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

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

Build a Raspberry Pi Streaming Music Player

Pi MusicBox

In this tutorial, I will be going through steps to making your very own Raspberry Pi music player. This process is pretty straightforward, so you shouldn’t come across any problems at all.

For this project, I am going to be using a pre-built software package called the Pi Musicbox. This software contains plenty of features & functionality that make it great as a Music player.

This project is a headless music player so you will need to use a different device to be able to control it. The good thing is you can pretty much use any device that has a browser to be able to interact with it.

pHAT DAC for Raspberry Pi Zero

If you want to see how to do this visually, then be sure to check out my full video below. It goes through all the steps to getting this setup and working correctly in no time at all. If you do like the video be sure to subscribe, so you stay up to date.

Short URL: http://tinyurl.com/y836ahqd

Writing Your First Shell Script with Raspberry Pi

First Bash Script with Raspberry Pi

In this tutorial we’ll be writing our first bash script for Raspberry Pi. We’ll create a directory to keep this and future scripts, write the actual script, and set it up as something that can be executed from the shell.

Scripts are an incredibly powerful tool to have in your toolbox. In essence, a script is just a sequence of commands that you could otherwise have entered into the shell. The power of scripts is that they can be used to make decisions, and execute certain commands based off that decision. Scripts can be scheduled to run at certain times, and can execute trigger other scripts.

In this tutorial we’re assuming you’re familiar with how to use the terminal to navigate the file system and create files and directories.

Short URL: http://tinyurl.com/y8hbd6df

24-bit, 192KHz Audio for the Raspberry Pi Zero with the pHAT

pHAT DAC for Raspberry Pi Zero

The pHAT provides a super affordable high-quality DAC for your Raspberry Pi. It pumps out 24-bits at 192KHz from the Raspberry Pi’s I2S interface on its 2×20 pin GPIO header.

Use pHAT DAC to build a tiny, lush-sounding streaming music device, or use it with Scroll pHAT to make a beautiful spectrum analyser!

Features

  • 24-bit audio at 192KHz
  • Line out stereo jack
  • Optional landing for dual RCA phono connector
  • PCM5102A DAC over the Raspberry Pi’s I2S interface
  • pHAT DAC pinout
  • Compatible with Raspberry Pi 3B+, 3, 2, B+, A+, Zero, and Zero W
  • Female header requires soldering

Short URL: http://tinyurl.com/ycqcn9xy

WS2812 Addressable LEDs: Raspberry Pi Quick-start Guide

This tutorial is aimed at getting some instant gratification from your WS2812 LEDs (trade name: neopixels). I’ll briefly cover a bare-bones setup for Raspberry Pi.

If you’ve never used a Raspberry Pi before, we’ve got you covered with our free, online Raspberry Pi How-To’s.

Short URL: http://tinyurl.com/y87jdef7

Temperature Sensing With Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi lacks analogue input, and while it’s possible to use an Analogue to Digital Converter (ADC), the DS18B20 is a fantastic, easy to use digital sensor that uses the Dallas 1 wire communication interface. Fortunately for us, the Raspberry Pi comes with built in software handling for 1 wire sensors which makes using sensors such as the DS18B20 pretty straightforward.

What is 1-Wire Communication

The Dallas 1-Wire protocol is a method of serial communication designed for simple communication between 1 Master and multiple Slave devices. Serial communication means that data is sent bit-by-bit along a single data line.

1 wire communication is most commonly used for temperature sensors, EEPROM chips, and other simple devices. Unlike other serial communication protocols such as I2C, which allows for device IDs/addresses to be assigned and handled by the master device, 1 wire devices have an unchangeable, factory set device ID. By differentiating between unique device IDs, you can chain multiple slave devices on a single data bus.

Short URL: http://tinyurl.com/y7n8dq8u


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