Monday, February 9, 2015

EVShield - an Arduino Shield for EV3 Motors and Sensors

Today I bring you another Kickstarter project which may become of your interest, although it is more oriented to MINDOSTORMS enthusiasts in a certain way. And I say this because it focus on LMS motors and sensors but proposes to use them connected to and controlled by an Arduino shield - EV3Shield.

This is a project from a team behind two brands, one of which should be well know from all of us -
In the Kickstarter campaign the project appears associated with brand, but in reality the project itself is being advertised also at website.
It happens these are two brands of the same robotics development  team. One more oriented to a younger audience and schools ( which you should know better, and another best suited to address the hackers and makers developing for Arduino and Raspberry Pi platforms.

Hence this projects targets the Arduino developers, but that's enough for an introduction and let's see the video that presents the project at KS.

This is an easy to use Arduino Shield for smart Robotics projects with LEGO EV3/NXT sensors and motors. It can be programed in Arduino IDE with C++.

If you find the MINDSTORMS official or 3rd party programing environment too restrictive, this may become the robotics solution/kit that fits your needs and expectations.

It features:
  • 4 motor ports (compatible with all EV3 and NXT motors)
  • 4 sensor ports (supports all EV3 sensors, most of NXT and third party sensors)

    Two of each, on each side.

  • 4 UI buttons

  • 3 Multicolor LEDs

  • And it includes 6 RC servo ports

It works with Arduino Uno, Duemilanove and Leonardo boards.

One interesting aspect is this project is already funded at this moment, because the more than 100 backers so far, already pledged almost $7.500, well above the $1.600 defined by

It looks more like an advertising strateg, than really a funding need for the development/production.
But at least you have several pledge options and most likely to get this at a more convenient price, than ordering the final product when it becomes commercially available.

Go and see the full details at EVShield Kickstarter page!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

The 42040 Fire Plane, as seen in Nuremberg and new video

You might have seen these already, but I did not want failing to present them also here at TBs .

Some days ago PromoBricks shown us some extra material about the 2H 2015 LEGO Technic sets, namely the 42040 Fire Plane for which we was missing some quality images still.

All the images are apparently different zooms made on the same original photo, hence always seen from the same POV. Although we can see from them enough details about this set, mostly forgotten until these images.

These confirm a few things we already knew or have heard about, like:
- The propeller is driven from the landing gears under the floats, as one plays with the model on a surface.
- There are 5 to 7 of those new trapezoid panels in white color.
- There is a 2 cylinder engine in the front.
- There is a compartment that opens and releases several trans-light blue 2x2 round bricks included, to simulate the water flush during a firefighting scenario.

We get also confirmation some other suspected features, like:
- There are working ailerons in each wing.
- There are working elevators.
- And working rudder behind the vertical stabilizer.

These elements that control roll, pitch and yaw on real planes, can be operated from a lever that we can see at the top of the fuselage between the cabin and the vertical stabilizer.
There is also a LBG axle with towball which function some claim to be related with the water compartment doors opening, but which I'm not convinced about. Can't see how these can be opened and closed from here, unless these are supposed to be closed by hand.

The model looks really nice and with a good set of functions for its size. The color scheme is also very pleasant.

Meanwhile PromoBricks released today another video featuring the 2H 2015 LEGO Technic sets displayed at Nuremberg Toy Fair. It is basically a a new montage featuring the same previous existing material, which intends to put all relevant info and functions in sequence and the same video. Although it also adds some details and tidy bits through new scenes and images.

From this we get at least the confirmation the engine below the Arocs cabin is indeed an L6 and not an L4 as some suspected.
The new clamshell bucket made with two identical new elements, can also be seen with better detail


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