LEGO Mindstorms Based Robots

LEGO Mindstorms Based Robots

If you have a LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Robotics Kit, then this site provides free building instructions and downloadable programs for lots of fun projects. Discover More in this Category »

LEGO Beaglebone Black Based Robots

LEGO Beaglebone Black Based Robots

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LEGO Raspberry PI Based Robots

LEGO Raspberry PI Based Robots

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LEGO Arduino Based Robots

LEGO Arduino Based Robots

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LEGO sBricko Based Robots

LEGO sBricko Based Robots

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LEGO Mindstorms EV3-G Coding

LEGO Mindstorms EV3-G Coding

The free, easy to use, icon based LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Software (PC/Mac) features fun missions and a programming interface that lets you explore the magic of making your robot do whatever you wish. Discover More in this Category »

LEGO Mindstorms RobotC Coding

LEGO Mindstorms RobotC Coding

ROBOTC is a text-based ANSI C compliant programming language for the LEGO Mindstorms RCX, NXT and EV3 platforms. Discover More in this Category »

FIRST LEGO League Robotics Competition

FIRST LEGO League Robotics Competition

FIRST LEGO League (FLL) is an international robotics competition organized by FIRST for elementary and middle school students aged between 9-14 around the globe. Discover More in this Category »

LEGO Mindstorms EV3 and NXT Vision Sensors

LEGO Mindstorms EV3 and NXT Vision Sensors

Computer vision includes acquiring, processing, analyzing and understanding captured images in Real-Time, and the extraction of high-dimensional data in order to produce numerical or symbolic information which Robots can act upon. Discover More in this Category »

 

Welcome to the Mindstorms Robots website.

Enter the fantastic world of LEGO MINDSTORMS with links to articles, product videos, building instructions, coding, electronics, support pages, and lots more.

The purpose of the www.MindstormsRobots.com website is to provide a platform to share my LEGO MINDSTORMS based Robots with the world. I endeavor to provide coding for all of the Robots I publish, and all for FREE. Most Build Instructions are free, but some incur a small charge of typically AU$2. All the code I post is available for download, along with the building instructions in an easy to use "ZIP" file format. Please feel free to comment and ask questions related of my posts.

I am also a First LEGO League (FLL) Mentor to Tasmania's only independant funded team: "Metal Minds". as part of this responsibility, I plan to add a FLL Section where I can share some Tips'n'Tricks I have picked up along the way. Please feel free to ask question and comment on my FLL posts. I will do my utmost to answer all inquires accurately and promptly.

FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL) is a program that supports children and youngsters in order to introduce them to Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) in a sporty atmosphere. The basis of FLL is a robotics tournament in a cheerful atmosphere, where children aged 9-14 years need to solve a tricky "mission" with the help of a LEGO Mindstorms Based Robot. They have to design and program an autonomous robot to solve the missions on the playing filed.

The objective is to:

  • make children and youngsters enthusiastic about Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics
  • to equip the participants with the idea of team spirit
  • to encourage children and youngsters to solve complex tasks in a creative way

 

Need-More-Bricks

Streaming Video with the Raspberry Pi Zero W & Pi Camera

IR-CUT Camera Module
I needed a really tiny yet cheap camera so I thought of the Raspberry Pi Camera module. The Version 2 Camera Module does 8MP with good quality, although a 5MP  IR-Cut Camera better suited my needs.

About the IR-CUT Camera

The IR-CUT Camera works on Normal Mode by default. There are two ways to toggle between Normal Mode and Night-vision Mode.

1. By editing the config.txt<code> file:

and append:

exit with save and restart your Pi then the camera will work on Night-vision Mode.

Short URL: http://tinyurl.com/y9uwgprx

Run a Program On Your Raspberry Pi At Startup

The method that I usually use to run a program on your Raspberry Pi at startup is to use the file rc.local. In order to have a command or program run when the Pi boots, you can add commands to the rc.local file. This is especially useful if you want to power up your Pi in headless mode (that is without a connected monitor), and have it run a program without configuration or a manual start.

Editing rc.local

On your Pi, edit the file /etc/rc.local using the editor of your choice. You must edit it with root permissions:

Add commands to execute the python program, preferably using absolute referencing of the file location (complete file path are preferred). Be sure to leave the line exit 0 at the end, then save the file and exit. In nano, to exit, type Ctrl-x, and then Y.

Short URL: http://tinyurl.com/y8ach8lv

Make a “Safe Shutdown” Button for Raspberry Pi

Shutdown Button

Pulling the power to your Raspberry Pi can cause image corruptions & other issues that can damage your Pi! In this article, we will create a small push button that will work as a ‘Safe-Shutdown’ option. We’ll connect it to our Raspberry Pi using the GPIO pins and some jumper wires, and with a few lines of code, we will have our own power switch!

