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How did you learn about robotics?

I looked it up online on google. I was kind of messing around on google. I found something on wikipedia about LEGO®s and how they had a robotics kit. So I’m Like, “Oh, that’s cool.” I thought maybe I could build realistic animals with it. 

When I was a kid, I always wanted a horse, but I could never get one. I watched a lot of horse films, such as Flicka, The Black Stallion, and The Man from Snowy River. When the horse film genre started to go extinct, I thought maybe I could save the sound effects from these films, and I thought what better way to do this than to make robotic horses that act like the actual animal and make noise while moving.

How did you learn about TSBVI robotics?

My mom found something on TSBVI’s website about robotics, but I did know if I could do it since I was in high school.

Why did you join the TSBVI robotics club this year?

Because since I want to capture the sound effects from the horse films from my childhood, I thought I could start off by building something small and working my way up to a 24 inch tall horse. 

What did you choose to build and why?

I chose to build a bull since, I didn’t really know how to build a horse with that particular type of LEGO® set.

Lego NXT Bull

How did you build it?

I built it by putting together different beams and adding the motors and brick later on. Then I programmed it. 

Bethany and a side view of her Lego Bull

How did you make it move and make the sound?

I added a couple of gears to the shoulders and left the back legs without gears because the back legs would move with the front ones. I used a braille display and programmed it using lines of text to make the bull walk, and while it was walking I would play the sound effect of a bull roaring and bellowing. 

How did it feel to build and program the bull?

I felt like it inspired me to see what I could do with my mechanical horses when I got the EV3® set.

Bethany, smiling, showing her completed bull.

What’s next for you?

I’m hoping I could build a robot that trots, canters, and gallops.