Building Your First Bots with LEGO Mindstorms EV3
One of the fantastic things about the EV3 is that great instructions are already available for building all sorts of robots. This chapter looks at the currently available instructions for the LEGO MINDSTORMS home edition set, and Chapter 5, “Building the LEGO Education Bots,” explores the instructions available for the LEGO Education set.
You can use this chapter as a reference to see whether you want to try a project, or you could challenge yourself to build along. On top of building along, you can program along. You can choose to download and use the finished EV3 programs as is, or you can follow the mission instructions and build the programs yourself as you go.
Your EV3 home edition set comes with the instructions for the Track3r bot in the written manual. If you lose the printed manual, the Track3r and all other basic instructions are available online at http://www.lego.com/en-us/mindstorms/products/starter-robots/.
You can also get the instructions by downloading the EV3 Home Edition software and launching the “missions,” or by using the tablet app available for iPads and Android devices.
If you have a tablet, you can enjoy some fantastic 3D building instructions courtesy of LEGO and Autodesk, as shown in Figure 4.1. The LEGO MINDSTORMS 3D Builder app is available either through the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store. The app works on tablets running iOS or Android, but it does not work on phones.
FIGURE 4.1 When building using the LEGO MINDSTORMS 3D Builder app, each step is animated and rotatable.
Instructions are shown with 3D animations, and you can spin the model around to see the whole picture. The tablet app is especially helpful for new builders who might be unfamiliar with LEGO’s style of instructions.