Jun 28, 2015

The Teenage Maker's EXOSKEL3TON Z3US project

Today we have a guest blog by Cyrus Cuenca

 Hello, my name is Cyrus Cuenca. I am 15 years old and have been an avid LEGO MINDSTORMS fan since late 2012. I got my first MINDSTORMS(NXT 2.0) kit on Christmas 2012, opened the kit the next day, and immediately started building the Alpha Rex model because, it "looked cool". I learned quite a lot as I constructed my first MINDSTORMS robot. When I finally got Alpha Rex working, I played around with it for an hour or two then deconstructed it and began experimenting and building my own robots. In 2013 I started my blog to document my creations @ The Teenage Maker. I continued to post my robotics creations on the blog (I still do) ,then I joined the LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Facebook group where I met a ton of awesome MINDSTORMS fans. I recently started my YouTube channel where I post videos for my creations. I hope that my work will inspire other MINDSTORMS fans like those who've inspired me.

Recently, I completed Z3US, a robot I have been working on for the past year or so. Z3US is, in my opinion , my best MINDSTORMS creation to date. Z3US is a humanoid robot, built with both LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3'S and NXT'S. Z3US can move around via tank treads which are controlled by an NXT joystick remote. Also, Z3US can mimic movements of the right arm via an EV3 EXOSKEL3TON. Z3US uses a total of 2 NXT'S and 2 EV3'S (including remotes).

 This is a video on my YouTube channel I created for Z3US.

     The NXT'S are used for mobilizing Z3US. One NXT is used for the joystick remote, and the second, for the actual motors that you control with the joystick remote. Both NXT'S use the programs from philohome.com.

This is a more detailed video on my YouTube channel for Z3US.

     One EV3 is used in the EXOSKEL3TON, which was inspired by Daniele Benedettelli's exoskeleton. The second EV3 is the EV3 which mimics the movements of the EXOSKEL3TON.

This is a video on my YouTube channel for the EV3 EXOSKEL3TON.

Here are some more details and specifications:
With arm resting, Z3US is 65 studs high X 39 studs wide.
The whole project, including remotes, uses.
  •      2 EV3 bricks,
  •      2 NXT bricks,
  •      4 large EV3 motors,
  •      1 medium EV3 motor,
  •      and 5 NXT motors.
Here is a list of links to my blog, social media pages, and my YouTube channel.
     I would like to thank those in the LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 group on Facebook who helped me out. Also, I would like to thank bazmarc for all the help and support. 

Jun 24, 2015

Just curious, how many of you are girls?

That was a question asked by Mylène in the EV3 Facebook group page and I was happy to see many women robot makers answered the call. Hobbyist, Teachers, Geek Mom you name it,  in this post I want to honor all the ladies I know who "play" with MINDSTORMS  and hopefully find more that may want to join the fun in the MINDSTORMS Facebook group.

First let me introduce you to Mylène since she is the one who raised the question. Her first project was an interactive poster made especially for the Quebec book fair for a book about heath for children.

DaVinci mark 1

She will be at Quebec's Comicon this October selling some drawing and for that occasion she has another MINDSTORMS project to assist her, she called that one DaVinci mark 1. What a brilliant idea :)

Discover more about her work here https://www.youtube.com/user/PrincessTigerlili

Mike, Martyn and Anika at the German Final WRO2015

Another remarkable lady is Anika Brandsma. 
Building robots as a hobby, teaching robotics as a job and studying mechanical engineering at university. She is very happy to see that there are more and more LEGO MINDSTORMS girls/woman out there.

Anika is also the first women part of the 2015 MINDSTORMS Community Partner group or MCP15 for short. By being part of this group Anika has a chance to inspire many girls by demoing her amazing creations at world events like LEGO WORLD Copenhagen and recently at the World Robotic Olympiad (WRO) Germany Finals.
Here she is with other MCP15 at the German Final WRO2015. For this event she created a remarkable interactive project including LEGO Elves sets and MINDSTORMS EV3.

