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

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

Ultimate Music Player With Volumio

Raspberry Pi Audio DAC

Volumio is a music player, but it’s certainly more than that. Volumio is a music operating system. It turns a normal PC or a smaller embedded device, like a Raspberry Pi, into a custom audio playing powerhouse, purpose built for making the most of your media collection.

Volumio isn’t like Kodi or any of the media operating systems based around it. Volumio is meant to function as the brain of a stereo system. It handles library management, playing Internet radio, importing music from networked sources, and serving it all from a sleek web interface.

Short URL: http://tinyurl.com/yaed4442

Raspberry Pi ‘3 B+’ Review

A new PI is out, but is it a worth upgrade?

Before moving any further, it’s however important to note that this is not a brand-new product or a radical evolution of our beloved PI, but rather an incremental upgrade. So, if you’re still struggling to decide whether this upgrade is worth it, I’m here to help with some considerations.

Please note that we’re still testing the new Raspberry PI 3 B+, and those considerations are based on official statements of the Foundation, we’ll update this article as soon as our tests are done.

Raspberry PI 3B+

WHAT IS CHANGED

The hardware makeover of the Raspberry PI model 3 B+ covers basically 3 areas:

  • Slightly faster processor
  • Better thermal management
  • Networking

As we will see later, what really matters for us is indirectly related to point number 3: networking. But let’s see in detail all the 3 main upgrade areas.

Short URL: http://tinyurl.com/yadlbp8r

LEGO Blocks Used To Detect Nerve Gases

Minifig with Respirator

Original Article: Kat Eschner, Australian Popular Science.

LEGO blocks destroy the feet of groggy parents around the world, but as a new study from the University of Texas at Austin demonstrates, these mutable children’s toys can also be used for good—in this case, as a simple- and inexpensive-to-construct scientific apparatus.

In the aftermath of a nerve gas attack like the ones that have allegedly occurred in Syria, one of the biggest issues first responders face is figuring out what deadly nerve agent was used. If detection happens fast enough, it can save lives. But the conventional equipment that’s used to ID different nerve gases is expensive and hard to move around. However, as this new paper shows, it should be possible to do this analysis in the field using little more than a smartphone and some Lego blocks.

Short URL: http://tinyurl.com/ydd88sdw

Timelapse Photography with Raspberry Pi Zero

long-camera-adaptor-for-pi-zero

This tutorial will guide you through taking photos using a Pi Zero and camera, to make a simple timelapse-capturing device. Use it to make a timelapse of a plant growing with the delay set to a day, or the progress on your building work with hourly photos, or a soldering project with a photo every 5 seconds.

Enable the camera

This tutorial assumes you have already set up your OctoCam as per the instructions. If you’re using a camera and a Pi, make sure the camera is connected.

In the Terminal, type sudo raspi-config and press Enter. This will bring up a menu on the screen. You’ll need to press 5, then choose option 1 to enable the camera, and then choose yes. Once you finish with the menu you should get prompted to reboot. This needs doing!

Short URL: http://tinyurl.com/y9l2q4g5

How to build an AirPlay receiver with Raspberry Pi Zero

Raspberry Pi Zero

The number of things you can do with a Raspberry Pi is astounding. For a little over $35, you can create a networked media server for streaming all your digital movies to your TV or give your existing printer wireless capabilities. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

If you’ve yet to decide on what you want to do with your Raspberry Pi, this project shows you how to turn it into a Chromecast Audio-like music streamer. This means you could set up several Raspberry Pis this way, connect each one to a speaker, place them around your house and stream music to each those speakers remotely in a highly configurable way. You can control the music from your phone, tablet or computer.

Short URL: http://tinyurl.com/y7qfp2pf


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