Create, Share, & Teach with SnapCAD

Information about SnapCAD just appeared on the VEX Robotics website. You can now sign up with your email to get informed as soon as SnapCAD is available for download.

So, sign up and while you wait for the download to become available, read the information that is on their official website:

Create, Share, & Teach with One Easy-to-Use Program

SnapCAD is a community-built solution for designing virtual VEX IQ models and creating printable, shareable instructions for them. Use SnapCAD to test out a novel idea in the virtual world before building it physically, or to share your creations with the world in the form of step-by-step build instructions!

Transform your VEX IQ Classroom

SnapCAD is a FREE download and available to anyone with a PC running Windows 95 or newer (see below for full system requirements). Students can even install it on their home computers and bring their models (saved in the lightweight .ldr or .mpd file formats) into class the next day.

A Community Effort

The SnapCAD vision began when some members of the VEX IQ community began converting VEX IQ CAD files into the popular open-source LDraw format. This made them available for use in a number of publicly available LDraw editors.

Built for VEX IQ

Drawing from community expertise, SnapCAD is a new LDraw editor designed specifically for VEX IQ. Students can use SnapCAD to learn the fundamentals of computer aided design (CAD) and create new VEX IQ robots!

  • Comes pre-loaded with the entire VEX IQ part library
  • Supports colored VEX IQ parts
  • Includes pre-built models of the Autopilot, the Clawbot IQ, and V-Rex
  • Adapts to new products ported into SnapCAD soon after public release
  • Creates step-by-step instructions for your custom builds

And feel free to join our VEX IQ discussions in our VEX IQ Robotics Fangroup on Facebook

VEX IQ SnapCAD Screenshot

 

Husarion Launches Kickstarter Campaign for Build-Your-Own Robot Device

Husarion’s RoboCORE Offers Easy and Affordable Way for Anyone to Construct a DIY Robot

Krakow, Poland – February 11, 2015 – Husarion, a Poland-based technology start-up, today announced it is seeking funding for RoboCORE, a device that acts as the “heart” of the DIY robot. Husarion’s mission is to bring robotics into the mainstream consumer market and RoboCORE offers the ultimate solution that allow robotics enthusiasts and companies to easily build their own robots, without the need for high-level programming or engineering skills.

Husarion founders are looking to raise $50,000 to bring RoboCORE to market. Over the next 30 days, investors may support and track Husarion’s campaign at the official project page on Kickstarter. 

The market for consumer and office robots is surging. A recent report from Business Insider Intelligence found that the multibillion-dollar global market for robotics, long dominated by industrial and logistics uses, has begun to see a shift toward new applications. According to BI, There will be a $1.5 billion market for consumer and business robots by 2019. BI also projects the market for consumer and office robots will grow at a CAGR of 17 percent between 2014 and 2019, seven times faster than the market for manufacturing robots.

“The design and production of robot components is so costly that robots are currently used mainly for military and industrial purposes,” said Dominik Nowak, CEO at Husarion. “There’s been little or no opportunity for robotics to become widespread. Our mission is to make out-of-the-box modules available so that anyone can create an inexpensive robot with advanced capabilities.”

RoboCORE is a combination of software and hardware, packaged in a sleek, heart-shaped device. Unlike other robotics systems, RoboCORE allows users to control or code from anywhere in the world, as well as stream both audio and video. RoboCORE’s rich peripherals, high-performance CPU and intuitive software enable robot makers to create without limits.

Building simple telepresence robots with a RoboCORE module is easy. Consumers can simply use old smartphones and tablets to control the robot by connecting them to an app, and then connect the construction with a cloud app, using a Wi-Fi or mobile (3G, LTE) network. The cloud-based RoboCORE app is a hub for managing all robots. Users can log in through a web browser, program and control the robot, and even share their project with friends.

RoboCORE will be useful for a variety of business settings and in solving real human problems. The module is also ideal for students and hobbyists, who will now be able to create and design complicated constructions that were previously impossible to build inexpensively, or without advanced programming skills. In addition, RoboCORE is compatible with any mechanics system, including pieces from popular LEGO® MINDSTORMS® sets.

The small (115×125 mm for the basic version, 82×82 mm for mini) device conceals a number of components with high scaling capabilities. Internal components include the Cortex-M4 core microcontroller, Intel Edison miniature computer with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, DC engine ports with encoders, sensor ports, extension modules (for instance, for servomechanisms), a slot for microSD cards, and a microUSB socket. On Kickstarter, Husarion is also presenting the RoboCORE-mini, an even smaller module with basic features for beginners, as well as extensions.

