Aug 29, 2014

Team "The Incredibots" win the 2014 MoonBots Challenge !

PRIZE LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Challenge. The competition, which aims to promote science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, challenges teams of students ages 9 to 17 to design, program and build robots that simulate lunar missions mirroring the $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE, an international competition for privately funded teams to build a rover to land on and explore the Moon’s surface.

The Grand Prize Winner and Runner-Ups are:

Grand Prize Winner: Team The Incredibots (Columbus, Ohio)
First Runner-Up: Team Dalton BRobots (Barcelona, Spain)
Second Runner-Up: Team Dutch Delta (Rotterdam, Netherlands)
Third Runner-Up: Team Starling (Ballwin, Mo.)
Third Runner-Up: Team Electric Dreams (Erie, Pa.)

For the full list of finalists, visit

The Grand Prize Winner will receive a trip to the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems (PISCES) at the University of Hawaii at Hilo to test out their robot on the slopes of the Mauna Kea volcano.

All runner-up teams will receive free team registration for the 2014-2015 FIRST® robotics season, and all winning teams will receive a MATRIX Base Set, a 3DR Rover from 3D Robotics and GoPro Hero 3+ cameras. Please note, because the talent pool was so strong, we decided to split the Third Runner-Up position between two deserving teams that received equal scores.

This year’s MoonBots Challenge, which began in March 2014, attracted a record number of entries with over 300 teams from 24 different countries. Teams were initially asked to submit a video answering the question, “Why should we go back to the Moon for good?” From there, a panel of judges selected 25 finalists, who were tasked with building and programming a LEGO MINDSTORMS robot, as well as their own lunar landscape for their vehicle to explore.

First Video of The Incredibots

The winning mission, of the Incredibots

the Dalton BRobots

Team Dutch Delta, with their STEM outreach

Team Starling's live mission

Team Electric Dreams Live Mission 100% autonomous.

and their massive STEM outreach.

To All teams; it was great FUN and I did love to judge all the great robot missions and videos.

Aug 25, 2014

Programming EV3 in ANSI C

Today we have a guest blog post by JAsVAp who was active in the area of EV3 programming with C:

"Ever wanted to have a simple way for programming your Lego EV3 in it's native programming language ANSI C? Well now it is possible! I have made an IDE application for it.

Your code will be running super fast as it is compiled to run directly on your CPU and not for an intermediat virtual machine!!!

And the best thing I want to share it with everybody for FREE. You can download it at my temporary website or on my onedrive.

A first version of documentation is included in the program it self ( README.txt ), but it may not be sufficient enough for everbody. When I find some more time I will create some more example project.

Some important features:
  • No need for a firmware upgrade!!! So an EV3 out of the box will do. 
  • Your program can be executed from original Lego EV3 menu on your device!
  • You can setup a Telnet connection ( wifi connection - linux remote terminal ) and start your application in the terminal and even see println outputs!!! ( very handy for debugging )
  • Compile errors will be put in an output window to help you direct you to the line where the error occured!
  • Search with replace possibilities, for easy renaming and more
  • One click compile, download and run your application! 

If a lot of you Lego fanatics love to use my program I will try and create updates on request!

Hope you enjoy it,

Steven Persyn
Alias: JAsVAp"

Aug 24, 2014

Bonus model BRICK SORT3R: Sort LEGO bricks by color and size

Laurens Valk made an extra bonus model that Sort LEGO bricks by color and size, for those who have the book.

By finding the right program name in the book, you can enter a special section of the acompaning website.
The program and building instructions are in the same high quality as the book and in full color.

Aug 20, 2014

The Castle of Mysteries

Meet Avery Dean, a wiz kid with great sense of humor and some pretty awesome skills. He used parts from his LEGO collection and his MINDSTORMS EV3 set to create this elaborate school project.
Sit back and relax as he explain his amazing creation the "Castle of Mysteries"

EV3RYTHING IS AW3SOME in this video ;)
: . .

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.

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