Aug 17, 2014

Aug 10, 2014


Here's a guest blog post by lama-mantis:
Tumors arise when there is a mutation in your cells. The cells will duplicate without stopping. This can be dangerous for the human body, and can kill people. It is already possible to remove tumors by cutting them away. But when a tumor is on a difficult to reach place, such as in the brain, the tumor can’t be removed without destroying the brain (and when the brain is destroyed, the person will still die).
I wanted to make it possible to help people with a brain tumor. My idea was to create something that can remove/destroy the tumor from the inside. Because big stuff can’t go into brains, you need a small thing…

My idea was GammaBug, a nanorobot that can remove tumors by using Gamma Rays. Of course, it's not possible to make a nanobot with the MINDSTORMS NXT hardware. So I made a prototype on 'normal' scale by using my NXT 2.0 set. For more info about tumors, how GammaBug removes them and the NXT prototype of GammaBug, see the web site associated to the robot.

GammaBug by lama-mantis

Aug 6, 2014

Sioux.NET on Track is going to Lego World 2014

Here's a guest blog entry by the guys of Sioux .NET on Track:

Sioux .NET on Track is a group of enthusiastic software engineers who come together after working hours to get more experienced with the Microsoft.NET technology. To make learning fun, they develop an application in C# and WPF for making a full automated Lego train, using Lego Mindstorms NXT, Lego Mindstorms EV3 and Lego Power functions.
The full automated train layout will be displayed for the third year at Lego World 2014 in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Each year, they try to outdo themselves with more functionality and impressive techniques. For this year, the visitor (from age 4 to 99 or even older) can shoot a colour (red, green, blue, yellow) at the so called PUI Receiver. PUI is an abbreviation for Physical User Interface, according to Sioux.NET on Track this may be the new standard in usability after the touch screen J.
The PUI shooters are build around two PF remote controls (art. 8885).

After the visitor has shot his desired colour, one of the two trains is going to pick up the matching wagon at the marshalling yard. Please note that all the switches are remotely controlled. The train is controlled by a Mindstorms NXT and a Hi-Technic IR Link sensor. This sensor is able to control the PF motors of the locomotive. Connected to each train NXT, it has also a Codatex RFID sensor to read the RFID cards that are put beneath the track. By this means, the train ‘knows’ where it is on the track layout. Last (literally) on board of the wagon, is a mechanism to decouple the coloured wagon.
Each coloured wagon contains candy, matching the colour of the wagon (red = strawberry, yellow = citron, green = apple, blue = raspberry). Loading of the wagons is handled by the Candy Crane, a large ‘container’ crane that is able to pick up the candy from the loading platform and deposit it gently into the wagon.

After the train has picked up the wagon, it will be heading towards the Delivery Station. The Delivery Station is able to tilt the complete wagon to unload the candy.

The candy is transported with a special conveyer mechanism to the Candy Switch. Depending if the left or right shooter was used (two visitors can simultaneously use the train layout, we have two independent trains running around), the Candy Switch makes sure that the candy is delivered ‘left’ or ‘right’.
The PC application is mostly written in Microsoft C#. Also Verum/ASD is used, a disruptive technology which makes the software much more reliable. The user interface is written in WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation), showing the actual position of the train on the screen:

More details this project can be read on the Sioux.NET on Track blog , photos can be viewed here and videos at Youtube.

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!
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