You are previewing Hacking Your LEGO® Mindstorms® EV3 Kit.
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Hacking Your LEGO® Mindstorms® EV3 Kit

Book Description

EV3 without limits!

Build 5 amazing robotics projects that take DIY to a whole new level!

You can do way more with your LEGO Mindstorms EV3 kit than anyone ever told you! In this full-color, step-by-step tutorial, top-maker and best-selling author John Baichtal shows you how to transcend Mindstorms’ limits as you build five cutting-edge robotics projects.

You’ll discover just how much you can do with only the parts that came with your kit–and how much farther you can go with extremely low-cost add-ons like Arduino and Raspberry Pi. You’ll learn how to reprogram your Mindstorms Intelligent Brick to add additional hardware options and create more complex programs.

Hundreds of full-color, step-by-step photos teach you every step, every skill. Whenever you’re ready for advanced techniques, Baichtal explains them in plain English.


Here’s just some of what you’ll learn how to do:

  • Build a drawing Plotter Bot that gyrates to draw new patterns

  • Hack Mindstorms’ wires–and control robots without wires

  • Create a remote-controlled crane, and operate it from your smartphone

  • Use the EV3 brick to control third-party electronic modules of all kinds

  • Replace the EV3 brick with smarter, more flexible Arduino, Raspberry Pi, or BeagleBone Black hardware

  • Build a robotic flower whose petals open and close based on time of day

  • Use third-party sensors to build robots that can sense practically anything

  • Load an alternate operating system onto your EV3 brick

  • 3D print, laser, and mill your own perfect LEGO parts

  • Create ball contraptions, and extend them with your own custom parts

  • Make a pole-climbing robot–and hook up an altimeter to track its height

  • This book is not authorized or endorsed by the LEGO® Group.

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    Table of Contents

    1. About This E-Book
    2. Title Page
    3. Copyright Page
    4. Contents at a Glance
    5. Table of Contents
    6. About the Author
    7. Dedication
    8. Acknowledgments
    9. We Want to Hear from You!
    10. Reader Services
    11. 1. Introduction
      1. Hacking Mindstorms
      2. Chapter Topics
    12. 2. Project: Plotter Bot
      1. Parts List
      2. Building the Plotter Bot
      3. Program the Plotter Bot
        1. Moving the Motors
        2. A Simple Program
        3. Resetting the X Axis
        4. Hacking Opportunities
      4. Summary
    13. 3. Hacking LEGO I: Connections
      1. Mindstorms Wires Explained
        1. Inside the Mindstorms Wire
        2. Hacking Mindstorms Wires
      2. Exploring Wireless Options
        1. Infrared Sensor and Beacon
        2. Bluetooth
        3. Hacking Wireless
      3. Summary
    14. 4. Project: Remote-Controlled Crane
      1. Parts List
      2. Building the Crane
      3. Programming the Crane
      4. Controlling the Crane with Infrared
      5. Using Your Phone’s Commander App
      6. Summary
    15. 5. Hacking LEGO II: Alternate Controllers
      1. Microcontrollers and Microcomputers
        1. Arduino
        2. Raspberry Pi
        3. BeagleBone Black
        4. But Why?
      2. Example Projects
        1. Book Reader
        2. Mini Tank
        3. Chocolate Milk Maker
        4. Ball Counting Robot
        5. Rolling Alarm Robot
        6. BeagleBone Black Robot
      3. Programing Environments
        1. LeJos
        2. RobotC
        3. Monobrick
        4. ev3dev
      4. Summary
    16. 6. Project: Robot Flower
      1. Robot Flower Mindstorms Build
        1. Parts List
        2. Steps
        3. Program the Robot Flower
      2. Substituting the Arduino
        1. Quick and Dirty Arduino
        2. Parts
        3. Steps
        4. Programming the Arduino
      3. Summary
    17. 7. Hacking LEGO III: Create Your Own LEGO Parts
      1. Designing Your Own Parts
        1. Check Your Dimensions
        2. Create the Design File
        3. Output and Iterate
      2. Finding Designs
        1. Thingiverse
        2. LDraw
        3. SketchUp Warehouse
      3. Outputting Your Own Parts
        1. CNC Mill
        2. Laser Cutter
        3. 3D Printer
        4. Tip: Parametric 3D Models
      4. Summary
    18. 8. Project: Ball Contraption
      1. Building the Contraption
        1. Parts List
        2. Steps
      2. Program the Contraption
      3. Creating Your Own Parts
        1. The Baseplate
        2. The Gear
      4. Summary
    19. 9. Hacking LEGO IV: Add-on Electronics
      1. Motors and Wheels
        1. Motor Driver
        2. Omni-Wheels
        3. 8-Channel Servo Controller
        4. Hub-ee Wheels
        5. Linear Actuator
        6. Servo-Actuated Pneumatic Valve
      2. Lighting Systems
        1. RGB LED Modules
        2. Light Strands
      3. Sensors
        1. Grove Sensor Adapter
        2. dGPS
        3. Proximity Sensor
        4. Pixy and Pixy Adapter
        5. Sensor Mux
        6. Absolute IMU-ACG
        7. dPressure Sensor
        8. Thermal Infrared Sensor
      4. NXT and Education Electronics
        1. Pneumatics Add-On Set
        2. NXT Light Sensor
        3. NXT Temperature Sensor
        4. NXT Sound Sensor
        5. NXT Ultrasonic
      5. Control Systems
        1. Relay Driver
        2. sBrick Control System
        3. PlayStation Controller Interface
        4. NXTBee Wireless Board
      6. Summary
    20. 10. Project: Flagpole Climber
      1. Building the Flagpole Climber
        1. Parts List
        2. Building Steps
        3. Programming the Pole Climber
        4. Installing the Ultrasonic Sensor
        5. Programming the Sensor
      2. Swapping in the BrickPi
        1. Raspberry Pi Quick Start
        2. Adding the RPi and BrickPi
        3. Parts List
        4. Steps
        5. Tip: Troubleshooting
      3. Summary
    21. Glossary
    22. Index
    23. Code Snippets