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: 

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 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"

Jan 16, 2015

New version 0.9.0-beta of leJOS available

There's a new version of leJOS available, the Open Source Java platform for MINDSTORMS.
Next to a lot of improvements, the new release 0.9.0-beta comes with new features like webcam and android support.

For details, see the according post at the lejosnews blog.

Jan 10, 2015

Control WEDO with EV3

Ralph Hempel, the creator of the original EV3 bonus model printer.

Ralph created software to control the WEDO usb hub with a EV3. unfortunately this is not an easy added new sensor block in EV3-G but he used a more complex way in creating the code with EV3DEV.
What is EV3DEV?
The ev3dev distribution is a full Debian (jessie) Linux distribution running on the 3.16.x kernel that has been customized for the LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 controller.

Rather than use custom language bindings that use direct access to mmap’ed files, this distribution aims to allow as many programming languages as possible to access the EV3 peripherals using simple Linux file access. If your favorite programming language is available as an ARM port, and it can read and write files, you can use it to program the EV3. Currently the ev3dev distribution includes the following languages:

Google Go (golang)

If your favorite language isn’t listed, you can still program with the EV3. ev3dev supports standard apt tools, so once you get up-and-running you can install whatever language you like.

And although you can directly access the APIs via file I/O if you want to, let’s face it: that’s tedious. It’s much easier when you have a higher-level library to use. Learn more about our pre-made language bindings on the documentation page. Features above and beyond the official LEGO kernel include:

Support for Atheros, Realtek, and other wifi chipsets so you’re not stuck with one specific wifi dongle
Support for SSH terminal sessions
Ethernet over USB functionality and a full network stack
Actual user accounts instead of passwordless root access
Fully upgradeable and customizable install using standard “apt” tools, running on the brick
NFS file share / file transfer capability
Automatic NTP clock updates
Access to device drivers through user-space filesystem
Built in text editors like vim and nano
Prebuilt support for programming languages like Lua, perl, gawk, Python, guile, Ruby, and more
Support for all host operating systems including Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, even Blackberry!

Put more simply: ev3dev can do almost everything normal Linux can, while the stock LEGO kernel cannot. Using the ev3dev Kernel:
Don’t want to give up your official LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 kernel and rootfs? You don’t need to!

Just install ev3dev on any microSD card (min 1GB suggested, but can you even buy one that small anymore?) and plug it into the microSD slot on the EV3. The uboot loader will look on the card, find the ev3dev kernel and happily boot that instead!

When you want to use the official LEGO tools, just shutdown the EV3, unplug the ev3dev microSD card and restart the brick.

This is still an early beta, so it’s not as polished as the official LEGO offering, but it’s getting better every week as we add support for more of the native EV3 drivers. Alongside the main kernel, work is also being done on brickman, which adds a LEGO-like GUI. The state of the project

Currently, the project is being maintained by @dlech and @rhempel in their spare time. Active development is being done in the main ev3dev-kernel repo as well as in places like brickman and other related packages.

and now it also includes the functions to control and read the WEDO USB hub

DO you want to try?
1) go here and read the instructions for a download on an SD card

Thanks Ralph!

Jan 8, 2015

EV3 plotter

2015 starts with a guest blog entry by Ahmad Alkhatib who posts about his EV3 plotter:

"Hello, I'm Ahmad Alkhatib, a TFOL who loves building and programming EV3 robots, and now you'll read about one of the robots that i really worked hard on, SMAK PLOTT3R.

Powered by two Large motors and a Medium motor, along up with a Color sensor and a Touch sensor. This plotter works perfectly, and can be programmed to draw or right almost anything, with a pen! And with some weird decoration :P

A Large motor is used for lifting/lowering the pen, and the other Large motor is used with moving the Writer Unit which includes the two Large motors. For moving the paper, I used the Medium motor which will inject the paper to the desired position when the Color sensor detect's the paper. The Touch sensor detect the position of the Writer Unit by moving the Writer Unit to the left until the Touch sensor is pressed, and then it moves to the desired position. After that, the pen will write/draw as programmed. The programming wasn't that hard, I programmed some letters as My Blocks and then connected them in a single program, another program was drawing some nice shapes which was also easy. Finally, I want to say that I really enjoyed building and programming this robot and I think that it's one of my best masterpieces until now :)

Don't forget to check out my website and my MINDSTORMS Community profile."

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