 “We believe that today’s consumer robotics is at the same development stage as the computer industry in the late 1970’s. Not many people then appreciated young electronics enthusiasts. Now, it’s similar with robot makers,” says Radoslaw Jarema, CTO of Husarion. “We’ve created RoboCORE because we know that the world is on the eve of another technological revolution. The age of the personal computer has been here for a while—and now it’s time for personal robots. We hope that the Kickstarter community will receive our project well and support it.”

Dash & Dot by Wonder Workshop

Wonder Workshop makes learning to code meaningful and fun for children. Dash & Dot, a pair of robots, combine play and learning for children ages 5 and up. For more information, visit our website at http://makewonder.com.

Dash is an explorer.
• Drives around.
• Senses objects in front and behind.
• Hears and responds to sounds.
• Comes to life with sound, lights, and head motion.

Dot is an instigator.
• Responds to how it is moved.
• Sends a signal for Dash to see where it is.
• Hears and responds to sounds.
• Transforms with sounds, lights, and imagination.

Dash & Dot connect wirelessly over Bluetooth and come with four iPad and Android experiences:

  • Go gets you started and exploring the world of Dash & Dot in no time. Simply connect with Bluetooth and get off and running. This app is a portal for online ideas and content.

  • Path takes Dash on adventures as kids draw a path for Dash to take. Unlock themes and special animations. This app teaches basic sequencing and event- based programming.

  • Blockly is a visual programming tool that lets kids control Dash & Dot, making them move and interact with each other. This app teaches sequencing, events, conditionals, and loops.

  • Xylo is a music app that uses the xylophone accessory. Compose songs and program Dash to move around while playing music. This app teaches sequencing and loops.

Accessories for Dash & Dot help give them additional looks and abilities. They include a xylophone, a pusher bar, a smartphone mount (to take videos with any smartphone), bunny ears, and a tow hook.

Dash is $199. The Wonder Pack, including all robots and accessories, is $349. They are available for purchase at the Wonder Workshop website here: http://makewonder.com.

Open Roberta – Programmieren ist ein Kinderspiel

Unter dem Motto »Jeder kann programmieren – mit Open Roberta!« stellen Fraunhofer-Experten heute ihre neue, internetbasierte Programmierplattform »Open Roberta« vor. Kostenlos und interaktiv können Schülerinnen und Schüler eigene Programme für Roboter erstellen und mit anderen teilen. Diese offene Lernumgebung soll mehr Mädchen und Jungen für Technik begeistern. Sie entsteht in Partnerschaft mit Google und unter der Schirmherrschaft des Bundesministeriums für Bildung und Forschung BMBF.

Intelligente Roboter, selbstfahrende Autos, Smartphones als Assistenten des Menschen – in unserer Gesellschaft sind digitale Technologien allgegenwärtig. »Um unsere digitale Welt zu gestalten, brauchen wir kluge Köpfe – junge Menschen, die Technik verstehen, Software programmieren und innovative Lösungen finden. Ich freue mich, dass heute dieses spannende und vielseitige Projekt startet«, sagt Prof. Dr. Alexander Kurz, Fraunhofer-Vorstand für Personal, Recht und Verwertung.

Das Projekt erweitert die Fraunhofer-Initiative »Roberta – Lernen mit Robotern«, die Kinder und Jugendliche spielerisch an Naturwissenschaften und Technik heranführt. »Open Roberta verbindet das erfolgreiche, pädagogische Roberta-Konzept mit einer innovativen technischen Lernumgebung, die das Programmieren lernen leicht macht und offen ist für spannende, kreative Experimente«, sagt Prof. Dr. Stefan Wrobel, Leiter des Fraunhofer-Instituts für Intelligente Analyse- und Informationssysteme IAIS. Die IAIS-Experten entwickeln Open Roberta mit Unterstützung von Google. Das Unternehmen hat für das Projekt eine Million Euro für zwei Jahre bereit gestellt. »Google setzt sich seit vielen Jahren und mit vielen Initiativen für die Förderung von Informatik in Bildung und Ausbildung sowie von Open-Source-Software ein. Wir freuen uns sehr, unser Engagement mit Open Roberta auf eine noch breitere Basis zu stellen«, erläutert Google-Entwicklungschef Dr. Wieland Holfelder das Engagement des IT-Konzerns.

