Jul 29, 2013

LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Launch in CHINA for LEGO Education ...Dear diary,


July 15, 2013 - Changchun
Landing to Changchun, China. Woohoo! However my luggage -including what's important …my EV3 robots- are still missing somewhere in Beijing (don't ask, my fault apparently).  A warm welcome from Eric Steenstra and LEGO Education’s territory manager at the airport and everything feels much better!

July 16, 2013
We have to prepare the setup in Changchun. My robots are still in Beijing and news are not so optimistic.  We decide to proceed to plan-B: Build and program a new set of robots within the next 12 hours. I, Eric and the guys from LEGO Education we start working hard ...well we're not really stressed because we can do it! Late at night my robots arrive in Changchun!!! Everything looks cool now! 

July 17, 2013
The campus of the Changchun university is huge and superb, full of kids of all ages and thousands of Chinese teachers. The national robotic competition (FLL) is held at the Sport and Culture center of the campus and in a separate area we 're demonstrating our EV3 models. 
Eric and I, a kid controlling my soccer-bot and the LEGO Education crew in Changchun
Eric with runs his line followers and Martyn's bonus model and I with my EV3 soccer robots with the 2-gyro/single-hand EV3 controllers (ST3FILALA design). 

Of course, EV3RSTORM is here too! The kids are having a blast!!! 
EV3RSTORM and fans!
Some interviews at the Chinese Television and many discussions with kids and teachers. Late at night we are flying to Beijing!

July 18, 2013 - Beijing 
Everything should be perfect for the grand launch! …quite stressful day! Ask Eric!!! 

July 19th, 2013 
The official EV3 launch is held in the famous Water Cube (2008 Beijing Olympic Stadium). Since the morning the wonderful reception and showroom areas are busy with journalists, media and students. Inspiring speeches by the LEGO Education's director of sales from Billund, the manager in China, the CEO of the local distributor (SEMIA) and Ethan Danahy, research assistant professor from TUFTS.

On stage with our robots and LEGO Education's Gyro Boy and Elephant
The new LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Education models perform amazingly on stage. Then Eric and I we're presenting some of the EV3 features and demonstrating our models. Great moments! 
Eric's line follower (with mechanum wheels and 4 colour sensors),  EV3RSTORM and my ST3FILALA soccer robots

Later, press conference, pictures for magazines and lot of interviews. The day ends with a wonderful celebration dinner! WOW …everything was fantastic!

July 20th, 2013
Back to the airport and finally all safe to our homes with lot of great memories! 

THANK YOU CHINA!

Jul 20, 2013

Taberta robot

I love how this robot moves. It is from the RobertaLAB and it's design was influenced by nature. Apparently this is how the Tabacha spider moves (although I couldn't find any info on the real spider).  Could be a lot of fun to recreate.


Jul 17, 2013

EV3 and NXT: Difference and Compatibility


A new article over at Robot Square explains the difference and compatibility between LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 and NXT. This video demonstrates the compatibility between the two LEGO MINDSTORMS systems:

Jul 12, 2013

Beam sorter; why do you need a computer?


Not really MINDSTORMS but again an impressive model by our GBC master builder akiyuky.

The model uses a similar mechanism to lift the beams as was created in the earlier axle sorter.

Jul 7, 2013

MINDSTORMS Contests at BrickFair VA 2013

Here's a 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 again as usual, and there are two new contests as well, Capture the Flag and Journey to the Center of the Earth.
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. 
Journey to the Center of the Earth is a variant of last year's Mine Rescue that will find out which of the robots is best equipped to help minifigs explore the deep underground. Contestants must follow a line drawn on the table, access a plastic bore hole, and lower a minifig safely to the bottom. This contest is recommended for KFOLs and TFOLs, 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 August 1-4, 2013. Public hours are on August 3rd and 4th from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
Sumo



Flag carrier robot 

Jul 5, 2013

LEGO® MINDSTORMS™ EV3 premiere to be hacked at OHM2013


Some very special news, Steven Canvin, former manager of the MINDSTORMS robotics community, will be at OHM2013 to present the new LEGO® MINDSTORMS™ EV3 and hold a hacking contest.



PRESS RELEASE
Friday, July 5, 2013

LEGO® MINDSTORMS™ EV3 premiere to be hacked at OHM2013


On July 31, 2013, former LEGO® MINDSTORMS™ community-manager Steven Canvin will reveal the new MINDSTORMS release, EV3, at Dutch outdoor hacker conference OHM2013: Observe. Hack. Make. His goal is to have the EV3 hacked before the end of the conference on August 4, 2013.

"I would love to see the EV3 hacked, and I mean properly hacked, at OHM2013", Steven says. He will provide information on the MINDSTORMS EV3 firmware and software to the visitors of OHM2013, when the LEGO Group’s embargo on this information lifts on August 1. Before that date, he will reveal the great stories about the process of building the EV3. Steven will share his first-hand experience of letting go of traditional product development and involving a worldwide community of creators, modders and hackers.

OHM2013 is a 5-day outdoor camping festival that hosts some 3,000 hackers and makers from all over the world. It is a four year tradition in The Netherlands to hold such an event. This year’s event will take place from July 31th till August 4th. Besides a full program of over 300 lectures, workshops, lightning talks, films and other presentations, it also hosts a big hardware-hacking area. All kinds of hardware hacking will be present; blacksmithing and welding, laser cutting, 3D-printing, CNC routing, electronics, robotics, and obviously: LEGO MINDSTORMS hacking. More information about the event and the program can be found at ohm2013.org

As LEGO has announced last January, you can turn your LEGO creations into live robots that follow your every command with LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3. The new LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 set includes everything you  need – motors, sensors, programmable brick, 550+ LEGO Technic elements, remote control – to create and command robots of even your wildest  imagination, including five cool robot characters. Download the 3D building  instructions and the app to command your robot via your smart device. Then program your robots to walk, talk, move and do whatever you want  them to do to via the intuitive software program, the programmable brick or your smart device.



To bad I won't be in the Netherland until October... This sounds like so much fun!
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