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Celebrating MINDSTORMS with a Remix Part 1

In honor of the 25th Anniversary of MINDSTORMS, we asked ROBOTMAK3RS to combine a LEGO set of their choice with a MINDSTORMS set. Here is what these five ROBOTMAK3RS came up with. 

MINDSTORMS Chess Assistant by Arvind Seshan

Overview: When you are new to chess, it can be a challenge to remember which pieces go where. Now, you can use machine learning and LEGO MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor to build a tool to help you learn where all the chess pieces go on the chess board.

Sets used: LEGO® Iconic Chess Set (40174) and MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor (51515)

Review: I really like how the chess set base can store all the pieces underneath and that the board neatly splits in half for handy storage. The chess pieces themselves are very sturdy and well built. My only criticism is the building of the box itself. It was quite difficult to see what pieces to use and since the entire box is made mostly of thin plates, it took a lot of time and patience. I would have liked the storage area to be sliding drawers rather than having to lift the top off. However, all-in-all, it is a great set and functional. I really enjoyed mixing MINDSTORMS with the chess set for some additional playability.

The Great Pyramid of Giza Revealed by Dave Parker

Overview: A fun narrative about the what lies hidden under the Great Pyramid of Giza. Find out who really built this ancient pyramid as Dave uses Robot Inventor to animate and reveal hidden features.

Sets used: LEGO Architecture Great Pyramid of Giza (21058) and MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor (51515).

Review: The standard build was a little repetitive, but that's expected from Architecture. The removable pyramid facade is very cool, but under I would rather have seen removable layers of hidden tombs and treasure rooms rather than a construction scene. Watched the linked video to see this robot in action.

Grabber Machine by Anton Vanhoucke

Overview: You probably remember having fun at the fairground trying to manipulate a claw machine to get your favorite item. Now you can grab prizes exactly like you would at the fairground with this LEGO remix! Anton combines an EV3 with the set's box to create this clever grabber.

Sets Used: Material Handler (42144) and MINDSTORMS EV3 (31313)

Review: The Material Handler was more fun than I expected. Lots of inspiring parts in the box. With the Grabber Machine remix, I am especially proud of the grabber. It does two actions with one motor: up and down + open and close. This was hard because it had to be open going down, then close going up. But once it was back to the release point, it needed to open again, while being up.

Succulent Sorter by Damien Kee

Overview: Whether you are a botanist or a just a lover of plants, you can keep your garden neat and organized with this machine that sorts your succulents using a color sensor.

Sets Used: LEGO Botanicals, Succulent (10309) and Mindstorms EV3 (45544)

Review: The succulents are just beautiful to look at, very well designed and I love the style of the black pots that you use to assemble them all together. It was fun to have them sliding around everywhere, but some of the bigger ones that extend out past the pot as well as the tall ones didn't fare so well and so were left out of the final project.

Pneumatic Sort3r by Christian Becker

Overview: Color sorters are always a cool build! But have you ever seen one that uses pneumatics? Christian uses pneumatics to operate the crane mechanism to sort his LEGO bricks.

Sets used: LEGO Technic Material Handler (42144) and MINDSTORMS EV3 (31313)

Review: I really liked the build and the pneumatics of the material handler. It's really smartly designed and has a good use for the pneumatics (without overusing it). But I think that there could have been a few more non-pneumatic functions (e.g. 2 or 3 gears to turn the crane) and the claw often doesn't work as expected because the pneumatic cylinder is stuckLEGO Technic Material Handler (42144) and MINDSTORMS EV3 (31313).

Image Credit:, Antons MINDSTORMS, Arvind Seshan

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