LEGO

LEGO Digital Crawler with EV3 Controlled Gear Box

Posted by on Oct 12, 2018 in Design, Featured, LEGO | 0 comments

LEGO Digital Crawler with EV3 Controlled Gear Box

This LEGO remote controlled crawler uses a sequential gearbox from Sariel and a Mindstorms EV3 to control the car. The remote control used force feedback and offers proportional control over speed and direction. It also allows you to change gears and change the forward and backward drive. The two EV3 Mindstorms communicate using Bluetooth. The remote uses two rotation sensors to measure speed and direction.

The building instructions are available for LEGO Digital Designer and Stud.io. Please notice that I had to replace the 35188 Technic Changeover Rotary Catch with another gear in the digital model and I could also not include Mindsensors Glide Wheel Rotation Sensor. These bricks do not yet exist in digital form. I also put up the model are ReBrickable and the inventory there is almost complete. Feel free to also use different wheels. In the LDD model I also had to use other shocks.

Here is a video that explains the model’s function:

And here is the crawler in action:

 

 

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Race3 Extreme Offroad Car

Posted by on Sep 6, 2018 in Design, LEGO | 0 comments

I built a new version of my Race cars series (Race1, Race2) with the logical name Race3. This time I am using the SBrick to control the car which gives its proportional steering control. This is great for driving curves. Race3 features individual suspension, ball bearings and a very low centre of gravity. You can drive it up and down pretty much any rock or mountain. Here is a video of what it can do.

And here are some photos of the model. Building instructions are also available. I also put up this MOC over at Rebrickable.

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Comparison of LEGO Render Tools

Posted by on Sep 6, 2018 in Design, LEGO | 0 comments

Building LEGO digitally has many advantages, such as having an unlimited number of bricks at your disposal. While these digital models can be shared it is also desirable to create a photorealistic rendering of the final model. There are currently three major software packages to build digital LEGO:

  • LEGO Digital Designer
    This is the most comfortable editor for all platforms, but LEGO’s support for this software is in doubt. The build in render engine is not the best, but you can use Bluerender that in turn uses PovRay for rendering your model.
  • LDraw
    Draw is the oldest software and it is maintained by the LEGO community. There are several different editor and render tools available.
  • Stud.io
    This software was developed by Bricklink and it uses LDraw for its parts and PovRay for the rendering. In its newest Beta version Stud.io is using a new render engine called Eyesight.
  • Mecabrick
    This online software runs in your browser and you need to pay for having your image rendered on theirs server farm. They did not have the L-Motor in their library and hence I could not render my model there.

So lets compare the results of the render engines. Below you find the rendered images of all software packages set to their maximum quality level. I also uploaded these images to Flickr. It is very clear that the new rendering engine from Stud.io is far superior to all other rendering engines and this alone might motivate you to adopt this software as your default LEGO digital design tool.

It is also interesting to notice how efficient Stud.io uses the computers computing power to render. Here is a screenshot of my CPU load during rendering:

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LEGO Idea Conference 2018

Posted by on Apr 11, 2018 in Design, Event, LEGO | 0 comments

LEGO Idea Conference 2018

I was honoured to be invited to the LEGO Idea Conference 2018. It gave me the opportunity to meet with several members of the LEGO group but it also brought me up to speed with what the LEGO Foundation is working on. I talked to Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen and gave him my Unofficial LEGO Color Guide. I met with Jan Beyer and talked about the LAN and their connection to the AFOLs. I also discovered that the LEGO House’s library features my Unofficial LEGO Minifigure Catalog.

My Minifigure Catalog in the LEGO House library

My Minifigure Catalog in the LEGO House library

I also experienced the amazing architecture of the LEGO House. I took many (panoramic) photos of the outside and the inside. The large models, in particular the dinosaurs are amazing:

Dinosaurs

But maybe the most amazing aspect of the LEGO House are its interactive installations. Their RoboLab is just amazing:

And I also enjoyed their agent based city simulation:

What an amazing event.

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Simple LEGO Mindstorms Mars Rover

Posted by on Mar 3, 2018 in Design, Documentation, Featured, LEGO | 1 comment

Simple LEGO Mindstorms Mars Rover

This is simple Mars Rover model using two LEGO Mindstorms EV3 and a total of eight motors. The two EV3 are daisy chained and the model can be controlled using the EV3 IR Remote Control. The model uses the rocker-bogie suspension system including a differential in the middle axis. The two EV3s are suspended and remain horizontal in any position. There are much more complex Mars Rover models already available using many more Mindstorm bricks. My design goal was to keep it simple and experiment with the rocker-bogie suspension system. The principles works, but there is a bit too much flexibility in the model.

The 3D model and the building instructions are available for LEGO Digital Designer. The parts list and instructions are also available at Rebrickable.

 

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Holonomic LEGO Mindstorms Robot

Posted by on Aug 27, 2017 in LEGO, Project, Technology | 2 comments

A holonomic robot uses omni-directional wheels to drive and turn in any direction on the spot. Agilis is an example of an early LEGO holonomic robot. My model is much simpler and robust. Essential to all holonomic robots are the use of omni-directional wheel, such as the the ones from Rotacaster. I am using a compass sensor to allow the robot to be remote controlled on an absolute grid using Connexion’s Space Navigator. This 3D input devices can be mapped to the unique movements and rotations of a holonomic robot.

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