Have Fun With Your EV3 and Power Functions

DSCF1253

While we were creating our project prototype out of LEGOs, we found awesome aftermarket equipment from a company called Mindsensors that allows an EV3 to be able to talk to a Power Functions IR Receiver, enabling an EV3 to control LEGO Power Functions! Power Functions is a sub-section of LEGO that is mostly used in older motorized LEGO Technic sets, LEGO train sets, and the original WeDo. LEGO Power Functions included motors of different sizes, as well as lights. The Mindsensors’ PFMate controller can hook up to an EV3 with just a regular EV3 wire! Mindsensors also has a downloadable EV3 block already available! These Mindsensors after-market components are not made by LEGO, though, so they cannot be used as part of the FIRST LEGO League robot game (actually, even the Power Functions elements are excluded from the robot game). However, they might help you with developing a project prototype (how we discovered them) or you may just want to use them for fun with your EV3! In this article, we will show you how this interesting after-market component is used.

Continue reading

EV3 Programming: Switch Blocks Part 1

open_pic

Switch blocks in EV3 programming specify what you want the programming to do for two or more different conditions: “if EV3 detects this do this or if EV3 detects that do something else”. In other kinds of programming, you will often see this called “If…then…else” with maybe even “else…if.” In this article we will show you the many different options the EV3 software gives you.

Since the switch block has so many different options we decided to split talking about switch blocks into 2 articles. This one will be about every option besides the sensor options. We are currently working on an article about the different sensor options.

Continue reading

EV3 Programming: Motor Blocks

Screen Shot 2018-10-09 at 3.35.18 PM

We have had a lot of fun using our EV3 bricks for a lot of things, such as programming them to play our favorite songs and accomplishing fun tasks we make on our own, but by far the most fun part of EV3 comes when you add motors into the mix! Motors allow you to build a robot that can drive around or build a machine with moving arms or rotating turn tables. Motors are obviously especially important in EV3 for competing in FIRST LEGO League (FLL). How else can you move around the field and accomplish all those cool missions?

In this article, we will teach you about the parameters on a motor block, different types of motor blocks, and the basic types of turns.

Continue reading

Remember to Have Fun with Your EV3!

DSCF5777

One of the FLL core values is about having fun and enjoying what we do. Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in using LEGO EV3 for FIRST LEGO League, to learn about simple and complex machines, or for other schoolwork. FIRST encourages us to have fun while we do our work. But, it is good to remember to make sure you take some time to have a break and to just have fun, too! When you have time, you should make up your own missions and challenges! By making your own challenges you can learn, have fun, and take a break from all the stressing work of robotics.

Continue reading