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Class 4 article
LEGO → TECHNIC
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8094 TECHNIC Control Centre is a motorized TECHNIC set released in 1990.

The Control Centre itself is a basic computer 'command centre' to control up to three 9V motors, although other elements of the 9V system such as the lights and sirens from the Light & Sound range can also be triggered from the unit. The set itself contains two 9V motors and elements to build four different machines:

  • A 2-axis drawing plotter (a "TECHNIC" felt tip pen and a pad of paper was supplied with the set)
  • Pick and place robot
  • Mobile Crane
  • Drawing Robot

The Control Centre can trigger two of the motors via a control pad, whilst pressing the diagonal quadrants of the pad will simultaneously operate both motors plugged into the relevant outputs. The "A" and "B" buttons control the third output channel. These buttons also have a "latch" function, wherby the output can be held continuously "on" by holding down one button whilst tapping the other. Pressing either button will cancel the latch function and return the output to "off". There are two memory storage locations which can record a sequence of operations of the three output channels.

  • "Mem I/MemII" selects between the two progam memory locations.
  • Pressing "Program" for more than a second will start the programming sequence. Pressing "Stop" will end it.
  • Pressing "Go" will then replay the programmed sequence. It can be halted at any point by pressing "Stop", otherwise it will run to the end and then stop.
  • A double press of "Go" (LED will flash) will cause the stored program to execute repeatedly until "Stop" is pressed.
  • "Pause" can either be used during programming to insert a delay between operations, or temporaily stop a running program - Pressing "Pause" or "Go" will resume the program.

The weakness of the Control Centre was that it only records the sequence of "on" and "off" events (and direction) of the three output channels, and how long each event lasted for. The absence of any sensory capability or feeback loop means that the behaviour of the model is not repeatable, as backlash in the gearing means the model cannot reliably return to its original position at the end of the programming sequence.

This deficiency was addressed to some extent in the Mindstorms sets, which feature the ability to control three motors in addition to sensory input and programmable behaviour.



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