Category Archives: LEGO Mindstorms Coding

Using Custom EV3-G MyBlock Icons Images

Introduction

In this tutorial, I will show you how to make custom MyBlock Icons, and MyBlock Parameter Icons. This is very useful because the MyBlock icons allow one to easily recognize in your programs. The tutorial is broken into two parts, MyBlock Icons, and Parameter Icons. You can only use this tutorial with the EV3-G software. The programs only display properly when you install your custom icons in the appropriate directory on your computer.

Before we begin, make a copy of the following directory: “..\LEGO MINDSTORMS Edu EV3\Resources\MyBlocks\images.

Parameter Icons

First you are going to open up a picture editing software so you can create an icon. When  creating the icon, keep in mind it needs to be 22×22 pixels. You can use pictures from the MyBlocks/images directory, or you can make you own icon from scratch. The icons need to be export as a .png image and save it in the MyBlock image directory. When naming the icon file, it has to be in this format: the word  “Identification”, Underscore, a 3 digit number, Underscore, Icon Name (no spaces, upper camel cased and underscores OK) , and “.png”. Example: Identification_100_TestBlock.png.The 3 digit number has to be an unused number in the range of, 100-199. Before the new icon shows up, you need to restart your EV3 Software, and then reopen it and your icon should be there!

MyBlock Icons

Open the picture editing software and make another icon, but this time it must measure 34×34 pixels. When done making the icon, the steps are a bit different than the parameter icons. Export the image again as a .png, but the naming is as follows; “PolyGroup”, Underscore, “3 digit number“, underscore, “icon name (No spaces, upper camel case, and NO underscores)” ,underscore, ”Diagram”, and ending with “.png”.   Example:  PolyGroup_019_TestBlock_Diagram.png.  The 3 digit number has to be an unused number ranging between, 002-019.

Next shrink the icon in the editing software to 25×25 pixels, and export it again with the same name but replace the word diagram with “Pallet”. Next make one more the same size but add a highlite color for a mouse over effect. Add an underscore after the pallet and add “MouseOver” when exporting. Finially, restart your EV3 software and the new MyBlock Icons should appear.

  • The Diagram icon is used when you view the icon in the MyBlock Creation Menu.
  • The Pallet icon is used when you pick a MyBlock from the MyBlock pallet.
  • The MouseOver icon is used when you scroll over the block in the MyBlock Pallet.

FLL Animal Allies: Climbing the Bio-mimicry Wall – Part II

Animal Allies Logo

After setting my new 2017 group of FIRST LEGO Leage (FLL) Students the “Bio-mimicry Wall Climbing Task” from the 2016 Animal Allies Challenge, I thought I should prove that it is possible to achieve. The Bio-mimicry Wall Climbing Task requires having the Robot lift its self up upon a wall with no part of the Robot touching the Challenge Mat. Easier than it sounds…

FLL Animal Allies: Climbing the Bio-mimicry Wall with Robot

Animal Allies Logo

After setting my new 2017 group of FIRST LEGO Leage (FLL) Students the “Bio-mimicry Wall Climbing Task” from the 2016 Animal Allies Challenge, I thought I should prove that it is possible to achieve. The Bio-mimicry Wall Climbing Task requires having the Robot lift its self up upon a wall with no part of the Robot touching the Challenge Mat. Easier than it sounds…

Preforming the Polygon Shuffle with a EV3 Gyroscope

EV3-G

A polygon is any 2-dimensional shape formed with straight lines. Triangles, quadrilaterals, pentagons, and hexagons are all examples of polygons. The name tells you how many sides the shape has. A polygon is any shape made up of straight lines that can be drawn on a flat surface, like a piece of paper. Such shapes include squares, rectangles, triangles and pentagons, but not circles or any other shape that includes a curve.

There are two main types of polygon – regular and irregular. A regular polygon has equal length sides with equal angles between each side. Any other polygon is an irregular polygon, which by definition has unequal length sides and unequal angles between sides.

geometric-shapes-polygons-sides-worksheet

LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Ball Chasing Robot using the PixyCAM

PixyCAM Follow the Ball
This article aims to describe how to programme a LEGO Mindstorms EV3 robot that chases things, like a ball in this example. It’s the same robot and program that’s used in the PixyCAM Video below. This robot and program is a good launching point for other projects, and it’s a good introduction to PID control, which is used throughout robotics and engineering in general.

