RCX Compatable Solenoid Valve

Pneumatic Digger Pics and Video

My old roommate Jeff Barrett and I whipped up this Pneumatic Digger.  Its actually pretty simple, its arm was modeled based on ideas gathered from the technic set 8851 and its scoop was modeled after the scoop from the cover of the Idea book 8888 (since we did not have one handy).  It uses a total of three large pneumatic rams powered by just two of the RCX compatible Solenoid Valves.  The pneumatic valves use a total of two RCX outputs while the third is used by a motor to provide the rotation of the digger.  The Digger itself is powered 100% by the RCX.  A powerpack was used to power the pump used to supply the air.   The hand pump still has the spring on it which makes it a little harder to pump, and has two blue Lego air tanks.  It has two because it looks cool; it would have been fine on just one tank.  Rubber bands are used to act as the retraction stroke of the pistons, so the power stroke of the ram is used to scoop and raise, while the rubber bands serve for the extension and dump phase.  One solenoid controls the raising and lowering of the Digger arm, while the other handles the scooping and dumping.  Rice Krispies are used as the "dirt", which had to be constantly replaced during testing due to the fact that it is just too hard to resist eating the dirt as you go along.  I think it is a great example of how versatile these little valves can be and how to maximize the number of actions you can control with the RCX.

Download a clip of the Pneumatic Digger with its own executable viewer here:

Pics of the Pneumatic Digger and the Solenoid Valves


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Pneumatic Digger  in "Scoop position"

Pneumatic Digger "Scooping" Closeup of RCX and Solenoid Valve
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Digger and bins Digger with arm extended Side view closeup of Solenoid Valve
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Pneumatic digger arm Digger with arm up Digger with arm folded


close up of solenoid valve


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