Thursday, July 20, 2017

FLL - Animal Allies: Animal Allies Leftovers...

The  Animal Allies FLL season has long ended, now what to do with the leftover Robot Performance field set-up models?

Well, you could disassemble then and add them to your growing collection of LEGO(R) parts. But before you do that, why not try to “remix” the models into something else.

Here are a few “remixed” field models created by the Brics~2~Bots engineers (Luc & Brandon).

Shark Tank to Fish Tank

And you don't have to feed them!

Beehive to Cat Treater

What's this???

I smell a treat!

Should I push the button that smells of catnip?

Mmmm, that was good!

Refrigerator to Candy Dispenser

Sometimes if you are lucky you get two!


Monday, July 17, 2017

B2B Lab: NXT & EV3 Working Together - Updated Update...

If you own a Mac and are using LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0, you might have noticed that starting with Snow Leopard if you have Adobe Flash Player installed, NXT-G 2.1 software will not load. Now, with all the NXT kits that I have, that caused a bit of a panic. Ok, so you uninstall Flash Player!

I am now using Yosemite on my new main computer and guess what?? Flash Player still prevents Mindstorms NXT 2.1 Education version from loading. Mindstorms NXT 2.0 Home version cannot even be  installed. So, now I have to use NXT-G 2.1 without  Flash Player on my computer or I use my Windows 10 PC (sorry not that crazy about Windows). Looking into the near future of not having a Mac that will run NXT-G is a little scary; particularly with all the Mindstorms NXT controllers I have in excellent working condition that might not be able to be programmed. Plus, LEGO is no longer supporting the NXT, as of 2016. Yes, I can use the NXT motors, touch sensors, ultrasonic and color sensors to some degree with the EV3 kits, but the future looked grim for the NXT Controllers, but wait…

Could it be??? Yes, I found a couple of articles from LEGO(R) ENGINEERING blog site - the NXT Controller CAN BE programmed with EV3 software! Of course, not all the sensors and blocks work with it. The NXT Touch sensor, Ultrasonic sensor, Sound sensor, RGB Color sensor (Reflected and Ambient Light), and Motor can be programmed on the NXT with Ev3 software. The NXT RGB Color Lamp feature sensor can also be programmed creatively using the Color sensor block. To use it as a Lamp the following sample program gives a bluish light, a red light and turns it off. 

Even the RCX motor, Power Function Motors (except the Servo Motor), and RCX/NXT Lamp with a NXT conversion cable can be programmed on the NXT Controller using the Large Motor block and a LOOP block of the EV3 software, to control RCX or PF motor rotations and RCX/NXT Lamp duration. 

An of course, the EV3 Medium and EV3 Large motors can be used on the NXT and programmed with EV3 software using the Move Steering block or Move Tank block to operate them simultaneously, or the Move Tank with one motor set to zero or using the Large Motor block to operate one Medium or Large EV3 motor. If you use Parallel Sequencing in the program you can run up to 3 motors simultaneously. 

So, what EV3 programming blocks will work with NXT?

Action Blocks:

 Flow Blocks:

 Sensor Blocks:

 Data Blocks:

 Advanced Blocks:

And of course,  MyBlocks  can be made.

Q-Tip: FLL teams, consider the possibilities....

Check out the articles on LEGO(R) ENGINEERING blog site:

Life with the LEGO Mindstorms NXT kit has been extended...

P.S. If you  have working NXT software, the EV3 Medium Motor and Large Motor can be programmed on the NXT.


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

FLL - Hydro Dynamics: Field Mat...

The 2017-18 FRIST LEGO League season, HYDRO DYNAMICS,  is underway…

The Field Mat and model building elements kits are being shipped and here is a sneak peek of the mats…

Again, the mats are beautifully illustrated and seem to be made of the same material as last year.

The Base area is basically the same size as last year’s Base plus Safety area, however without the Safety line. This will allow a little more room for the robot and its attachments.

There are, of course, black lines for line following and positioning stops.

Word of caution: This mat if folded or bent, may cause creases and it easily tears! Handle with care!

August 29, 2017 - Hydro Dynamics Challenge release...