The latest iteration of LEGO robotics sets, the MINDSTORMS EV3, just got an upgrade in the form of a new app. The EV3 Programmer app brings the ability to fully program your creations from a tablet or mobile phone.
If you have any experiance with programming, this probably sounds like a nightmare , but it’s not that bad. The official programming for MINDSTORMS uses logic blocks that are dragged and dropped to create a working piece of code, with little to no input from a keyboard needed.
Danny Benedettelli builds robots using Mindstorms, and has been doing it for quite some time. He contributed models for EV3, when that was released, including this playable electric guitar. Today, we’re focusing on his robot Cyclops.
Now, granted, it looks like Cyclops has been around for a while, but it’s new to us, and I’ll hazard a guess it’s new for a lot of you, too.
Let’s introduce you to Cyclops:
And how Cyclops is able to move:
Since you can’t have a robot revolution without improving on previous designs, Danny also brings us Cyclops mk III:
The latest cool functioning creation from Jason Allemann is a Lego mosaic printer made completely out of official Lego elements. It uses a Mindstorms EV3 to scan an image and recreate it as a mosaic using 1×1 plates. Check out the video below or go to YouTube to learn how this creation was designed.
Well, OK, just in theory. But this amazing NXT-controlled LEGO robot by Hknssn can build its own tower, and since the robot rides up the tower with each new piece it places, there’s theoretically no limit to how high it can build as long as it continues to be fed pieces.
We are still far removed from the point where LEGO robots can build copies of themselves, but the ‘Fabrik Mosaïque’ built by minkowsky shows an interesting first step.
The factory building itself is nice, but when I first saw it, it didn’t strike me as all that remarkable. I’m glad I took a closer look, however, because of what it does: using LEGO Mindstorms it scans an image and then produces an 8 x 8 pixel two colour mosaic of that image using lines of LEGO tiles.
I can’t quite see a factory like this appearing in every shopping district and I wonder how well it does with an image that isn’t pixelated to start with, but this is clever stuff.
Not surprisingly, one of my favorite non-LEGO blogs is the MAKE Blog, where Cult of LEGO author John Baichtel joins tech/geek luminaries like Boing Boing founder Mark Frauenfelder to highlight everything from steampunk art cars to the latest adventures in 3D printing.
One frequent MAKE topic I’m fascinated by (though I certainly already have way too many hobbies) is Arduino. Dubbed “open source hardware,” it’s always fascinating seeing what just about anybody (especially kids) can do with these little boards.
The next generation of Lego Mindstorms was just revealed and is scheduled for release this summer. You can read about the new features on TechnicBRICKs or in the official press release on Engadget. The retail value is $349.99(USD), €349.99(EUR) and $399.99(CAD).
Guy Himber, aka V&A Steamworks, has created a mind-blowing, mouth-watering, magnificent, and majestic Mold-A-Rama machine. I saw it at BrickCon and even got to breathe the same air as the builder. Let me tell you, it was a pleasure and the machine definitely deserved the “Best Use of NXT” award that it received. I didn’t get to observe the effects in person, but I understand that many paying members of the LEGO-viewing public were reduced to quivering pools of confusion while trying to figure out how Guy’s contraption worked. And that, dear readers, is the sign of a great LEGO build.