Jul 13, 2014

Space Elevator

Every now and then you come across an idea build with MINDSTORMS that is just amazing.
Check out this self building system designed by Andreas Håkansson from Sweden, just feed it decks and watch it rise all the way... to space.

Just imagine the modules are made from Carbon Nano Tubes and it might actually work... as explained in this video:

Meanwhile, who can write the formula of how long it would take for this robot to build up to a given height?
: . .

Jul 9, 2014

Line Follower Sensor for NXT or EV3 (LineLeader-v2)

MINDSENSORS created a new sensor for the use with the EV3- home and EV3-education software,

On their webpage they state the following:
This is an array of 8 sensors with controlled light source, returning you values of the sensor readings. Your program can then decide if you wish to follow line with it or do something else.

  • Easy to mount on your NXT or EV3 robot facing ground
  • Reporting dark and light pattern from array of 8 sensors
  • Detect and follow a line
  • Write line follower programs with your own decision making
  • Develop your own PID control algorithms or use built in PID control

You can download a sample program and driver blocks for various languages.

Enjoy following the line at high speeds!


Jul 5, 2014

BrickFair 2014 in Virginia, USA

Here's another guest blog entry by Ian Warfield, Mindstorms Theme Leader for BrickFair VA:
"BrickFair VA will be holding four separate contests for LEGO MINDSTORMS enthusiasts this year. The long-running favorites Stock Sumo and Unlimited Sumo will be held as usual, and the Capture the Flag contest is returning from last year. There will also be a new contest for this year: the Pole Vault.

Pole Vault is a event that tests your robot's gymnastic ability. Contestants must travel to a one foot high wall in the center of the table, jump or climb over it, and reach the other side safely. This contest is recommended for KFOLs and TFOLs, although FOLs of all ages are welcome to compete.

In Capture the Flag, two robots will face off from opposite sides of the table, and the winner will be the first robot that can locate the flag, grab it, and find its way back to home base. The flag is represented by an infrared HiTechnic ball, and as an added complication, it starts out on a flag carrier robot that is wandering randomly around the arena. This contest is recommended for AFOLs, although FOLs of all ages are welcome to compete.

The official contest rules can be found at the following links:

BrickFair VA will be coming to the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, VA from July 30 to August 3, 2014. Public hours are on August 2nd and 3rd from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM."

Jun 27, 2014

EV3 Football Robots at Fana'Briques 2014

This weekend, Fana'Briques, one of the largest LEGO community events in Central Europe, will take place again at Rosheim, Alsace (France).

Meet my EV3 Football Robots there and take control over Robo-Oezil, Robo-Mueller or Robo-Benzema in a match against your friends!

See you in Rosheim!

Jun 19, 2014

Out now: The LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Discovery Book

Do you want to learn to build and program robots with LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3? Then The LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Discovery Book is the book you've been looking for. Master the building and programming skills needed to invent your own robots as you work through the book's many tutorials and challenges. Along the way, you'll build a series of sophisticated robots like the SNATCH3R, a robotic arm that can autonomously find, grab, lift and move the infrared beacon.

From the back cover:

LEGO MINDSTORMS has changed the way we think about robotics by making it possible for anyone to build real, working robots. The latest MINDSTORMS set, EV3, is more powerful than ever, and The LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Discovery Book is the complete, beginner-friendly guide you need to get started.

Begin with the basics as you build and program a simple robot to experiment with motors, sensors, and EV3 programming. Then you’ll move on to a series of increasingly sophisticated robots that will show you how to work with advanced programming techniques like data wires, variables, and custom-made programming blocks. You’ll also learn essential building techniques like how to use beams, gears, and connector blocks effectively in your own designs.

Master the possibilities of the EV3 set as you build and program:
  • The EXPLOR3R, a wheeled vehicle that uses sensors to navigate around a room and follow lines
  • The FORMULA EV3 RACE CAR, a streamlined remote-controlled race car
  • ANTY, a six-legged walking creature that adapts its behavior to its surroundings
  • SK3TCHBOT, a robot that lets you play games on the EV3 screen
  • The SNATCH3R, a robotic arm that can autonomously find, grab, lift, and move the infrared beacon
  • LAVA R3X, a humanoid robot that walks and talks
More than 150 building and programming challenges throughout encourage you to think creatively and apply what you’ve learned to invent your own robots. With The LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Discovery Book as your guide, you’ll be building your own out-of-this-world creations in no time!

Requirements: One LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 set (LEGO SET #31313)

You can get the book at your local book store or you can order it from Amazon. You can also order the book along with a free ebook directly from the publisher. When ordering from the publisher, use discount code DISCOVER to get 30% off.

May 30, 2014

EV3 and Arduino... together!

Here is something pretty cool if you would like to push the EV3 a little further then it is meant too be.

That's right, our friends at Dexter Industries just released a tutorial on how to connect these two devices http://www.dexterindustries.com/howto/connecting-ev3-arduino/

Let us know in the comment below if by any chance you have played with this combo already or if this is something you are adding in your bucket list?
: . .

May 27, 2014

NXT Physical Programming

Making robot programming easier for young children: NXT Physical Programming with colored balls, introduced by a couple of teachers students from the Independent Academy for Free School teaching in Denmark.

Incidentally, MCP Mike Brandl had a similar idea some years ago with his Color Programable Car.
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