Guide to using the PixyCAM Camera’s EV3-G Blocks

In this article, I attempt to describe the LEGO PixyCAM block, which is used in conjunction with the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Software. Check out the “Getting Started with the LEGO Mindstorms & the PixyCAM” Article for information on how to install the PixyCAM modules (Blocks) into Mindstorms EV3-G Software.

Getting Started with the LEGO Mindstorms & the PixyCAM

I trust this article will get you up an running quickly with PixyCAM and the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 (NXT). Please make sure you have a LEGO Mindstorms EV3 or NXT brick with a fresh set of batteries. I will endeavor to be as detailed as possible throughout this guide, but it helps if you are somewhat familiar on how to use your LEGO Mindstorms Robotics System.

PID Control Theory Explained

Overview

Proportional-Integral-Derivative (PID) control is the most common control algorithm used in industry and has been universally accepted in industrial control. The popularity of PID controllers can be attributed partly to their robust performance in a wide range of operating conditions and partly to their functional simplicity, which allows engineers to operate them in a simple, straightforward manner. 

RobotC v4.54 – The LEGO Mindstorms EV3 ‘C’ Programming Language

The ROBOTC Development Team is very excited to announce their latest update, ROBOTC for MINDSTORMS 4.54, which includes new features, functionality, and bug fixes. 

LEGO Mindstorms NXT Coloured Ball Sorting Crane

LegoMindstormsNXTColouredBallSortingCrane

Good things do sometimes come from disasters. A couple of days ago I was attempting to lift down approximately 5Kg of assorted LEGO parts when the container took advantage of gravity, and headed straight to the floor. This ended in a completely empty storage container, and LEGO dispersed for metres about. Towards the end of the cleanup, I came across a pair of Green Mudgaurds from a LEGO Technics 8291 Green Dirt Bike.

Just Monkeying Around

Monkeying Around

This is my latest Mindstorms Project, a LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Robotic Monkey that Climbs his way along a bar made from 25mm PVC Plumbing Pipe.

The Robot uses an EV3 Programmable Brick to control 3x Large NXT Servo Motors and a Medium EV3 Servo Motor. The Medium Servo Motor Rotates the Monkey’s Arms. Each of the Monkey’s Hands is opened and close with a Large Servo Motor. The third Large Servo Motor animates the Monkey’s Tail.This is my latest Mindstorms Project, a LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Robotic Monkey that Climbs his way along a bar made from 25mm PVC Plumbing Pipe.

Computerised Vertical-Lifting-Span Railway Bridge

Vertical-Lift-Span Railway Bridge
Movable Vertical-Lift-Span Bridges have a movable portion deck which remains horizontal as it is lifted vertically. The amount of headroom available is determined by the variations between water levels and the heights of the lift towers. Water traffic beneath these bridges are usually restricted to low-masted craft, barges and tugs.

LEGO Minstorms EV3 Segway Uses Microinfinity Cruizcore IMU

EV3 Segway
I have been working on creating a LEGO Minstorms EV3 Segway which uses Microinfinity Cruizcore IMU (Inertia Measurement Unit). The Robot is programmed using RobotC v4.xx for LEGO Minstorms, and uses the ROBOTC 4.x Driver Suite for NXT and EV3 written by Xander Soldaat. I originally need an extra Segway to exhibit at Brixhibition Launceston 2015, and as all my NXT Bricks were in use I decided to put together an EV3 based version.

Virtual Robotics Toolkit for LEGO Mindstorms EV3

Virtual Robotics Toolkit Sumo
For people thinking of purchasing a LEGO Mindstorms EV3 kit, but are a little worried about the learning curve, then spending $50 on a copy of the “Virtual Robotics Toolkit” before outlaying $500 on the LEGO kit its self.

Mindstorms EV3 Dual-Wheeled Holonomic Platform

Technicolour Holonomic Platform
I have been working on an LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Holonomic Platform, with Dual-Wheels on each of its three sides. It is controlled via a Sony PlayStation Wireless Remote Control. The PS2 Remote interfaces to the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Brick via Mindsensors PSP-Nx-v4 Adapter.



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