labeled, AS for Asia, AF for Africa, NA for North America, SA for South America and EU for the European Union.
After switching to the blue pen the oceans are labeled, PAC for the Pacific, ATL for the Atlantic, IND for the Indian Ocean.
The Globe Plotter uses one NXT intelligent brick where all the coordinates of the globe are stored.
Two motors are used for tilting and rotating the ball. The third motor has a double function. It selects the desired colour to draw with and it lifts the pen when not needed. One touch sensor is attached on the frame to detect the initial position of the three felt tip pens.
When the globe is finished it is mounted on a special holder made out of LEGO TECHNIC elements.
For many years now I have worked with "spherical plotters" built out of LEGO MINDSTORMS parts.
It always is fun to print some text or drawings onto a spherical object.
It all started in 2004 with my first RCX Egg Plotter. This robot wrote "HAPPY EASTER" on an egg and has been a great success with children at exhibitions.
With the new LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT 1.0 I built the NXT Egg Plotter in 2006. It was easier to build this time as the new LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT motors are easy to control.
In 2008 I enhanced the design of the previous robots and build the Xmas Ball Plotter, capable of drawing text and drawings on Christmas balls and Easter eggs. The first Christmas ball plotted with this robot had the text "Merry Christmas" in five different languages on it, written in a spiral from top to bottom.
I have drawn different designs on blank balls ... a Jack'O'Lantern at Halloween, a Star Wars(R) Death Star at a comic convention, Christmas balls with alternating text, Easter eggs with drawings of the Easter Bunny, there are simply no limitations!
Michael "Mike" Brandl is a huge LEGO MINDSTORMS fan of the early days.
In 1999 he got his first LEGO MINDSTORMS set and was fascinated by the clever design from the first day on.
Mike lives in Vienna, Austria / Europe and manages his website @mike's mindstorms dedicated to LEGO MINDSTORMS robots. You can find him attending several LEGO exhibitions through Europe during the year.