Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Let’s talk Spike Prime! Have you heard of it? It’s a new robotics  kit from LEGO Education. I figured I would  share an unboxing of the new sets. I thought we would cover my thoughts and some comparison with the LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3. I’ll being talking about things to consider with the parts, sensors, and electronics and how it might be useful in FIRST LEGO League. This will be a great video for any FIRST LEGO League coaches out there and I encourage you to comment during the steam and after to keep the conversation going!

Video link is above.

  • Thursday, May 7th, 2020
  • 7:30 PM Eastern Time
  • Video will be available on YouTube after the stream (probably by Friday morning)

Website Work

Posted: April 29, 2020 in News

Just a heads up, I’m switching up some website settings, so things might change a bit over the next few days. I am migrating registrars and tweaking some settings. If the site is down, try checking back in a few hours. I hope to have all of this work done this week.

Day 4 was a bit more challenging. There are a lot of details in socket programming. I hope you enjoyed seeing the debugging process, tracking down that sendto() issue for UDP packets!

Day 5 will be about multi-threading. Specifically looking at OpenMP as a quick way to get a multi-threaded application going. This should be a bit easier to develop than the networking code, but much more complex when it comes to debugging.

There is a super helpful OpenMP API cheat sheet located here.

All the code from Day 4 is up on Github. If you have any suggestions on content you’d like me to cover or would like more details, send me a message in the contact page and I will be sure to get back to you!

I’ll be making a new post for each video. Video will be left on YouTube for you to watch later and reference and all code will be pushed to github.

If you are looking for some reference books, both of these are very good, even though they are older.

 

Day 3 discussed the differences between C and C++. Day 4 will be talking about Networking in C/C++. Specifically we will be looking at WinSock and Socket Programming.

Networking is a big part of any modern application and is quite useful for any aspiring game developers out there. This session will get us sending TCP and UDP packets between two simple applications. It is a great overview of the basics. Bring your questions as this is a very broad field and I look forward to discussing it with you!

All the code from Day 3 is up on Github. If you have any suggestions on content you’d like me to cover or would like more details, send me a message in the contact page and I will be sure to get back to you!

I’ll be making a new post for each video. Video will be left on YouTube for you to watch later and reference and all code will be pushed to github.

If you are looking for some reference books, both of these are very good, even though they are older.

Day 2 is in the books. A slightly smaller (and quieter) crowd. I’ll be watching the video for questions that folks might share. We went over all sorts of pointer use cases.

Day 3 will be digging into the differences between C and C++. This will include a bit of learning about Object Oriented programming. I hinted about some of the differences on Day 2 with regards to memory. It should be interesting.

All the code from Day 2 is up on Github. If you have any suggestions on content you’d like me to cover or would like more details, send me a message in the contact page and I will be sure to get back to you!

I’ll be making a new post for each video. Video will be left on YouTube for you to watch later and reference and all code will be pushed to github.

If you are looking for some reference books, both of these are very good, even though they are older.

Day 1 seemed to go well with 28 folks joining us during the stream, live. The video should be available as soon as it is done processing. Day 1 covered the basics of functions, if/else statements, while loops, and printing.

Day 2 will focus on pointers in C/C++ and the use of header files. We will also discuss arguments to our main function and the use of strings.

All the code from Day 1 is up on Github. If you have any suggestions on content you’d like me to cover or would like more details, send me a message in the contact page and I will be sure to get back to you!

I’ll be making a new post for each video. Video will be left on YouTube for you to watch later and reference and all code will be pushed to github.

If you are looking for some reference books, both of these are very good, even though they are older.

 

With COVID-19 creating a lot of free time for folks, I thought I would host a few classes on writing software. Since that is a big part of my job as an engineer, I figured this might be a good way to pass my newfound free time. I’ll be using my blog to host the content and I’ll be live streaming the videos starting at 1 pm on April 20th. Each tutorial will last around an hour and it will be very informal. I expect this to run for at least a week, maybe longer.

My goal is to make this content as accessible as possible. Some background knowledge on computers will be helpful, but I’ll try to cover everything. I’ll be watching comments and try and answer questions.

I will focus on using Microsoft Visual Studio Community Edition, since I expect most folks to be running Windows. If there is interest, I’m happy to share the Linux side of things. This isn’t really a scripted class, so some times we might run into issues and bugs together. That’s part of developing software!

Here is a rough plan of the first few topics:

  • Day 1: “Hello World” – Getting a project to build and basic functionality
  • Day 2: “Pointers” – What they are and why they aren’t so bad
  • Day 3: “C++ vs C” – Why it’s important to have some class
  • Day 4: “Networking” – How to send and receive data
  • Day 5: “Multi-Threading” – If 1 is good, 2 is better; right?

If you have topics or ideas for week 2, feel free to send them via the contact page. I have some ideas around using C/C++ on LEGO robots, maybe some GPU computing, other programming languages. Let me know what interests you!

I’ll be making a new post for each video. Video will be left on YouTube for you to watch later and reference and all code will be pushed to github.

If you are looking for some reference books, both of these are very good, even though they are older.

Check out the live stream as we go about making our game! Watch our video last night to see what we are doing!

Follow us on here, on Twitter @KK4LWR or on Youtube!

Makeathon 0.0 Team MakEARs

Posted: September 14, 2019 in Engineering, News
Tags: , , ,

20190913_230304370_iOSSo the Makeathon has started. A few of my friends from work are teaming up for this fundraiser for The Maker Effect Foundation. You can follow us live on this blog, or on my twitter @kk4lwr or at youtube.com/08milluz.

Below is the intro video from our first day! Check it out!

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February 2018 welcomed a new official LEGO event in the USA: LEGO LIVE. This event celebrated community, creativity, and of course those iconic bricks. I, along with Kyle (aka Builderdude35), Justine, and Jon took charge of developing an interactive LEGO MINDSTORMS Booth. Besides showing off some exclusive MOCs, our both was also home to an epic LEGO MINDSTORMS Sumo Challenge!

Our sumo challenge invited guests to modify the tracker robot that can be built with the LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 set. Once modified, guests could program the bot with the use of colorful blocks. This idea is hardly new, having previously been used other projects, such as NXT P-Sumo with RFID cards, and color blocks with the EV3 Fix-It Factory. This approach provides an easy interface to program a robot while at a show, without the need for lots of laptops or iPads.

After building and programming their bots, our guests were invited to compete against each other in our sumo right. Yours truly spent the majority of the event announcing matches and celebrating these matches, but traded off with Jon and some of our assistants. With thousands of guests per session, we hosted several hundred sumo matches!

While sumo was a huge draw for the booth, we also came with some unique EV3 MOCs. Kyle brought his hallmark grunt while Jon brought his incredible LEGO birds. Justine showcased her EV3-ified Millennium Falcon. I brought Creep3r. Just naming a few. With so many bots, it was a struggle to keep batteries charged and man all the tables! Not bad for this small group.

The booth often had a wait of 20 or 30 minutes to play sumo. Our MOCs provided a great distraction for kids and adults waiting in line. We were able to catch one calm shot before the crowds and it was impressive to see what 4 AFOLs could create in their spare time!

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Even with all the crowds and robots to maintain, we still found time for fun! There were some human-sized minifigs walking around and Justine and I were able to score a selfie with LEGO Lady Liberty!

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It was a great weekend and come Sunday night it was hard to believe it was over. Packing up, we were all sad to leave.

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As cool as LEGO LIVE was, I was disappointed to leave one MOC behind. I haven’t showcased this creation yet, but here’s a sneak peek for those of you who read the whole post! Stay tuned for more!

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