LEGO

Quincunx LEGO GBC Module (Galton Board)

Posted by on Jul 2, 2016 in Featured, LEGO, Research | 0 comments

Quincunx LEGO GBC Module (Galton Board)

Today I would like to show you my latest GBC module, a Quincunx also known as a Galton Board, named after its inventor Sir Francis Galton who used it to demonstrate the central limit theorem in 1894. The balls are being transported up with a conveyer belt and a light sensor counts how many balls have passed. The balls then roll down the board and at each peg they can either bounce left or right. After the last peg the ball is caught in a repository. Once 100 balls made their way down, the gate opens and releases all the balls. Probably no GBC module could deal with 100 balls at a time, so I queued them up and deliver them one at a time.

Read More

LEGO bans large weapons from their Ideas Process

Posted by on Jun 22, 2016 in LEGO, Research | 0 comments

I am not sure if our study had any influence on this, but the LEGO company just updated their LEGO Ideas Policy and they now explicitly exclude submissions of large or human-scale weapons or weapon replicas of any kind, including swords, knives, guns, sci-fi or fantasy blasters, etc. This is certainly a step in the right direction.

Read More

Yellow Buggy – A tiny and robust RC LEGO car

Posted by on Jun 21, 2016 in Featured, LEGO | 0 comments

Yellow Buggy – A tiny and robust RC LEGO car

This is a very small, robust, reliable and easy to maintain buggy. It is ideal for letting your kids play with all day. The design goal was to make a robust car as small and simple as possible. This means most of all no suspension system since that would require the use of CV joints. They are known to break and while they work nicely in LEGO super cars that you carefully push around the floor, it does not work with kids trying to race and crash their RC cars. CV joints will break. Of course it is possible to create a LEGO RC car with suspension and even four wheel drive/steering, but then you end up with LEGO’s own RC Crawler. The goal was to keep it small, simple and robust.

One of the problems I encountered when letting kids play with the RC cars all day is that the axles in the differential tend to slip and move out. I hence build a differential assembly in which the axles are completely locked in and cannot move. The worst thing that could still happen is that a wheel comes off which is easy to fix.

The car uses only one L-Motor and is pretty fast for that. The turning radius is very tight and the car is just fun to drive. The differential makes it perfect to drive around tight corners. The heavy battery pack is right on top of the back axle, giving it the best friction. Well, it does not accelerate like an F1, but it might still make a small difference.

The Building Instructions do not contain the L-Motor and the servo motor since they are both not yet part of Digital Designer. The Yellow Buggy is also available as a 3D file (LXF) for LEGO Digital Designer. Head over to Rebrickable for the Yellow Buggy MOC and its part list.

I also ran Bluerender to make a nice 3D spin of the car.

 

Read More

Tutorial on connecting LEGO Mindstorms EV3 to WiFi

Posted by on Jun 3, 2016 in Documentation, LEGO | 0 comments

This video shows how to connect your LEGO Mindstorms EV3 to your WiFi network so that you can program it away from your computer. I use the Netgear N150 Wireless Adapter (WNA1100), which is the only officially supported WiFi dongle for the EV3. The N150 is difficult to get these days, since Netgear has moved on producing newer sticks. So buy them now before they disappear completely. On the plus side, they are also very cheap right now on eBay and other market places. I got my for only 19 NZD from TradeMe.

It would be great if LEGO would support more dongles, in particular smaller ones. Furthermore, it would be great if it would be possible to use WPS. Entering your WiFi password on the EV3 is tedious. It would even be better if the EV3 would remember the WiFi password. You need to enter it every time you switch the EV3 on.

 

Read More

Double Helix Archimedes Screw LEGO GBC Module

Posted by on May 22, 2016 in LEGO | 0 comments

This LEGO Great Ball Contraption (GBC) module uses a true Double Helix Archimedes Screw to transport the balls. It uses slides (6 x 12 x 8 studs, 11267) for its screw. It works very reliably and does not jam. There are some more photos in my Flickr album.

 

Read More

Double Helix Tower LEGO GBC Module

Posted by on May 22, 2016 in LEGO | 0 comments

This LEGO Great Ball Contraption (GBC) module uses Nicolas’ (Nico71) ball pump to push the balls up through the tower. The balls then roll down a rotating double helix that is made from LEGO slides (6 x 12 x 8 studs, 11267). It works very reliably and does not jam. There are some more photos over at Flickr.

 

 

Read More