Fun with Beginner LEGO MindStorms EV3 Robotics.
- Have access to either the Education or Home version of the Lego MindStorms EV3 set.
This is a robotics course for absolute beginners.
Over the last seven years we have had requests from grandparents, parents and teachers who claim to have no technical knowledge, that the free tutorials we have provided over the Internet be put together in a course that assumes absolutely no prior technical background, a course that they can use to help their middle school age grandchildren/children/students have fun with robots.
In this Robotics course for absolute beginners we try to answer that request, converting many of our free tutorials for use with Lego’s new EV3 MindStorms set. This course is about having fun building small Lego MindStorms EV3 robots, finding out how to command them to smile and speak, travel in straight and curved lines, and how to follow the edge of a line.
This mini-course includes about 2 hours of video tutorials. How long students take to complete this course varies enormously between students, but as a rough indication, we have used videos similar to these as the basis for about half of an 8-week, 2 hours per week after-school course for classes from Grade 5 to Grade 8, and for Adult Education and Parent/Child classes.
The course is structured as a “hands-on” “Learning-by-Doing” course, with new programming ideas introduced only when they are immediately needed by the robot. There is an absolute minimum of “talking-head” videos.
You will need to have access to a Lego MindStorms EV3 set. The course is suitable for both the Lego EV3 Education and the Lego EV3 Home sets. The course shows you how to download a free EV3-G Editor from Lego. This Lego Editor is suitable for both Windows and Apple computers, but does not work for Linux, tablets or smart phones. However the course videos can be played back on these devices, so that you can have the video directions available on a tablet right alongside your Lego set as you go through this course.
We have used the videos in this course during both individual and full-class lessons. The videos have also been used successfully by home study students.
The course includes downloadable arenas that can be printed out on A1 or A3 printers, for use during this course.
- Middle school students, plus others who are "young in heart"!
- Introduction to Lego MindStorms EV3, video tutorials for absolute beginners02:46
- Building our First LEGO EV3 Robot Botticelli.00:35
- Fixing the Tyres - step 1 of 5.01:52
- Joining the Tyres to the Motors.01:54
- Joining the Motors to the Computer Brick.02:36
- Adding Back Legs to Robot Botticelli02:46
- Adding two Control Cables to Complete Robot Botticelli.02:19
- Why we need the LEGO software01:35
- Downloading and installing the LEGO software04:51
- Making Sure we Connect the Right Cables in to the Right Sockets.02:07
- Our First Command for Botticelli is...02:27
- Botticelli moves!04:29
- Saving our Commands so we can use them again later.03:37
- Overview - Approaching an Alien.00:51
- Put a Smile on Botticelli's Face02:55
- Botticelli Goes Towards the Alien02:00
- Botticelli says "Hello" to the Alien and waits for a reply.04:00
- Botticelli says "Thank You" and "Goodbye" to the Alien.03:19
- Botticelli sadly races back home to safety!01:53
- Changing new EV3 Robot LucyBot's motors.03:03
- EV3 EDUCATION SET ONLY - Building LucyBot's back wheel.03:26
- EV3 HOME SET ONLY - Building LucyBot's back wheels.05:58
- Around the Moon - Overview02:07
- Sending LucyBot into Space.02:13
- Teaching LucyBot to Curve Around the Moon.01:56
- Getting LucyBot safely back to Earth.02:07
- Overview: A Lego EV3 Robot Floor Cleaner?01:27
- Two examples of Floor Cleaner Runs from Margate School.00:48
- Five examples of Floor Cleaner Runs from Huonville School.02:20
- Three Floor Cleaner Runs from a TAG Workshop.01:17
- Two Floor Cleaner Runs from Mt. Nelson School.01:39
- Hints for Solving the Floor Cleaner Challenge.04:35
- Building YayaBot - Overview01:20
- Building YayaBot, Part 1.22:49
- EV3 EDUCATION SET ONLY - Building YayaBot, Part 2.13:46
- EV3 HOME SET ONLY - Building YayaBot, Part 2.07:53
- Overview - YayaBot follows the Edge of a Line.02:04
- YayaBot's Color Sensor can see the difference between black and white.01:47
- Programming YayaBot to Follow the Edge of a Line (Part 1).06:25
- Programming YayaBot to Follow the Edge of a Line (Part 2).04:34
For several years since retiring, I have had a lot of fun working on a voluntary basis with a group led by Ying Chen. This group has, as one of its aims, the spread of technical knowledge amongst School Students using a robotics program that introduces building and programming skills. Seeing the success achieved by students of this program has been a continuing delight, and I feel privileged to be associated with this group.
My background before retiring was about 1/3 of my life lecturing at various Universities in Computer Science, Information Systems and Engineering subjects. The 1/3 before that I was a full-time single parent caring for my children. In the first third of my working life I was an Engineer working for an Electricity Authority that produced all the electricity for my home state with negligible carbon dioxide output.
I also spent two years working in S.E. Asia as a volunteer with the Australian Volunteers Abroad.
My academic qualifications are B.E., B.A., Ph.D., M.I.E.Aust., M.I.E.E.E..
Yaya has been playing with Lego robots since 2006. Since then she has achieved robotics success in State, National and World events, including:
Two World RoboCup Junior Firsts (the Rescue category in Austria and the Dance category in Singapore); first place in the senior category of the Australian RoboGals competition; the highest Australian School CSIRO award - the Gold CREST; the highest Australian School Science Award - first place in the BHP-Billiton Engineering Award; among 1600 of the brightest students from 72 countries at ISEF in Arizona USA she gained a first Citation Award; she was invited to Google’s Australia-New Zealand Anita Borg Scholarship retreat; and she gave an oral presentation of her paper at the IEEE Fifth Biomedical International Conference in Thailand.
Outside robotics, Yaya has represented Tasmania in the Pride of Australia Medal, was a finalist in the Tasmanian division of the Young Australian of the Year, was invited to address the Tasmanian Parliament at their Annual Science Forum, has achieved a 99th percentile in the National Mathematics test; and has won prizes and medals in Piano and Judo when younger.
Yaya studied the International Baccalaureate, and took one of these two-year subjects a year early and obtained a 7. Yaya was then offered a place to study a Bachelor of Software Engineering at the Australian National University, under the University's Tuckwell Scholarship. While there Yaya was chosen for a software engineer position at Google Australia, was hired by the University as an academic tutor for multiple computer science courses, and is currently employed as a software engineer at the Australian Digital Transformation Agency.
Ying Chen has had an interest in Lego robots and robotics since 2006, working quietly in the background to help and guide her group in efforts to spread technical knowledge among young students. The program she has overseen has been associated with voluntary assistance to robotics programs in a variety of schools and community groups, and has produced several web sites that have made free robotics tutorial material available worldwide, resulting in millions of hits from over 150 countries and translations of robotics-related web pages into over 40 languages. Students associated with this program have won multiple State, Country, and World first places in robotics-related events. The group's latest project is this introductory mini-robotics course for absolute beginners using Lego's new EV3 MindStorms sets, produced with assistance from Google.
Ying Chen is a lecturer in Information Systems at the University of Tasmania.