Category Archives: Other Hardware

Powering the LEGO Mindstorms Brick from a 9v Plugpack

I have been asked a number of times too how I power my Stationary and Development Robots from a 9 Volt, 5 Amp D.C. Plugpack connected to the Mains Power Supply. I prefer to have a Power Supply that can easily handle the demands put on it. A minimum rating of 3 Amps is needed if you plan running 4x Motors from the EV3 Brick.

Installing PixyMon on Linux

1. Introduction

The following procedure will walk you through building PixyMon for Linux. This procedure assumes the following:

  • Your system has Linux (Mint-17) installed
  • Pixy firmware has been updated to 1.0.2
  • Your system is connected to the internet

The Mint-17 distribution of Linux can be downloaded here: http://www.linuxmint.com

Teaching the PixyCAM Camera an Object

Teaching PixyCAM an object is super easy. Before we start, which objects will work well with PPixyCAM, and which wont? PixyCAM uses a hue-based colour filtering algorithm to detect objects. Since PixyCAM uses hue (colour), the object needs to have a distinct hue. Here are some objects that are good because they have good, distinct hues.

Installing PixyMon for the CMUcam5 Pixy Camera on a Windows PC

I have finally gotten around to purchasing a CMUcam5 PixyCam for myself. The (CMUcam5) PixyCam is a Smart Vision Sensor, with advanced Object Tracking. One advantage of this Camera is that you can quickly “teach” it to locate objects. It saves you time and data flow by only outputting the object data that you’re interested in. A multitude of connection options are available which means you can use PixyCam with almost any microcontroller, including Arduinos, Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone Black and a dedicated LEGO Mindstorms version. I settled for the dedicated LEGO Mindstorms version of the PixyCam which plugs directly into a LEGO Mindstorms NXT or EV3 Sensor Port.

Using the EDIMAX EW-7811Un with the EV3 Brick

EDIMAX-EW-7811Un
Instructions on how to get the EDIMAX EW-7811Un adaptor working on the EV3 brick using the LMS2012 Code. These instructions could be modified to get any WiFi dongle to work provided that the appropriate wireless driver can be compiled and inserted into the 2.6.33 kernel.

Direct connection of Bluetooth gamepads to the EV3 Brick

BrickHID EV3 - PS3 Controller
In this project we show that a small C program running on the EV3, brickhid, can handle Bluetooth communications with a PlayStation 3 controller and translate stick positions and button codes into motor commands.

A Better Replacement for the traditional LEGO Cord/String

1.8mm Atwood Rope
I posed the question, “Does anyone know of a suitable replacement for the LEGO String that I can use that is stronger and more reliable?” I was struggling with the issue that all my long lengths of LEGO Stuff seems to regularly SHRINK on me….. I basically would like to have a 50-100 Reel of it at hand.

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.

EVShield Holonomic Platform with LCD & Wii Nun-chuck

EVShield
A few days ago I received an EVShield from OpenElectrons (Mindsensors) to Beta test. The EVShield fits on top of an Arduino Microcontroller and operates in a similar manor to the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Programmable Brick. The EVShield allows you to connect the full range of LEGO Mindstorms EV3 & NXT, Sensors and Motors to an Arduino Uno Board.

NXShield: Arduino Powered LEGO Holonomic Platform

NXShield-Holonomic-Platform
I have just developed a LEGO Mindstorms Holonomic Platform Robot powered by an OpenElectrons NXShield for the Arduino Mega.

I have just had 4 day up at Burnie on Tasmania’s North-west coast at the “Brixhibition Burnie” with my Robots. Among the robots I took was a OpenElectrons NXShield Powered Holonomic Platform which survived the abuse from the general public who where controlling it for some 18hrs, without it missing a beat.

Holonomic Platform for 125mm Rotacaster Omniwheels

I’ve been working on a very solid, Holonomic Platform to be used with the large 125mm Rotacaster Omniwheels as part of my display for the TAZ-Brick Collector Club’s Brixhibition to be held on the weekend of 20-21 April 2013.

Breakthrough in Rechargeable Batteries for Mindstorms

NiZn Batteries
There has been a Breakthrough in Rechargeable Battery technology which is very applicable to powering you LEGO Mindstorms Robots. The new 1.6 Volt Nickle-Zinc (NiZn) have reached the market place. Unlike other rechargeable battery types, a set of six NiZn batteries gives an output of 9.6 volts, instead of 7.2 Volts. As a result, the NiZn batteries equate to a set of six Alkaline non-rechargeable batteries, in both power and performance.

Wii-NunChuck Controlled Mindstorms NXT Soccer Robot

Wii Soccer Bot
For the forth coming [brixhibition] Exhibition at the end of April, I have been asked to set-up and run a couple of interactive Robot Soccer fields.The Robots needed to be robust and reliable as members of the public will be interacting with them. Also they need to have a a simple, intuitive, and easy to use hand held controller. I have used Sony Playstation PS-2 Controllers, but they have far too many controls that would be unused and confusing to the first time operator. I chose to use a Nintendo Wii® Nun-Chuck Controller for the job.

LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Alternative Wi-Fi Dongles

Before I start on LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Alternative Wi-Fi Dongles, I came across a solution to the issue that arises with any Wi-Fi Dongle you use with your EV3 Brick. That is, any Dongle connected will stick out from the side of the brick, getting in the road of everything and allowing it to be easily to knocked from the EV3 Brick’s USB Socket.

Rotacasters: Big, Bigger, Biggest!

Yes it ‘s another Holonomic Platform Robot, but this ones special. I built this Mindstorms Robot to celebrate a package that arrived in the post today from Rotacaster Australia. Yes, more omni-wheels to’ Beta Test’. But these are monsters compared to the original 48mm (2″) Rotacaters.



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