Detailed view of the PUIstols receiver

I have finished the design of the PUIstols receiver:

PUIstols Receiver partThe sensor of the color that is hit, ‘falls’ backwards to indicate that it has been hit. The colored flag turns left or right to indicate which PUIstol did the job (left = PUIstol 1, right = PUIstol 2).

The dimensions of this PUI (Physical User Interface) is appr. 110 cm x 20 cm. Need to work on the transportability ;-). Three sensors (yellow, green and red) are already functional in the real version. To connect the red and blue sensors/motors, I used the 90 cm cables of HiTechnic. Unfortunately, I don’t have enough of these long cables to connect the blue one.

PUIstols Receiver part close-up

You can view a demo of the receiver at our Youtube channel:

Track layout for Lego World 2014

In the sketch below, you’ll find the current track layout that we are building for Lego World 2014:

Sketch : Track Layout for Lego World 2014

In total we have 4 NXT bricks and 4 EV3 bricks. Two of the EV3 bricks are not  used yet. They will be needed for the component which will load the wagons with candy.

Hardware Architecture 2

The visitor shoots with one of the PUIstols ‘”one” or “two” a color (red, yellow, green or blue). The chosen color is read by EV3 #2. The computer directs the train (number one or two, controlled by NXT #1 or NXT #2) to the marshalling yard to pick up the corresponding wagon. The switch controls NXT #3 and NXT #4 have to set the switches to the right track. Next, the train delivers the candy (or something sweet) to the visitor. Finally, the train goes back to the marshalling yard to bring back the wagon. When the train hits the buffer (which is detected by EV3 #1), the train decouples the wagon.

Sioux.NET on Track “On the road” – Added the finish line

For our ‘side-project’ On the road, I have added the finish line. This EV3 will detect if the red of green car finishes first, and sends this information to the PC. Jan-Willem van Silfhout and Matthijs van Bemmelen are writing the PC software and the EV3 programs for the trucks. Just one week to go…

Lego Race Truck - Track

Demo video can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7G5tiWNyppY.

Sioux .NET on Track – now also on the road

Lego Race Truck (45560 + 45544, red+green)

Sioux Embedded Systems is organizing an event called “Technique in Automotive”. At this event, our Sioux.NET on Track expertise group will give a demo. Since trains are forbidden at this event, Jan Willem van Silfhout and I came up with the idea to use the PUI-stols for a race between two Mindstorms EV3 trucks. In the drawing you get an impression how it will look.

Lego Race Truck - Track Complete

With the PUI-stols you can shoot your truck in four directions:

Lego Race Truck - Arrows

As you can see, you cannot move the truck in a straight line. It is only possible to go left forward, left backward, right forward or right backward. So it won’t be easy to get the truck to finish…

If you are in the neighborhood, you’re welcome to visit our event with your family. For more information and registration visit the Sioux.eu webpage (Dutch only).

Final version of the Sioux .NET on Track Physical User Interface for Lego World 2014: Two PUI-stols

Remember these PUIstols? Jan Willem van Silfhout designed these two prototypes out of his EV3 Education set.

Laser Guns Prototypes from Education set

The PUIstols were designed from the elements in the Education set. For our Sioux.NET on Track project, we have four Home Edition sets (so, we are a sponsor of all AA battery manufacturers ;-). I tried to rebuild the PUIstols that Jan Willem designed from our Home Editions, and came to the conclusion that this was impossible. There is simply said very few overlap in the elements…. with the Home Edition elements I came up with the two PUIstols (only the white bricks for the numbers came out of my own Lego):

PUIstol from Lego Home Edition (pistol only)

From the rest of the Mindstorms Home Edition elements, I made also a PUIstols standard:
PUIstol from Lego Home Edition

The PUIstols have quite a narrow beam. In the test program I wrote on the EV3 with two Infrared sensors, it all works fine. The final version will have four Infrared sensors, in the same colors as the wagons that carry the candy on the track.

I have a (Lego) dream: connecting the Lego WeDo hub to the Mindstorms EV3…?

Sunday February 2nd, Sioux Embedded Systems is organizing a Lego Education workshop for their employees, partners and children. We bought 17 Lego EV3 bricks and 7 WeDo. Plus for both systems the expansion set. It was a car full of Lego:
IMG_0908

Surrounded by all this Lego, I had the vision of connecting all these stuff together. Making it more easy to connect the PF motors to the Mindstorms technique (currently, we use the HiTechnic IR Link to control PF motors). Since the EV3 has an USB port, a Linux programmer should be able to modify the firmware to control the WeDo Hub. And therefore, the Mindstorms EV3 should be able to control PF motors. Of course, it would mean that the Mindstorms Programming Environment should also be extended with an “WeDo programming block”.

Lego EV3 connected to WeDo Hub

Maybe, some day…..