Jeder kann programmieren – mit »Open Roberta«

Im Projekt »Open Roberta« entwickeln die Fraunhofer-Forscher eine frei verfügbare, cloudbasierte grafische Software, die Kindern und Jugendlichen mit Spaß und ohne technische Hürden das Programmieren ermöglicht – von ersten Programmierschritten bis hin zur Entwicklung intelligenter LEGO MINDSTORMS Roboter mit vielerlei Sensoren und Fähigkeiten. Dabei spielt es zukünftig keine Rolle, ob man vom Computer, Tablet oder Smartphone aus auf die Plattform zugreift. Sie lässt sich einfach über den Internetbrowser aufrufen, speichert die geschriebenen Programme in der Cloud und macht aufwändige Software-Updates überflüssig. Davon profitieren besonders Schulen, da deren IT-Wartung häufig mit großem administrativem Aufwand verbunden ist und viele Einrichtungen oftmals nicht über ausreichende Mittel für leistungsstarke Rechner verfügen. Die internetbasierte Software wird es auch ermöglichen, sowohl in der Schule als auch zuhause an eigenen Programmen zu arbeiten, sie mit anderen zu teilen und sie unabhängig von Ort und Zeit gemeinsam weiterzuentwickeln. Für Lehrkräfte stehen demnächst Tutorials für die Arbeit mit Open Roberta bereit, die auf die unterschiedlichen Interessen von Mädchen und Jungen eingehen.

Der Nachwuchs von heute programmiert für den Nachwuchs von morgen

Die Open-Roberta-Software ist zur Zeit im Beta-Stadium und wird Open Source weiterentwickelt. Im nächsten Schritt beziehen die IT-Experten vom IAIS Lehrkräfte, IT- und Bildungsexperten aus dem Roberta-Netzwerk sowie Hochschulen und ihre Studierenden aktiv in die Entwicklungsarbeiten ein. »Somit stärkt das Projekt gleichzeitig die Zusammenarbeit mit Hochschulen und fördert die praktische Programmiererfahrung von Studierenden«, erläutert Wrobel. Mitte 2015 wird die Software ohne Einschränkungen für alle zugänglich sein und sich zum Beispiel um die Programmierung weiterer Robotersysteme erweitern lassen. Sowohl die Software als auch die Open-Source-Entwicklertools stehen über Fraunhofer-Server bereit. Zudem können Schülerinnen und Schüler aus ganz Deutschland über Ideenworkshops und Wettbewerbe aktiv die Open-Roberta-Programmierumgebung mitgestalten.

Im Kontext von Open Roberta führt das Fraunhofer IAIS auch seine langjährige Zusammenarbeit mit LEGO Education fort. LEGO Education stellt 160 Roberta-Baukästen für die weitere Verbreitung von Open Roberta in den Bundesländern zur Verfügung. In Zusammenarbeit mit der Initiative »Jeder kann programmieren. Start Coding« und der Initiative D21 stellen die Kooperationspartner ihr Projekt am 4. November 2014 in Berlin erstmals der Öffentlichkeit vor.

Die Initiative »Roberta – Lernen mit Robotern«

»Roberta – Lernen mit Robotern« ist ein Bildungsprogramm, das Kinder und Jugendliche bereits seit über zehn Jahren für Naturwissenschaften und Technik begeistert. Es wurde 2002 durch das IAIS und mit Förderung des BMBF ins Leben gerufen. Jährlich erreicht die Roberta-Initiative in über 800 dokumentierten Roberta-Kursen mehr als 30 000 Kinder und Jugendliche. Ein umfassendes Schulungskonzept sowie gendergerechte Lehr- und Lernmaterialien unterstützen Lehrkräfte dabei, naturwissenschaftlich-technische Themen spielerisch zu vermitteln. Regionale RobertaRegioZentren sowie zertifizierte Roberta-Teacher bilden ein europäisches Netzwerk für den Erfahrungsaustausch und die Weiterentwicklung des Roberta-Konzepts.

Weitere Informationen:

www.open-roberta.org

www.roberta-home.de

www.google.org

education.lego.com

BlocksCAD Teaches Children Math and Programming while they Design their Own Toys

Have you ever discovered that you can’t find the exact toy your child wants? Your daughter loves robots, but she wants them to be pink. Your son wants a length of track for his race car set that doesn’t exist. Your nephew loves elephants and wants his own My Little Elephant set.
You could find someone with a 3D printer and a good grasp of CAD to design a novel toy for you.

But why do that when you can let creative children do it themselves?

BlocksCAD, a new application  developed by Einstein’s Workshop, helps children as young as eight to design and create their own toys.
Einstein’s Workshop launched a Kickstarter campaign on September 6, 2014, to fund further development and release it under an open source license, free to everyone, everywhere.

BlocksCAD uses a simple drag-and-drop interface to create designs for 3D objects. It offers basic geometric shapes: cube, sphere, cylinder, cone, etc. Kids can combine these shapes to create their own unique toys. They assemble the building blocks of the object, like snapping together LEGO or assembling a jigsaw puzzle. The interface is so simple, even third-graders can use it.

