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Introduction Design Ideas Design
& Control
Animation Lights Sensors Motors General

Control and Roamer Design

Control Technology provides many educational opportunities. It offers a subject to study and a general approach to education. With Roamer, Control Technology becomes a natural extension of design work.

When a child's design ambition extends beyond appearance, Roamer's Control Features offer new levels of design possibilities: the design of a dog's tail that wags, a helicopter's rotor that turns, a car whose headlights turn on when it becomes dark... with Roamer, all these are achievable.

One of the most demanding areas of design is the creation of special effects for movies. Because the context is so unusual, designers cannot rely on 'textbook solutions' nor on precedents. They have to rely instead on their own creative flair and knowledge of technology and design. It is the same with Roamer design work when using Control features. 'Hard-edged' technical problems are often heavily disguised by the 'novelty' and the softness of their appearance. In fact it is in this context that Roamer design work becomes such an excellent design education tool.

Applications can be very
basic, like this aeroplane
which uses a DC motor
to turn each propeller.
Behind the fun image of
characters like the Janitor
lie challenging problems
of technology and design.

Craig Rampton from Portsmouth decided that he wanted to make a frog with legs that would move. The ability to perceive the problem leads naturally to the exploration of Control Technology.

Roamer's Control Features

Roamer's Control Features consist of:

  • Four Outputs capable of operating motors, LEDs, lamps ... anything requiring a DC current.
  • One Input Line capable of being operated by touch sensors, limit switches, push-buttons, light sensors. sound sensors etc.
  • The Roamer also provides a sensor power supply for light sensors etc.

This manual does not attempt to explain the science nor the technology of Control. It does present a way in which Control can be approached through solving practical design problems.

Valiant Roamer Control Packs

Roamer Control Accessories include several packs useful for design activities:

  • Light Pack
  • Sensor Pack
  • Motor Pack

Chuckles the Clown's hat-lifting mechanism is a combination of a simple gearbox, a crane hoist and a lever arm.

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