1. Build and Move

Build a robot

Based on your feedback we've build a course for introducing new students to the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 programming and construction. It is designed for school groups, competition teams and students alone in home that can get our feedback on their progress

Previously we've build over a hundred more advanced tutorials which were not suitable for completely new students. We then made a few assumptions about the student's knowledge in programming and constructing robots. In the EV3 Basics Course we are starting from the beginning.

EasyBot build with LEGO Mindstorms EV3

Building instructions for the EasyBot LEGO Mindstorms robot using in many of our courses and tutorials. This EasyBot has two motors and two front wheels. The third wheel is...well, check it out, see how the third wheel is built. 

Tasks

Tasks for introduction on building robots.

Do the tasks in order to get used to following instructions and building robots

You could also use the following building instructions for a robot with a frame. We are showing the robot in the videos, so if you wonder here is how it is built.

Cole - LEGO Mindstorms EV3 robot base with a frame

This is a vehicle that is used to help you to learn programming, to experiment with addons, attachments and constructions. It has a frame. Which is nice. A frame is always nice. 

It has two wheels at the back, but this is needed only if you have them.

Motors control and program from the brick

The LEGO EV3 Mindstorms brick can be programmed from the brick itself. The motors can be moved forward/backward and even simple programs could be implemented without even touching the EV3-G software at the computer

Programming motor from EV3-G on the computer

First time programming the motors of the robot using the EV3-G software installed on a computer. We would explore how to move forward/backward and turn with the robot.

Find more videos about programming searching for "Programming". 

Motor control blocks in EV3-G

Move the robot using the Move Steering block. We explore what the different values for Steering mean and how to use them. We also explore how the motor is configured to run for a number of rotations or seconds and what is the difference. 

Program using the Move Steering block in EV3-G

This program uses the Move Steering block to controll the robot to move. Download and run the program.

Motor programming. Tasks

Experiment with moving the robot in different geometrical figures. The tasks could be used in STEM classes for introducing students to geometry and math. 

You can accomplish the tasks in a number of different ways.

For example: try/error without involving any mathematics. 

Or you could for example try to calculate how much should you turn the motor for the robot to turn 120 degrees and then repeat this three times to make the LEGO Mindstorms robot move in Triangle. 

The specific tasks are described in the tasks Section.

 

Task easy icon Move forward and backward.

Create a video named FLLCasts_MotorProgramming_1 and give us a link below to check it out.

Task easy icon Move forward, turn to 180 degrees as show on the video and return to the initial position.

Create a video named FLLCasts_MotorProgramming_2 and give us a link below to check it out.

Task normal icon Move the robot in a square.

Create a video named FLLCasts_MotorProgramming_3 and give us a link below to check it out.

Task normal icon Move the robot in a triangle.

Create a video named FLLCasts_MotorProgramming_4 and give us a link below to check it out.

Task advanced icon Draw the number 19 with the robot.

Create a video named FLLCasts_TouchSensor_5 and give us a link below to check it out.

Task advanced icon Draw the text "FLLCasts" with the robot.

Use more than one robot if you have. Create a video named FLLCasts_TouchSensor_6 and give us a link below to check it out.

Precise motor programming for competitions

The way you move the robot is always imprecise. Don't TRY to fight with this. Programming motors for competitions like the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) or World Robotics Olympiad (WRO) is not very different from programming the motors in the STEM classes. But there are a few things you should have in mind. 

Problem

Again. Moving the robot is imprecise. Take it as a given and don't try to work on this. If you use only the motors and the rotations set to the motor to position the Mindstorm robot on a field then you would always fail. 

It is nearly impossible to program a LEGO Mindstorms robot do a couple of moves and turns and arrive at the same position every time. 

Solution

The correct way is to use sensors. The problem is that the precise position of the robot depend on the wheels, the motors, the battery, the balance, the surface on which the robots work, and many other things. 

Check out the following playlist for more detailed solutions:

Positioning on a competition field with EV3 and NXT robot

Pricese motor control EV3-G program

EV3-G program for precise motor control of the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 robots

Precise motor programming. Tasks

Robot tasks to exercize how to position on the field using only motors. STEM classes could use it to demonstrate mechanical imperfections in constructions and how important using sensors in this LEGO Mindstorms Robotics sets is 

Robot tasks are available in the Tasks Section

Task easy icon Detect different end positions

Mark initial position. Move forward for 5 rotations. Turn 9 degrees. Move forward for 5 rotations. Mark end position. Repeat 5-6 times and measure how different the end positions are for each run. Create a video named FLLCasts_MotorCompetition_1 and give us a link below to check it out.

Task easy icon Do the first task with 3 different wheels.

Which wheels are most precise. Create a video named FLLCasts_MotorCompetition_2 and give us a link below to check it out.

Task normal icon Minimize differences at the end positions

Mark initial position. Move forward for 25 rotations. Mark end position. Repeat 5-6 times and measure how different the end positions are for each run. Try to minimize the different at the end positions and arrive every time on the same place. What makes the robot move to the left or to the right? Create a video named FLLCasts_MotorCompetition_3 and give us a link below to check it out.

Task advanced icon Minimize end positions with specific differences

Mark initial position. Move forward 5. Turn left. Move backward 5. Turn right. Accomplish the mission as quickly as possible with no more than a 1 centimeter/0.4 inch difference at the end position.  Create a video named FLLCasts_MotorCompetition_4 and give us a link below to check it out.