Lego robot example #TLDSBFLL #fll @TLDSB

Sam, our build captain, created this Lego EV3 robot as an example of what a robot design for FLL could look like.  This is a pretty advanced robo so let’s go over it.  Almost all of the parts are from one EV3 kit – there are a few sensors from a second kit and a sensor from an old NXT kit.

Top view – notice the black gears on the right – you can add an attachment and power it using he drive motors.
Side view – note the motors are mounted vertically.
There are three light sensors – two from EV3 kits and one from an NXT kit – this allows for much better line following.

Bottom view – note that the gears allow you to hook up multiple attachments.

Creating an FLL robot from scratch.

I am testing out some design ideas. It is great to use Google to find ideas. This design is inspired by a photo I saw.

There is an exterior frame, this allows the wheels to be on an axle – hopefully there will be less wobblying compared to the wheel only being supposed on the motor side. The frame also provides a great mount for the colour sensor. I do need to borrow a sensor from another kit to use PID control.

There is also a button sensor (just need to ad an extension piece to reach over the button). A small motor to allow for attachments and a gyro to handle precise turns.

That’s enough for tonight.

#makecode – work on a Lego EV3 program on different computers has a programming environment for Lego EV3.  Unfortunately it is designed for students to work on only one machine (i.e. it automatically saves in the browser).  That’s great for home use or a 1-1 school but we have students that might work in the library on a device, then be in a class with a cart of laptops.  Here’s how I found you can do it:

In makecode download the program.


This downloads a file with a uf2 extension.  You can upload this file to Google Drive.


If you have it on Google Drive you can then go to another computer and import it from the Lego makecode home screen:


First program using #MakeCode for #LegoEV3

ev3I worked on creating a Lego EV3 program using #MakeCode this morning.  Scratch aficionados will rejoice at the block based programming environment.  The part I am most impressed with is the ability to simulate the program as you code.

See the complete program here

The left side of the screen shows the EV3.  As you code your various motors and sensors are automatically connected.  As you can see I have two motors (B & C), a button sensor in port 1 and an ultrasonic sensor in port 4.  You can see the motor speeds and can interact with the sensors.




For the code there is an on start block (each type of block is colour coded.  So the light green blocks are found in the Loops section.  I’ve added a comment to explain what I am doing.  The light blue blocks allow you to control the brick – so I’ve turned the status light to green.  Dark green blocks are the motors – tank drive allows me to control two motors and set the speed (50%).


In the forever loop I’ve added an if/else brick from the logic section.  The plus sign at the bottom of the brick allowed me to add an else if.  With this code I stop the motors and use the lights and screen when too close to a wall:


When the button is pressed a smiley face shows:


Otherwise it changes the speed of the motors based on the distance of the ultrasonic sensor.

The icing on the cake is that students will be able to use blocks or javascript to program – really impressed with this!

TLDSB Robofair reflections

Today was the Robofair, lots of fun. I thought I would record my reflections while they are fresh.

  • Kudos to Derek, Brian, Iggy, Denise, Khai and Eyan – so much work is put in to put on these events. Thrilled to be a part of such a great team.
  • Bus costs are rising and trying to get busses for a board wide event is very challenging.
  • A common problem with programs is teams would have two green start arrows and two sets of code – usually things wouldn’t work they way they were expecting.
  • Another problem I found was code that looked like it was in a loop block but when you dragged it you realized that it wasn’t connected. Very frustrating for the students.
  • Need to create a tutorial on developing strategy and working on chunking the program into smaller steps.
  • Develop mechanism tutorials and include ideas for mounting sensors.
  • Really impressed with all the elementary teachers that give so much of their time. Excited to work with the FLL teams that are signed up and signing up!