Asha, Sanjay and Arvind  ;)
Next up is Asha, a mother of 2 boys. Their school did not have any robotics program. They got interested after watching an FLL contest when they were 6 and 8 and when she could not find a team, she started one for them. Now, they play, learn and teach with MINDSTORMS and LEGO every single day!the boys *started* robotics when they were 6 and 8. Now they are 10 and 12.  They then went on doing tutorials and  they are become quite popular. Check out this great resource here http://www.ev3lessons.com/ and their web site

Sonya's owl made with EV3

Another recent #GirlThatLoveRobots is Sonya, she post many of her EV3 creations on the Facebook group. her latest one is a very cute little owl.

And now for a shout out to all the cool geek moms I've met in real life or online, Cynnie C., Angela S., Sara I.,  Annie P., and I hope to get to know many more of you out there soon! 

Jane, Bettina, Maureen and Filippa

I end this post by presenting you a great picture, the Ladies of MINDSTORMS was taken at FIRST Innovation Faire in St-Louis 2015  and represent part of the cool LEGO staff at the MINDSTORMS booth that year.

Ladies, join the community and share you passion with others alike: https://www.facebook.com/groups/legomindstorms/

Oh and if any of you would like to be guest blogger here please do drop us a note ;) 



Jun 13, 2015

“Are You a LEGO Maker?” Prototyping Challenge


Contest starts today! Are you 13yo or older and live in the USA?
Then you must Enter the LEGO Prototyping Challenge! 

From Play to Prototype
To encourage this type of tinkering and exploration, LEGO Systems today announced the “Are You a LEGO Maker?” Prototyping Challenge where makers, ages 13 years and older, from around the United States are invited to apply for one of up to 50 LEGO Making kits to help them prototype their innovative ideas.
For showcasing a compelling reason needed to power the prototyping process, winners will receive a LEGO Prototyping Kit, including a LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 kit, one thousand LEGO bricks and elements, access to a LEGO MINDSTORMS Expert Builder and the book, Spirit of Invention: The Story of the Thinkers, Creators, and Dreamers Who Formed Our Nation. The challenge opens today and runs through July 13. For more information visit www.LEGO.com/Maker.

No purchase necessary.  Many will enter; only 50 will win.  For US residents 13 years and over only.  Enter between June 12 and July 13 2015.  Sponsor: LEGO Systems, Inc.  Void where prohibited.  See www.LEGO.com/Maker for full Official Rules.


Mar 30, 2015

EV3 lessons

Today we have a guest blog by the founders of EV3Lessons.com:

"We are members of a FIRST LEGO League (FLL) team and the founders of EV3Lessons.com, a website with LEGO Mindstorms EV3 programming tutorials for users of all levels.

We have a complete set of beginner, intermediate and advanced lessons. We have a wide range of lessons from Moving Straight to My Blocks, Proportional Line Followers, Squaring on Lines, Color Line Followers, Calibration, and more.
We continue to add and update the collection of lessons on the site. We are also adding resources that a user might need - such as basic robot build designs, worksheets and discussion guides for use in a classroom.

Who uses our lessons?

The target audience for the lessons is more than FIRST LEGO League
Teams. The lessons are used by thousands of robotics teams, schools, boy scouts, and non-profits in 95 countries. We want our tutorials to be available to users around the world regardless of income level and, therefore, we do not charge for our lessons.

We are adding lesson translations to help the site reach more children globally. The lessons are already translated into Dutch and Portuguese. We are working to add Spanish next month. These translations are completed by volunteers who speak the native language. For example, NXT Generation, an FLL team from the Netherlands, translated the site and lessons into Dutch.

Creating a Collaborative Environment for EV3 Users

In addition, we want to create an environment where other EV3 users (FLL Teams as well as individuals) can share their designs, code and ideas. As a result, EV3Lessons.com has a growing collection of international collaborators. Some of the FLL contributors include NXT Generation from the Netherlands, GEETec and GameTECH from Brazil, The Flying Manatees from Canada, and the Baker’s Dozen from the United States.

