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Author Archives: Xander

Xander Soldaat is a Software Engineer and former Infrastructure Architect. He loves building and programming robots. He recently had the opportunity to turn his robotics hobby into his profession and has started working for Robomatter, the makers of ROBOTC and Robot Virtual Words.

Self-hosted Blockly for PiStorms


The fine folks at Mindsensors have done something pretty cool! You’ve probably heard of Blockly, a very popular graphical programming language. In most cases, you had to run it on a remote website or on your own computer and download whatever code you created to your robot. Well, with the PiStorms you no longer have to! Because it’s based on ... Read More »

Improving ROBOTC Editor Readability


When I am doing development on ROBOTC, I find I am switching back and forth a lot between Visual Studio 2013 and the ROBOTC IDE. Personally, I prefer the font that VS2013 uses by default, which is Consolas. It’s friendly to the eyes and looks crisp. ROBOTC, on the other hand, will use Courier New as its default, which I find ... Read More »

PiStorms Challenge


So, you like Raspberry Pi but would prefer to build with LEGO?  No problem!  You can use the Mindsensors PiStorms to add a touch screen, buttons and motor and sensor ports to your Pi.  The designs for the LEGO Technic compatible parts that come with this are completely open source and available for anyone to tweak as they see fit. ... Read More »

EV3 Bricks: BLE or Blah?


A little while back, the Lejos forums were getting reports that some of the newly purchased bricks were having issues with Bluetooth connections.  Andy Shaw, one of the main developers of this project, determined that the main cause was a newly updated Bluetooth chipset in this brick.  Unlike its predecessor, this chipset is BT 4.0 capable.  That means that, at least ... Read More »

Review: The Art of LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Programming


There are many books out there for the budding robotics fan who wants to hone his or her programming skills.  This is a book that fills that need very nicely.  Terry Griffin’s “The Art of LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Programming” is a great No Starch Press publication.  While some books focus on building, others and both building and programming, this one has deep ... Read More »



I’ve played around with various vision systems on the MINDSTORMS, even the Pixy Cam, using an adapter.  However, now Charmed Labs have created a version of the super popular Pixy Cam that will work pretty much out of the box with MINDSTORMS. So, what’s different about this version and the standard one? Well, for one it comes with an adapter ... Read More »

New: Dexter Industries BrickPi+


Dexter Industries have released a new version of their very successful BrickPi, the BrickPi+.  It sports quite a number of improvements over its predecessors: It now plays nice with EV3 sensors, that’s very cool. It has better motor protection by adding a more powerful motor controller chip, which has improved back-EMF and overheating handling. You can keep track of your ... Read More »

Clearance sale at Mindsensors.com!

Clearance Sale at Mindsensors

If you’re looking to expand your collection of toys to play with or simply can’t pass up a good bargain, check out the clearance sale at Mindsensors.com! There’s a lot of stuff there, so go take a look!  The sale runs until August 21 2015, so don’t wait too long!   Read More »

Coming Soon: OpenElectrons PiStorms


OpenElectrons are continuing their development of awesome stuff for the RPi.  This new product, the PiStorms is a “shield” for the RPi that allows you to connect up to 4 EV3/NXT motors and up to 4 EV3/NXT sensors.  It has a screen on it and can be programmed using a Python API. The RPi communicates with the PiStorms shield through ... Read More »

Released: ROBOTC 4.32


  ROBOTC 4.32 is here and it includes a few new features and plenty of bug fixes and enhancements. Please note that if you use LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3, you must update the Linux Kernel to 1.07X, after which you must update the ROBOTC VM as well, of course. Links for downloading files: ROBOTC 4.32 for MINDSTORMS EV3 and NXT: [LINK] ... Read More »