About the Bot
DasBot is the first major MATRIX model I’ve designed. The bot is
currently remote controlled via Bluetooth from a second NXT, and the
control software was programmed entirely in NXT-G. I designed DasBot to
showcase the coolest aspects of the MATRIX Robotics system. The bot can
move forward, backward, and steer proportionally with a gyro sensor; its
claw can grab/lift/lower/release a small MATRIX pylon. For more on
MATRIX including DasBot building and programming instructions, visit
FIGURE 1. Straight joiner.
Perhaps the most innovative aspect of the MATRIX is its joiner
system. Joiners are attached on the inside of L-beams and C-channels,
allowing for a seamless extension. This gives builders the ability to align
their entire robots onto a single grid. The joiners come in straight for
extending beams and channels (Figure 1); 2D for joining two beams or
channels at a single right angle (Figure 2); and 3D for joining three beams or
channels in a corner (Figure 3). On a practical level, this means that your designs
will be significantly simpler and more symmetrical, using fewer pieces as spacers.
MATRIX is based on an 8 mm grid just like LEGO, making the
kits exceptionally geometrically compatible. This grid, combined with
the joiner system, helps to solve the problem of grid misalignment
that can face robot builders when attempting to design original
robots with other kits.
FIGURE 2. 2D joiner.
In designing DasBot, I took
advantage of almost every joiner
MATRIX has to offer. I used the XL-joiners to connect the main parts of
the chassis, taking advantage of
their structural integrity to extend
the lower beams of DasBot’s
chassis while simultaneously joining
it to a vertical strut (Figure 4).
joiners were used to
components like the
claw (Figure 5). I also
used the standard
straight joiners to
support the D-shafts
that held the bot’s
This allowed me
to keep the wheels
and D-shafts inside the
chassis (Figure 6).
FIGURE 6. Wheel well close-up.
FIGURE 5. Claw
FIGURE 4. Inside DasBot: The center vertical struts are attached via the
same L-shaped XL joiner that extends the bottom of the chassis.
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