Feb 25, 2013

LEGOnardo, a LEGO® drawing automat

Daniele Benedettelli, Italian creator of many a great robot, has come up with a magnificent new one:
LEGOnardo, a portrayer robot in the tradition of 18th century's drawing automats.

LEGONARDO from Daniele Benedettelli on Vimeo.

Feb 22, 2013

Agilis, a holonomic robot

Some days ago, I ran over a very nice holonomic robot, created by Dutch NXT builder Aswin Bouwmeester. It is called Agilis, a very appropriate name:

What makes this robot particularly interesting is the series of blog entries its creator has published on his blog NXT time; there, he describes in detail how to program holonomic movements with the powerful frameworks of leJOS, a popular Java-based programming language for the MINDSTORMS.

Feb 19, 2013


Laurens Valk has published a nice video from LEGOWORLD CPH, with a lot of insights into the upcoming EV3:

There's also a second video by YouTube user carosofir on the MINDSTORMS booth:

Feb 15, 2013

3D building instructions in EV3

Autodesk, the company that will provide the software for the 3D building instructions in the upcoming MINDSTORMS generation EV3, has published a first video on how the user interface will look like:


Today LEGOWORLD CPH opened and we are ready with a lot EV3 robots to show and play with. We have a location were you can try out the new 3D building, Programing, Controlling it over a smart phone, do an IR-remote fight, and watch EV3RSTORM dance on WIFI.

See you tomorrow.

Feb 14, 2013

R3PTAR: NXT version

One of the flagship models of the new EV3 system is R3PTAR, a great looking snake (cobra?) that slithers along and strikes at anything that gets too close.

Not content to wait for the EV3 to come out, one of our readers Vasiliy made his own version using the NXT.  Looks identical in function to me!  Well done!


Feb 13, 2013

LEGO®WORLD København

It's time again: tomorrow the LEGO®WORLD will open again in Denmark's capital Copenhagen!

For four days the LEGO® company will present bricks, models and news from Billund to the public, with endless opportunities to play, see, test and getting inspired by the LEGO® universe.

Also MINDSTORMS creations will be around, both from LEGO® itself and from some members of the community who were invited to show off their robots there.

In case you can manage to go there, don't miss it!

Feb 12, 2013


LEGO® Education has published a very nice timeline on the evolution of the LEGO® MINDSTORMS series over the last 15 years.

Download, print and put it over your bed!

(Thanks bazmarc for figuring that out)

The Caterpillar

When watching the LEGO® Loom Machine by Tomasz Zając, I ran over another great invention of his with an ingenious way of locomotion: the Caterpillar.

It's from December 2010, yet I wasn't aware of it until recently - so I decided to post it here as most of our readers might not have seen it so far also.

Feb 10, 2013

Dr. E's Challenges

Prof. Dr. Chris Rogers at Tufts University who has been one of the main contributors to ROBOLAB and the LABView edition for LEGO® MINDSTORMS, has created a series of challenges for teams all over the world to take part online: Dr. E's Challenges.

The six challenges will be published by and by (likely each two weeks) and have to be solved by teams of two or three students using LEGO® MINDSTORMS NXT. The solutions for a challenge that have been sent in until the associated deadline (by video, text etc) are rated by all participating teams; the team who submitted the one that gets the highest over-all rating will receive a small price.

Teams from all over the world  are invited to take part, so go for it!
As the competition is running for some days already, the deadline for submissions for the first challenge "Silly walks" is somewhat tight now at 15th of February.

Feb 9, 2013

LEGO Loom Machines

So I'm sure you've all seen Nico71's amazing loom machine here
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKdUPbtE_xk but look what Tomasz Zając has just posted: a super cool version using MINDSTORMS NXT and some PF motors!

Now your LEGO robot can knit a warm scarf for you this cold winter;)

See more pictures of this cool (err I mean "warm") creation here http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?f=521691 

 I which I had this superb MINDSTORMS scarf with me when I filmed the Phat Track video at -30°C

: . .

Feb 8, 2013

Phat Track, a snow mobile

It's Winter! So what's better than to build a Snow mobile with LEGO® MINDSTORMS NXT?
bazmarc, the creator of WALL-E 5, has done so just recently - have a look at his "Phat Track":

Feb 6, 2013

Another GBC

Philip Verbeek has sent us through version 4 of his Great Ball Contraption.  We've shown version 2 before and this one follows in a similar style.  With 7 separate 'modules' its impressive, but what truly makes it stand apart is the fact that the whole thing is powered by a single motor.  There is a great implementation of a Geneva Drive towards the end of the video which is worth sticking around for.

As an added bonus, the NXT uses a light sensor to keep track of how many balls have passed through :)

**Update** Here is version 3 :) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slVg6G33taA

Feb 5, 2013

LEGO Mindstorms and Arduino

The Arduino board is a favourite amongst hobbyists for its ease of use and powerful hardware.  It was only a matter of time before someone manage to merge it with the NXT.  Now there have been projects over the years that have done this, but John Baichtal, Adam Wolf and Matthew Beckler (from MAKE blog) did it, created an Arduino shield and wrote a book about the whole adventure.

Their Arduino shield can be used to replace the NXT brick and is capable of interfacing with 4 NXT sensor and 2 NXT motors.

So is it better than the NXT brick itself?  AS John points out "Yes and No"
So the shield and Arduino beat out Lego’s microcontroller, right? Well, yes and no. In our explorations we found ourselves very impressed with the NXT brick, which is the default Mindstorms microcontroller. It’s so good that many hackers have figured out how to put alternate operating systems on the NXT brick like LeJos and NXT-C. Then there is the fact that the NXT can control 3 motors and our shield only two. That said, there is a lot to like about the Arduino approach. Simply being able to use all of Arduino’s vast ecosystem of hardware and code will do wonders for your robot. Wayne and Layne are also developing a motor controller that can run five motors and has a built-in XBee connector. It’s not ready to buy or build yet but you can see it in action here.
More info here - http://blog.makezine.com/2013/02/04/the-monday-jolt-bricktronics-expands-the-possibilities-of-lego/

Enchanting v0.2.3 is out

Enchanting is a fantastic project that combines the programming language of SCRATCH with the NXT.  Clinton has just released version 0.2.3 and some of the improvements look great.
- Easily control the display with the SCRATCH sprite editor
- Easily record sounds to upload to your NXT
- Program your robot to travel set distances and angles (hmmm, would be interesting to know how it accounts for variations in robot design)

Check out more info here - http://enchanting.robotclub.ab.ca/
I'm pleased to announce that Enchanting v0.2.3 is out.
Enchanting makes programming the NXT fun again. It is simple enough for a beginner, but has enough depth to be a useful tool for an intermediate-to-advanced roboticist.
Here's a taste of what it's all about, in less than two minutes:
Enchanting is free and open-source, includes German and French translations, and runs on Windows and Mac OS X (and somewhat on Linux). There are several more videos, an iBook, and cards to show you how to use it, thoughts from people who've used Enchanting, a list of bugs to be aware of, and forums where we'll help you with your questions. Come and take a look!

Feb 3, 2013

The "Elephant" from the Education Edition of EV3

The "Elephant", an official model in the Education Edition of the upcoming new MINDSTORMS generation EV3:

Feb 1, 2013

Lee Magpili, lead designer EV3, education

Lee Magpili, Designer for LEGO Education, talks through the features of Gyro Boy and EVan..

WOW, I love that big robot!
COOL job Lee!
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