Students have used BlocksCAD to create a wide range of objects, from doll furniture to Daleks, snowmen to strategy game pieces, rings to rocket ships. Annie, 10, is designing a table. She opens BlocksCAD and selects a rectangular block, thin and flat, to form the tabletop. She drags in another rectangular solid and makes it long and skinny – a table leg. Then she copies the leg three times and positions them to support the table. She saves her design and sends it off to a nearby 3D printer. Soon, the table is finished, three inches tall, just right for her dollhouse. She turns back to the computer and begins to design a chair.

Einstein’s Workshop, a STEM education startup in Burlington, MA, developed BlocksCAD to address a specific need. “We were seeing a lot of demand for 3D printing classes for younger children,” says Rebecca Rapoport, COO and co-owner of Einstein’s Workshop. “When we tried it out, we found that kids younger than fifth or sixth grade really struggled.
“On our staff, we have some talented developers who are also educators and experienced fabricators. So when we saw a need for software that’s easy for younger students to use, we did exactly what we encourage our students to do: we built it ourselves.”

“It’s a wonderful way to teach the practical side of math,” says Creative Director Katy Hamilton. “We can tell students that variables are useful, or how to describe a parabola, or we can give them real, concrete reasons to learn these concepts.”
The development team think BlocksCAD could be useful in schools and makerspaces everywhere.
“That’s one of the reasons we chose to do a Kickstarter,” says Henry Houh, president and founder of Einstein’s Workshop. “Not just to raise funds to make this application even better but also to get the word out that it’s going to be open source and freely available to the public.”

Einstein’s Workshop hopes to raise at least $42,000 by October 4, 2014. They offer a wide range of rewards to contributors, from T-shirts and 3D-printed models of the BlocksCAD mascot, The Blockhead, to a training class anywhere in the continental U.S. To support BlocksCAD, please visit the Kickstarter page at http://www.einsteinsworkshop.com/blockscad

EV3 Sensor Adapter for NXT or Arduino

I just stumbled across the following on the mindsensors.com products:

EV3 Sensor Adapter for NXT or Arduino

 

Using this adapter, you can attach new EV3 sensors to your NXT or Arduino.
(This is basically a UART to I2C adapter).

  • For NXT, works with BricxCC, and new EV3 IDE for NXT
  • Lightweight and small design, that fits in-line with your sensor and brick
  • Use with Arduino with NXShield

 

I will test this adapter in the near future and write more about it here. Because the adapter is not supporting NXT-G, but the new EV3 IDE together with the NXT brick, this will then also be my first time using the new software with the „old“ NXT hardware.

LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 angekündigt

ev3rstorm-mindstorms-ev3-smallDie LEGO Gruppe gibt ihre neueste Innovation im Bereich LEGO MINDSTORMS in dieser Woche auf der internationalen Consumer Electronics Show (CES) bekannt. LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3, der Nachfolger des LEGO Mindstorms NXT setzt die beliebte LEGO MINDSTORMS Produktlinie fort, und ist besser als je zuvor.

Mit LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 können Sie Ihre LEGO Kreationen in Roboter verwandeln, die jeden Befehl befolgen. Das neue LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Set beinhaltet alles, was Sie brauchen – Motoren, Sensoren, programmierbaren intelligenten Baustein, 550 + LEGO Technic Elemente, Fernbedienung – zum Bauen und Programmieren der Roboter deiner Wünsche! Lade die 3D Bauanleitungen herunter und die neue App zum Steuern deines Roboters per Smartphone, dann programmiere deinen Roboter zu gehen, sprechen oder was auch immer du möchtest mit der neuen intuitiven Programmiersoftware, dem intelligenten Baustein oder deinem Smartphone.

MINDSTORM_EV3_RGB_Trans_thumb

Die Spezifikationen des neuen LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Systems:

EV3 Intelligenter Baustein:

  • Stärkerer und schnellerer ARM9 Roboter-Prozessor
  • 16 MB eingebauter Flash-Speicher
  • 64 MB RAM plus SD-Steckplatz
  • LINUX-Betriebssystem, unter Open Source Lizenz veröffentlicht
  • USB 2.0-Schnittstelle ermöglicht die WiFi-Konnektivität
  • 4 Eingangs-Ports: Schließen Sie bis zu 4 Sensoren gleichzeitig, einschließlich Ihrer NXT-Sensoren an
  • 4 Ausgänge:  bis zu 4 Motoren (Entweder Large, Medium oder NXT)
  • Bis zu vier intelligente Steine können  ​​miteinander verbunden werden (Das sind 16-Sensor und 16 Motor-Ports!)
  • Matrix-Display mit Lautsprecher
  • Bedienknöpfe mit Statusanzeige
  • verbesserte Programmiermöglichkeiten auf dem intelligenten Baustein (auch ohne Computer programmieren)
  • Bluetooth ® v2.1
  • iOS und Android kompatibel

