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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...Read More
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...Read More
We just published our article “Have LEGO Products Become More Violent?” at PLOS One. Here is the abstract: Although television, computer games and the Internet play an important role in the lives of children they still also play with physical toys, such as dolls,...Read More
Sounds easy, I wish it was!
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.
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.
The ACM is running the Author-Izer project to enable authors to generate and post links on either their home page or institutional repository for visitors to download the definitive version of their articles from the ACM Digital Library at no charge. So here are my ACM publications free to download. It is a pity that they do not provide an automatic updating services. You need to add the links to your new work manually. You can also use Endnote’s Bibliography tool to export your bibliography in an html format that you can then paste into your web page. Again, an automatic synchronization is missing. You can also use the excellent Academic Blogger’s Toolkit to upload your bibliography to your web site and then generate the list from there.
There are several services that allow you to manage your references online, such as Zotero, Mendeley, Endnote Web, CiteYouLike. You can use these to host your bibliography off site. You can also use their local clients to work on your references, such as to CiteWhileYouWrite in your Word or LaTeX documents. These clients sync with their online accounts.
But what you really want is to integrate a bibliography of your own work on your own website. Some of the services offer plugins for WordPress (Zotpress, Mendeley) which allow you to embed their data on your own home page. Here is an example of using Zotpress to display my 2015 publications:Read More
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.
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.
Wallace Chapman interviewed me about our study “Have LEGO products become more violent?” on Radio New Zealand. Wallace certainly did his research since he also discovered my LEGO Unikitty. You can listen to the broadcast right here:
In the meantime, Huw Millington over at Brickset reported on his website about the study, which sparked a vivid discussion. One of the main discussion points seem again the question whether the increased violence in toys also make children more violent. We explicitly excluded this question from out study, but it seems that this is one of the main question that is on everybody’s mind. I also noticed that many blame the increase of violence in LEGO to licensed themes, such as Star Wars.Read More
Although television, computer games and the Internet play an important role in the lives of children they still also play with physical toys, such as dolls, cars and LEGO bricks. The LEGO company has become the world’s largest toy manufacturer. Our study investigates if the LEGO company’s products have become more violent over time. First, we analyzed the frequency of weapon bricks in LEGO sets. Their use has significantly increased. Second, we empirically investigated the perceived violence in the LEGO product catalogs from the years 1978-2014. Our results show that the violence of the depicted products has increased significantly over time. The LEGO Company’s products are not as innocent as they used to be.