First, we are going to look at a simple way to wire a button to the Pi GPIO connector. We will then write a python script that will shut down the Pi safely. The final step will be to setup the Pi so that the button will work all the time. Let’s Get started!

Short URL: http://tinyurl.com/ycd9547p

Change your DNS Servers Settings in Windows

What is a DNS server

Domain Name Servers (DNS) are the Internet’s equivalent of a phone book. They maintain a directory of domain names and translate them to Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. This is necessary because, although domain names are easy for people to remember, computers or machines, access websites based on IP addresses.

Information from all the domain name servers across the Internet are gathered together and housed at the Central Registry. Host companies and Internet Service Providers interact with the Central Registry on a regular schedule to get updated DNS information.

When you type in a web address, e.g., www.jimsbikes.com, your Internet Service Provider views the DNS associated with the domain name, translates it into a machine friendly IP address (for example 216.168.224.70 is the IP for jimsbikes.com) and directs your Internet connection to the correct website.

Short URL: http://tinyurl.com/y836682z

Make a Raspberry Pi into a Anonymizing ‘TOR’ Proxy!

Tor + Onion + Raspberry Pi

TOR: The Onion Router is software that enables you to use the internet anonymously. By setting up TOR on a Raspberry Pi you can create a network router that scrambles all of your internet connection.

Turning a Raspberry Pi into a TOR Router has suddenly become much more appealing with Governments changing laws enabling ISPs to track customer internet usage, and selling on the data to advertising companies.

Use a Raspberry Pi to set up a TOR Network Router. I choose a Raspberry Pi 3 specifically because it has built-in wireless networking (the Pi Zero W would work well in this regard too).

The Raspberry Pi connects to the TOR network. All you have to do is then connect the Raspberry Pi to your broadband network, and connect your device to the Raspberry Pi.

Short URL: http://tinyurl.com/y6wlmnbx

Raspberry Pi as a Hotspot/Access Point using ‘DHCP’

Raspberry Pi as Wireless Access Point

The Raspberry Pi can be used as a wireless access point, running a standalone network. This can be done using the inbuilt wireless features of the Raspberry Pi and even the Raspberry Pi ‘Zero W’, or by using a suitable USB wireless dongle that supports access points.

Note that this documentation was tested on a Raspberry Pi 3, and it is possible that some USB dongles may need slight changes to their settings. If you are having trouble with a USB wireless dongle, please check the forums.

In order to work as an access point, the Raspberry Pi will need to have access point software installed, along with DHCP server software to provide connecting devices with a network address. Ensure that your Raspberry Pi is using an up-to-date version of Raspbian is “Stretch“, or better (e.g. 2018-06-27-raspbian-stretch-lite.img).

Short URL: http://tinyurl.com/y8h7v2zx

VPN Server: Build Your Own Virtual Private Network

In this tutorial, I will be going through the steps on how to setup a Raspberry Pi VPN server using the OpenVPN software. I will also go into setting up various things you must do to ensure that your connection is as secure as possible by setting up encryption keys.

This can be a bit of a long process, but it is a relatively simple tutorial to follow, and shouldn’t require any extra interaction once it has been configured.

Using a Raspberry Pi is a cheap way of setting up a virtual private network (VPN) that can stay online 24/7 without consuming a large amount of power. It’s small and powerful enough to handle a few connections at a time making it great for private use at home.

VPN’s are an incredibly useful network tool that can allow you to gain access to encrypted and secure internet traffic even when you are utilizing public Wi-Fi.

Short URL: http://tinyurl.com/ybn5lsbg

Raspberry Pi for the Ultimate Retro Gaming Machine

RetroPie Logo 2015
A Raspberry Pi emulator can provide you with hundreds of hours of fun and remember those good times playing those classic retro games. This article will take you through all the steps that you will need to do to have a fantastic All-in-one Retro Gaming Emulator.
This game emulator is an excellent project if you’re an avid lover of retro games that you wish to replay. It’s important to remember that the Pi might not be able to play all the classics due to its limited processing power. With that said, it’s still an excellent way to play those classics.

If you’re not big on reading and you would like to see how this is done visually then check out the video I have prepared below. If you love the video, then you should subscribe as I will be adding a lot more videos on fantastic projects in the future. (PS. Sorry about the audio in this video, it’s quite old now).

Short URL: http://tinyurl.com/ybpvjq3x

Using PlayStation3 Controllers with the Raspberry Pi

Controller-Joystick-PS3
If you have ever tried to utilize a PlayStation controller with the Raspberry Pi, you may have found it’s not very simple to do. The Raspberry Pi PlayStation controller guide will walk you through the process of setting up and connecting both PlayStation3 controllers and PlayStation4 controllers.
For PlayStation3 (PS3) controllers,I show you how to install the Six-pair Software and utilize it to set up your PS3 controller so it can connect to whatever Bluetooth device you are using on your Raspberry Pi.