You can download our lessons at www.ev3lessons.com. You can reach us at team@ev3lessons.com."

Mar 26, 2015

New EV3 Video Tutorials

You may know him as the guy who made the Timmyton that amazing shark like bot he brought to MakerFaire NY last year. But now builderdude35 has a new series of EV3 tutorial to present us.

"Hello, everybody! I just wanted to let you all know that I have started a series of EV3 tutorials that I will be posting every Thursday (or Friday) on my YouTube channel, Builderdude35’s MINDSTORMS Creations:https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuXq-jiU0ANeBcF_Tvq1D7g 

In these tutorials, I discuss a topic and teach you how to implement it into an EV3 robot. Many of my tutorials are FLL related and aim to give some tips that could help you score more points on the mat. 


You can watch one of my tutorials, “Building Your FLL Robot” right here:



Please don’t be afraid to give me any feedback, and if you know anyone who might benefit from seeing this video, go right ahead and share it with them! I would really appreciate it! You can also suggest future topics!


Thanks for your time, and enjoy! :)


Feb 23, 2015

MINDSTORMS at LEGO WORLD Copenhagen 2015

LEGO WORLD was a blast this year, last time I was invited there was in 2012 with my large WALL-E5 transforming robot.  This time I showed up with the large R2-EV3, small QUIZ-E (son of wall-e) and Andy's CREEP3R from Minecraft.

The MINDSTORMS booth was right beside the red brick section the contrast was awesome.

My friends Vassilis, Anika, Simon, Mike, Lasse & Kenneth, Martyn & Eric, Lee, Harald and Nicolai where also there with their robots and for the first time we thought of taking a group photo with all of the robots.

We also had a group of Danish FLL kids helping us out. Here Yohannes is taking ownership of R2-EV3 and loving every moment of it;

Half of the event we brought CREEPER at the official LEGO MINDCRAFT booth where he was a total success.

Here a light weight stunt lady is testing Simon's Hov3rboard;

There was also a very popular CODING  section managed by the FLL kids;

Even Laurens Valk self Balenc3r was with me and many visitors took note of his website from his book on display at the booth;


The last day was really special as we got the visit of Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen  
Seen here with Cubestormer.

And then at Vassilis table;
 He even came by my table ;)

 And then before he left and because we all wanted a souvenir of this unique moment i managed to get him into the most epic MINDSTORMS group photo ever !!!

There is so much i would want to share with you these 4 days went by so fast let me leave you with a cute picture of Casimir, our youngest MINDSTORMS EXPERT to date!! 


Feb 9, 2015


Here's a guest blog post by Peter Erdie from the Codie project:

"Codie is a new robotic toy which teaches children the principles of computer coding, our mission is to help children understand how technology works.

We have created a unique visual programming language, which organizes the code of robotics into blocks. Children can easily arrange these blocks to create programs, which is then run by the toy robot. While playing, you get familiar to basic coding principles like if-else structures, variables or subroutines. The next version of the app will support Java as well, you’ll be able to export your Codie program into Java, then modify the code there and then import back to see what has changed in the behavior of the robot.

What are we doing on a Mindstorms blog? We’re planning to implement Mindstorms compatibility in our app, so you would be able to program your sets with our visual coding language! We already have plans for the 2nd generation of Codie with a special board featuring LEGO pegs, so you can connect your bricks and bring new creations forth.

Codie has gone a long way since the first version was created in late 2013, and we’re still in the development process, but we already have a few working prototypes at hand. Codie will be first available when we launch our crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo early February, until that follow us on Facebook or on Twitter!

If you want to lay your hands on Codie as early as possible, check out our website http://getcodie.com and subscribe for our newsletter to be first to know when we launch and other subscriber-only deals!

If you want to share you have any ideas or thoughts about Codie, feel free to tell us at info@getcodie.com"
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