MajorAlvega

[WIP] Imperial Conveyex Transport

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This is a new project I just started. As most of my projects it will probably never get completed but will be a good showcase of some ideas for other projects.

I usually don't do MOCs, just like to automate things and add some unusual effects. Last two years I've been collecting some monorail parts with the idea of making something monorail-based, with a few 4DBrix parts to control my budget and also to let me control the movement of the train. When LEGO launched the LEGO 75217 Imperial Conveyex Transport I had the idea of using it as a monorail but adding the new Powered Up hub so I can control it with a MINDSTORMS EV3.

So this is the first proof of concept: the EV3 pikcs the Conveyex and make it move until an ultrasonic sensor detects it:

To connect the monorail motor to the PUp hub I modded a PUp lights cable, soldering an old 9V plug to the power pins (1 and 2) of the cable:

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This makes the monorail motor be seen as a Light by the Powered Up (and BOOST) hub so it only works with apps that accept Lights but for me it doesn't matter since I intend to use my own bash/python script.  But for manual control and my kids pleasure it also works fine with the PUp train handset:

 

Roadmap:

- add a micro-motor to the Conveyex to also control the linked chain track

- use EV3 motors (or perhaps 4DBrix motors) to control the monorail Y's

- sell a kidney to get a few more monorail parts

- integrate the monorail circuit in a Star Wars diorama, with the help of a PLUG mate that is an expert in Star Wars universe

 

The MINDSTORMS EV3 is running ev3dev (linux). This allows me to use a Bluetooth USB dongle to talk BLE with the Powered Up hub. And will also allow me to use some gadgets like NFC sensors to detect the train position or IRLink to control some Power Functions automations (like the AT-ST head).

Questions and suggestions are welcome.

Edited by MajorAlvega

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Nice! 

I like the proof of concept. Maybe we need to change the title to reflect what this POC is about. 

 

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Maybe... but I still need to decide what this POC is about :)

Perhaps just "[WIP] Automated Imperial Conveyex Transport" for now is enough? That's the only thing I'm certain - automation. It will have MINDSTORMS, Powered Up, most probably Power Functions, probably RFID... a big mess for sure.

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LoL :laugh:

Let's stick to the current title.

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So I got my first addition to the diorama, a First Order AT-ST.

The idea is making it turn the head when the Conveyex passes by. And since the set doesn't have a turret head I could make one big enough to hide a motor, a battery and a remote controller.

After several attempts (both PF IR and Powered Up, several motors and batteries) I chose Powered Up. I don't have the right parts (never have!) but I managed to make a big and ugly head:

it's not final yet but the main goal is achieved - it holds still while rotating the head.

So a team of Penguin commandos from the Dark Side is now controlling the AT-ST and assuring no damn rebel Porg is going to pass:

 

the bad news: my kids keep asking why the legs don't move.

the good news: if I rebuild the legs the head will not look so big.

the very bad news: when batteries are drained its a pain to replace them. Will have to make a rechargeable battery and hide a recharging plug somewhare (so much for LEGO only parts).

Edited by MajorAlvega

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Hi,

Very nice build ! :sweet:

It is possible to use EV3's bluetooth to connect to a powered up module? Or the connection have to be made through some kind of hub?

Thanks

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Hi.

Thanks.

it is possibile to use EV3 with an external (USB) bluetooth controller that supports BLE (most, if not all, USB BT 4.0 do). But since the EV3 firmware doesn't recognize these controllers, you will have to boot the EV3 from a microSD card with a proper operating system. The only one I know that supports BT BLE is ev3dev (a version of Debian linux made for EV3).

it is possible (in theory at least) to use some sort of gateway to work with native EV3 firmware - like, for instance, an Arduino that connects to the EV3 through the UART or the I2C and receives commands written in EV3-G blocks and translate them to GATT commands that control the Powered Up; or a Smartphone that talks with EV3 through (native) Bluetooth messaging and translates to GATT commands.

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