Nov 30, 2013

Black friday; Book Reviews

Recently the first MINDSTORMS books hit the shelfs, some are written for the Educations (45544) set and some are for the Retail (31313) set. It is important to pick the right book, or else you end up with a good book about the EV3, but you cannot recreate any of the models inside.

A book by Daniele Benedettelli the creator of guitar bonus model. He is an expert on MINDSTORMS and as MCP he was closely involved in the development process of the EV3. The book starts with explaining the 31313 set details and how to build some good structures. Then with the help of a comic you are guided into the new features of the set, like the IR control, and on-brick programing. in the end you build some amazing robots, and the code how to run your models is nicely explained in the book.
It is in Black white, and sometimes this is a bit harder to follow the building instructions, but let not lead you there, this is the BEST EV3 31313 book out now! Here or here is a link if you want one!

But what if you rather shop for an adventure?

Megan H. Rothrock, wrote a beautiful sequel to her first book, and now she invited some of the world's most gifted writers to join the adventure, I loved the creations and the different stories all shown in great detailed LEGO models, including a cute little robot. To me this book was a wonderful adventure, and I sure can rec-comment it.
Here and here are the links.

Nathanael Kuipers also wrote the second book, on his amazing creations, As a former LEGO designer he sure knows how to build the most stunning models, and all those models are just build with only one set!, Amazing is the only word I have. the book is like Megan's in full color and that shows the high quality of the building instructions even more. Here and Here are the links.

Now if building models is not your cup of tea, here is a wonderful book with full color pictures of amazing creations build by the best builders on the planet. Mike Doyle put them all together in one book. it was great fun to browse through this book, and although I hade seen some of the models online there were still new and wow pictures inside this book.
Here and Here is the link.

Now the last book in this section I like to point out is a book not about models, or robots, but a book about the story of LEGO, and how they managed to return in making a profit.

The book has a large chapter about MINDSTORMS because there the company did something no other development company would ever do: " open up the design lab for the fans, and let them look along in improving the product" and that sure payed off, the MUP, and MCP story is told from various views, and that really makes the book worth reading. sometimes the book is repeating itself a bit, but if you read through, you learn why LEGO universe failed and at the same time minecraft boomed.
Here is the link.

Enjoy reading!

Nov 25, 2013

The Difference Between LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Home Edition (#31313) and LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 (#45544)

The LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 robotics platform has been developed for two different target audiences. There are home users (children and hobbyists) and educational users (students and teachers). LEGO has designed a base set for each group, but what are the differences between these two?

There isn’t a clear line between home users and educational users, though. It’s fine to use the Education Core Set at home, and it’s fine to use the Home Edition set at school. This article at Robot Square aims to clarify the differences between the two product lines so you can decide which product works best for you.

The article covers the main differences between the LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Home Edition (#31313) and LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Core Set (#45544), as well as other subtle differences you should be aware of when choosing one of these sets.

Nov 21, 2013

Robot Navigation Software for EV3

In his blog, Lauro Ojeda describes how to program the EV3 using C++. In particular, he focuses on mobile robot navigation, developing software that allows a differential drive robot to keep a precise estimation of its pose using the Rotation Sensors embedded in the motors and a gyroscope. 
He has released the Robot Navigation software, that allows developing mobile robot applications of different levels of complexity. The current version supports robots based on the the Lego Mindstorms EV3. The web site includes instructions for how to compile and use it in Windows and Linux.
In the video, you can see a demo application. Using the arrows on the computer keyboard, the user drives the robot around, and then requests the robot to return to the home position.

Nov 12, 2013

Off to World Robot Olympiad 2013

On Friday, the World Robot Olympiad 2013 will start in Jakarta on Java (Indonesia), and The NXT STEP will report live on spot!

Again, I've been invited to show some new EV3 robot creation, acting as a "LEGO® Robotics Expert"; so stay tuned !
I'm expectíng to blog a lot of images and movies from there while the event takes place.

Nov 8, 2013

Microsoft's new API for controlling EV3 robots from Windows

Microsoft has announced that the company is presently developing an API to control EV3 robots from Windows 8 desktop, Windows Phone 8 or WinRT:


Nov 3, 2013

Building the EV3 Home Edition bonus models

It's November and cold and rainy weekends come with it - so what's better than building some of the 12 new EV3 Home Edition bonus models?

The EV3 projects (including programs and building instructions) are available from here.
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