Tag Archives: mindstorms

Powering the LEGO Mindstorms Brick from a 9v Plugpack

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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.

LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Audio Streamed via Bluetooth Audio

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Whilst displaying my Robots at a major Exhibition, I got to thinking that it would be great to pipe the EV3’s Audio to a Bluetooth Speaker, so my robot can be heard among the noise of a crowd.
Here are my notes so far on getting started with Connecting a LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Brick to a Bluetooth Audio Speaker:

  • Debian jessie is using BlueZ 5 and PluseAudio 5, which are fairly new. There were major breaking changes in these versions, so most stuff you find on the Internet will be for BlueZ 4/PulseAudio 4, so it does not work at all, so watch out.
  • BlueZ 5 dropped support for alsa [1], so the solution for now (until someone updates some bluez-alsa project for BlueZ 5) is to use PulseAudio.
  • PulseAudio 5 only supports the A2DP profile and not HSP/HFP [2] (although it his under development [3]).

Lets Start:

RGB LED Strip Controller for LEGO Mindstorms EV3 or NXT

EV3Lights
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Some may have seen my article, “Using WS2812B Addressable RGB LED Strips with Arduinos“, back in September? As can be seen in that article, controlling Addressable LEDs is pretty straight forward with a basic knowledge of the I2C protocol. I had planned to cobble together interface to allow RGB LED Strip to be Controller by either a LEGO Mindstorms NXT or EV3 Brick, but my teaching commitments and over projects seemed to have forced the idea onto the back-burner. Thanks to Mindsensor, I have no need to warm up the soldering for the idea as they have come up with a ready assembled interface.

LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Ball Chasing Robot using the PixyCAM

PixyCAM Follow the Ball
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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.

Getting Started with the LEGO Mindstorms & the PixyCAM

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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.

Connecting the PixyCAM to LEGO Mindstorms using I2C

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In order to use the PixyCAM with the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 or NXT kit, you will need an I2C Adapter Cable. You can order a cable through some PixyCAM distributors, including the Robotshop. The PixyCAM for LEGO Mindstorms comes with a special Pixy-to-Mindstorms Cable, and is preloaded with a version of the firmware that speaks with the LEGO protocol by default. If you have Pixy for LEGO, just to the PixyMon Settings section below.

Supporting the next generation of Mindstorms Robotics Engineers

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For my son Anthony’s 11 birthday, and I presented him with his very own LEGO Mindstorms EV3 set. Previously he was using one of Dad’s LEGO Mindstorms EV3 or LEGO Mindstorms NXT Kits. It was as an early birthday present by a few days, as he needed to practice for the Tasmanian FIRST LEGO League Competition in mid November.

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

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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
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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.

Mindstorms EV3 Container Handling Crane

Container Handling Gantry Crane-06-768x576
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This is my LEGO Mindstorms EV3 powered Container Handling Crane. It also uses an Arduino Uno to control the lighting effects. This was a long term project, taking some three month of development before I had a reliable Robot capable of operating over long time periods without intervention.
​I began the build back in March 2015, but it was June before I had a reliable Robots. The first incarnation was controlled with an Arduino Uno powered EVShield from Mindsensors I was Beta Testing at the stage.

Virtual Robotics Toolkit for LEGO Mindstorms EV3

Virtual Robotics Toolkit Sumo
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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
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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.

EV3-Basic: Microsoft Basic Programming for the EV3

EV3-Basic
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Introducing EV3-Basic which allows programming the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 with Microsoft’s ‘Small Basic’. EV3-Basic is a basic compiler to target the Lego Mindstorms EV3 intelligent brick. EV3-Basic is a programming language that is designed to make programming extremely easy, approachable and fun for beginners. EV3-Basic’s intention is to bring down the barrier and serve as a stepping stone to the amazing world of computer programming.

LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Ball Catching Robot.

EV3 Ball Catching Robot
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This robot is a very clever design using the Mindsensors NXTCam-v4. Actually two of them for stereo vision. The instantaneous response of the Delta Robot design for catching the ball is outstanding choice by the owner Dillon Sharlet!

Full Review of the BeagleBone ‘EVB’ for Mindstorms EV3

BeagleBone EVB Cube Solver
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The EVB is a shield (or called cape) for Beaglebone ‘Black’ (BBB). It fully support LEGO® MINDSTORMS® EV3 system, with both the hardware and software! The BeagleBone ‘EVB’ is compatible with all LEGO® sensors just like the EV3 Brick. 100% compatible! It allows the EV3 Virtual Machine (VM) to be run on the Beaglebone ‘Black’.



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