Mar 162012
legolise it

This year, Google’s science fair teams up with LEGO Mindstorms. The Google Science fair, although limited to the younger among us, always generates a great list of good and innovative ideas.

This year, sponsored by LEGO Mindstorms, we will hopefully see some more applications of Mindstorms in the field of science. Sign up is ending the end of this month (for all you that are, or have kids that are between 14 and 18 years old).

There are some really nice projects and videos with background information from this one and previous Science Fairs, on the Science Fair Youtube channel.

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Oct 132011

Mindstorms Pinhole cameraI finally finished the video about the LEGO Mindstorms Pinhole Camera. Because of the latest advances of the Light meter (actually starts to work now) I´ll soon post more details here.

Here’s the video.

More on my Mindstrorms creation here.

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LEGO Mindstorms – 4 Pinhole Camera


A Fully working LEGO built and Mindstorms controlled Pinhole Camera. Printing directly on paper instead of negatives. This is still a work in Progress, as I am still testing the Light Meter program…
More on:

Category: Science & Technology
Uploaded by: alexKbcn
Hosted: youtube

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Aug 302011

the lego mindstorms pinhole camera

After some weeks looking at it, I decided last weekend to give my LEGO Mindstorms Pinhole Camera a try. We set-up a small darkroom in our bathroom to be able to load the paper into the camera and to develop it afterwards. The good thing was that we needed little space as the amplifier wasn’t needed.

It took me about 5 minutes to cut the strips of paper, load the camera roll and tape the camera box closed for the trial run. Once done, it was a bit scary to open the light, but we went to our roof terrace to make some test shots (taking advantage of the fact we had to be up there to hang our laundry up to dry).

Since I could find little information online on the exposure times to use when projecting directly onto paper, I went for pretty rough exposure times. 60 seconds and 90 seconds, each shot.

After the third shot, I missed the sound of the servo-motor controlling the film winding. Something went wrong. We took a couple of shots more, without moving the camera and decided to go down and develop the paper.

Here is the result:

LEGO Pinhole

I am very happy something came out, and that you can actually see a very shady and ghostly image… but an image!! A lot more than I was expecting!!

As you can see from the strips, there is some light leakage, which I don’t really mind. The images are over exposed, so I guess the exposure times should be more around 30 – 45 and 60 seconds depending on the light situation (we made these shots on a very sunny day in Barcelona). Also the as you can see from the strip above, there is a triple exposure.

The transport mechanism got stuck indeed. I believe that the main cause was the thickness of the paper, a lot thicker than the normal print paper I ran tests with.

I’ll now have a look if I can improve the transport of the paper, so it won’t get stuck and do some more tests with different exposure times…. to be continued!

LEGO Pinhole

Hanging up the laundry….

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Apr 202011

Here are some images from my first self-build Mindstorms creation. Since the first two where done with the instructions that came with the box, I was eager to build something myself.

For some time now I have been seeing images of “Useless machines” out there, and thought I’d build one now I have the proper ingredients.

Some examples:

I’ve added a function to the standard box, which makes it move a bit when you get close to flip the switch.

The machine contains:

  • The Next Brick, which made the box quite a bit bigger than most “useless machines” out there.
  • 3 Servo motors, One to drive, one to open the lid and one to flip the switch. the latter two functions I would have liked to combine, but the motor was not capable of opening the lid, the way I made the lid hinge.
  • 2 Touch sensors to simulate a classic on/off switch
  • The ultrasonic sensor, to detect movement.

I found that building your own design without thinking it through a bit gets you into problems or challenges. I have now downloaded the LEGO Digital designer, a free official LEGO download to see if I can make a draft design first, before I start building.

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