Hardware:

  • 3 interaktive Servomotoren: 2 große und 1 mittlerer Motor
  • 1 Berührungs-Sensor
  • Neuer IR Seeker Sensor misst Abstand, Bewegungen und erkennt Objekte, und wirkt als ein Empfänger für die Fernbedienung
  • Die neue IR Beacon Fernbedienung steuert den Roboter aus bis zu 2 Metern Entfernung
  • Verbesserter Farb Sensor erkennt 6 Farben sowie die Helligkeit von Lichtquellen
  • Abwärtskompatibel mit LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT: Verbinden Sie Ihre NXT Sensoren und Motoren mit EV3
  • Sortiment von 594 LEGO TECHNIC ® Elementen

Programmier-Software:

  • Herunterladbare Software ist PC-und Mac-kompatibel
  • Icon-basierte Drag-and-Drop-Umgebung

 

 

LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Announced

ev3rstorm-mindstorms-ev3-small

CONSUMER ELECTRONICS SHOW, LAS VEGAS (January 7, 2013) – Today The LEGO Group announced LEGO® MINDSTORMS EV3, a new platform for consumer robotics designed to introduce a younger generation to the excitement of building and programming robots while adding new flexibility for its devoted following of robotics enthusiasts. Unveiled for the first time at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 is the result of three years of product development by an international team of LEGO designers, MINDSTORMS user-enthusiasts and leading technology experts. LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3, available in the second half of 2013, will be previewed to members of the global media at Digital Experience! on January 7 and will be demonstrated to CES attendees during the [email protected] Summit, January 8-11, 2013, in the Venetian Hotel.

 

With LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 you can turn your LEGO creations into live robots that follow your every command. The new LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 set includes everything you need – motors, sensors, programmable brick, 550+ LEGO Technic elements, remote control – to create and command robots of even your wildest imagination, including 5 cool robot characters. Download the 3D building instructions and the app to command your robot via your smart device. Then program your robots to walk, talk, move and do whatever you want them to do to via the intuitive software program, the programmable brick or your smart device.

MINDSTORM_EV3_RGB_Trans_thumb

And not only do we have this good news, we also have the specifications:

EV3 Intelligent Brick

  • Stronger and faster ARM9 robotic processor
  • Embedded 16MB FLASH memory
  • 64 MB RAM plus SD expansion slot
  • LINUX operating system, released under open source
  • USB 2.0 interface allows for WiFi connectivity
  • 4 input ports: Connect up to 4 sensors at the same time, including your NXT sensors
  • 4 output ports: Now you can power up to 4 motors (Either Large, Medium or NXT)
  • Up to four intelligent bricks to be connected together (That’s 16 sensor and 16 motor ports!)
  • Matrix display with loudspeaker
  • Button interface with status indication
  • Enhanced on-brick programming
  • Bluetooth ® v2.1
  • iOS and Android compatible

Hardware

  • 3 Interactive Servo Motors: 2 large and 1 medium
  • 1 Touch Sensor
  • New IR Seeker Sensor measures distance, movements and detects objects, and acts as a receiver for the remote control
  • New IR Beacon remotely controls robot from up to 2 meters (6 feet) away
  • Improved Color Sensor detects 6 colors as well as the brightness of light sources
  • Backwards-compatible with LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT: Connect your NXT Sensors and motors to the new EV3 brick.
  • Assortment of 594 LEGO TECHNIC® elements for easy, more stable building with improved functionality and movement capabilities

Programming Software

  • Downloadable software is PC and Mac compatible
  • Icon-based drag and drop environment for “building” programs with new interactive content that helps de-bug programming

 

 

Read more at BotBench
Read more at RobotSquare
Read more at Lego.com

Robot Virtual World Level Builder v. 1.0 Now Available! at ROBOTC.net Blog

Robot Virtual World Level Builder v. 1.0 Now Available!

The Level Builder will appear with two options: CREATE and PLAY.

  • Use CREATE to configure your own virtual world level out of classroom themed assets.
  • Use PLAY to program a virtual robot to complete a level generated in CREATE mode.


via Robot Virtual World Level Builder v. 1.0 Now Available! at ROBOTC.net Blog.