May 28, 2012

Classroom in space: the windmill

On ISS, the International Space Station, the astronauts intermittently perform small experiments with LEGO® and produce small movies from it. LEGO® in Space, a cooperation project of LEGO® with the NASA, publishes these movies on LEGOspace.com under the series title "Classroom in space", for teachers and students interactively learning from them.

Now, after experiments with hammers, fishing rods and beam balance, there's a new movie available where Dutch astronaut André Kuipers is performing an experiment with LEGO® windmills.

Check it out! It's worth having a look.

May 24, 2012

FIRST LEGO LEAGUE ITALY!

Finally First LEGO League arrived to Italy!
We really hope to build a strong network, and share the LEGO Word around the Bel Paese!
You can see a video of the event here.
For more information, see the official page of FLL Italy.

May 21, 2012

Moonbots 2012

Last week, the X PRIZE Foundation and the LEGO Group announced MoonBots 2012: A Google Lunar X PRIZE LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Challenge:
"This third annual contest will challenge teams of youth to study the history of heritage artifacts left on the Moon, while also getting an opportunity to learn about the new and exciting things that private industry and government are doing in the arena of space exploration, including the $30 million dollar Google Lunar X PRIZE."
There's also a new nice promotional video on YouTube:

 

Go for it!

May 17, 2012

MinuteBot Base: Project will be funded!

Update: The project has been funded! :)
We'll keep you updated when one of us receives the base plates.


Have you checked out the MinuteBot Base project that Damien blogged about earlier?

The Kickstarter funding project still needs a few more backers to make it become reality.

Keep in mind that this is not 'donating'. If you pledge, you're buying a product at a discount price. The product is a Technic Base Plate, 21x30.

There's only 4 days left to pledge. If you'd like to have one of these plates for your robots, get one now you still can! To pledge, go here.

Here's a suggestion by Jetro on how to use the baseplate. What will you make?

May 16, 2012

Bonus model: LEGO® MINDSTORMS® meets bingo

On 02/05/2012 a new robo-bingofied bonus model was released! Now you can play bingo in a new way and with no risk of anybody cheating – only the Lotto Bot will know what the next number will be.
The Lotto Bot was designed and built by Eric Steenstra from the Netherlands. His idea originated from Anika Brandsma’s bingo duck that she brought to LEGO World in Copenhagen, in February 2012. Get more information, NXT-G program and Building instructions here.

May 12, 2012

Mindy Mindstorms

The Vuurzoons have done it again!
Arjen Vuurzoon has published a great video on Mindy Mindstorms, a Cheerleader robot that dances to the beats of an arbitrary song:



Mindy synchronizes her movements via a Bluetooth connection to the PC playing the song and balances itself using a HiTechnic Gyro sensor; it's most  remarkable that her creator managed to make her keeping stable even with the pom-pons constantly disturbing the delicate balance!

More details on Mindy can be found here.

May 11, 2012

Mindstorms robots a AFOLCon

Last weekend (5-7 May 2012) there was a great AFOL show in Manchester, with many interesting MOC models. Below a small (not complete) impression of the Mindstorms section. For more information, and follow-up responses, look at the twitter section on the AFOLCon home page.
Also have a look at their facebook page.

NXT Barometer

Some time ago I received one of HiTechnic's Barometric sensors that
"can be used as part of a weather station or to monitor altitude. The sensor can be used to read both atmospheric pressure and temperature"
as HiTechnic states.
I experimented with it and wrote a driver class for leJOS NXJ, the Java platform for the NXT, which I used to program my little machine that integrates the sensor: the NXT Barometer.

May 9, 2012

MinuteBot Base

One of the challenges we robot builders have, is creating a nice stable base for our creations.  I've used the large Exo wheels in the past, but have always wondered why LEGO have never made a baseplate made entirely with the Technic holes.

Rather than waiting for LEGO to come up with something, Lasse Mogensen and Soren Jensen decided to make it themselves.  It's called the MinuteBot Base and they've jumped on Kickstarter to see if they can raise the funds to put it into production.

So what is it exactly?  It a LEGO baseplate, the height of a normal Technic beam with 21 x 30 holes.

It will make creating bases for all types of robots quick, and more importantly, not use up all your other vital LEGO technic beams!

Laurens Printer on 2 minutebot bases


At the time of this blog post, they had raised nearly $6,000 of their $11,000 target.  Basically that means they need another $5000 to meet their target and start production.  What happens if they don't meet the target? Don't worry, you don't actually pay your money unless they raise all the funds they need.

You can support their project and pick up your very own MinuteBot base here:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/37801615/minutebot-base

($30 for one, cheaper if you buy multiple)

How would you use a Minutebot base?  Let us know in the comments.

May 4, 2012

Control a Robot from anywhere in the World!

Today you can control my Alpha Rex NXT robot, from anywhere in the world! Check it out here or learn more here.

May 1, 2012

Time Twister Instructions and Program available


The author of the Tilted Twister and the Sudoku solver made an awesome clock called Time Twister.
Don't think it will actually distort space-time to travel back in time, but still the way it works is amazing.
Check it out.

If you want to build your own, Hans Andersson made instructions and program available to public.
Instructions are a bit hard to follow, but it's still great!

AFOLCon, Manchester 2012

From 5 to 7 May in Manchester is a big LEGO AFOL (adult Fan Of LEGO) show, even MINDSTORMS models are displayed. You can see for yourself the world record breaking Cube solver. Or you can build your own Sumo robot to play a game of Sumo or play Soccer with Helmets. Also several awesome robots are there just to show you what is possible with LEGO.

More detailed information on AFOLCon website
Or follow us on facebook:
Looking forward to see you there!

Martyn
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