In this PS4 controller tutorial we walk you through the process of pairing it with the Raspberry Pi’s Bluetooth and also offer alternative solutions if your controller doesn’t work with the standard Bluetooth stack. You can also set up Xbox controllers on the Raspberry Pi, as well as several other types of game controllers.

Setting up controllers is the perfect way to have your Pi ready to play some games. You might also be interested in using the controllers in other Raspberry Pi projects that make use of a gamepad.

Short URL: http://tinyurl.com/ybbeerqc

Connecting Wiimote Controllers to the Raspberry Pi

In this Raspberry Pi Wiimote controllers guide, we will walk you through the process of setting up a Wiimote on your Raspberry Pi and show you how to setup both cwiid and wminput.
Utilizing Wiimote controllers on the Raspberry Pi can be painful to deal with due to its handling of the Bluetooth stack. While they run over standard Bluetooth, their actual functionality is not picked up as a conventional joystick device like Xbox controllers and PlayStation controllers.

Instead to support the full functionality of Wiimote controllers in a way that most applications can support we must utilize two pieces of software.

These being cwiid and wminput. One acts as a library that interprets the Wiimotes actions into joystick actions, the other being somewhat of a driver that creates an input device that applications can utilize easily.

Short URL: http://tinyurl.com/ycnv9syb

Raspberry Pi: Compile VLC Player with Hardware Acceleration

VLC media player

Thanks to a post on the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s Message Board, where people have detailed the instructions on how to easily compile VLC Media Player with Hardware Acceleration. For this project, you’ll just need a Raspberry Pi and the basic peripherals: a power source, screen, keyboard and mouse, and microSD card (you need all of this to get Raspbian Installed in the first place, anyway).

Before we begin, a quick note for those of you who already have Raspbian, and may have installed VLC Media Player from Raspbian’s repositories: I recommend that you remove that version. You can do so by running the command:

Short URL: http://tinyurl.com/ycgxqfnn

Raspberry Pi “Zero”: HDMI Monitors Has NO SIGNAL

Raspberry Pi Zero
When connecting a Raspberry Pi ‘Zero’ for the first time to a TV monitor with HDMI, and receive the message: “No Signal”. I tried it on several inputs and cables with no luck. Other devices work fine with the TV, and the cables so there can not be the problem. Then I tried a computer monitor with HDMI, also with no luck. What is happening?

I’ve investigated the problem for a couple of hours, before finding the solution.

The Raspberry Pi ‘Zero’ outputs a relatively weak HDMI Signal. Some devices may not immediately notice the Raspberry Pi ‘Zero’s HDMI Signal, or may not go through the negotiation process.

Short URL: http://tinyurl.com/y7xxeqkg

Connecting ‘Xbox Controllers’ to the Raspberry Pi

Xbox Controller

If you have ever tried to use an Xbox controller with the Raspberry Pi, you will find very quickly that they do not work correctly right out of the box. In fact to get them working you will be required to install a special driver.

With the newer Xbox One controllers that feature the Bluetooth functionality, you will also find that they will need extra work on top of the driver installation to get them to run. Namely, they are not properly supported by some of the Bluetooth functionality that is switched on by default.

This guide will show you how to get your Xbox Controllers up and running on the Raspberry Pi, while also walking you through how to get the newer Bluetooth enabled controllers to pair successfully on the Pi.

Short URL: http://tinyurl.com/ybrvmf63

Banish Advertising From Your Whole Network with Pi-Hole

Pi-Hole_admin_interface

What is Pi-Hole?

Pi-Hole is a Linux network-level advertisement and internet tracker blocking application which acts as a DNS sinkhole (And optionally a DHCP server), intended for use on a private network. It is designed for use on embedded devices with network capability, such as the Raspberry Pi, but can be used on other machines running Linux and cloud implementations.
Pi-Hole has the ability to block traditional website adverts as well as adverts in unconventional places, such as smart TVs and mobile operating system adverts.

The Pi-hole project was created by Jacob Salmela as an “Open Source” alternative to the AdTrap.

Short URL: http://tinyurl.com/ycnts3tn

Controlling Mindstorms EV3 with a Raspberry Pi

Original Article: The MagPi, The Official Raspberry Pi Magazine

LEGO Mindstorms is a great tool to gain experience in understanding robotics, but what if you wanted to make your own input sensor? In this guide, we will show how simple it is to construct a circuit to control a Mindstorms robot through GPIO in Raspberry Pi.

We will show every step from connecting the robot to writing the code. The result will be a program in Ch, a superset interpreter of C/C++, to control the direction of the robot with a push-button.

Short URL: http://tinyurl.com/y9ylbzym


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