Sunday, September 22, 2013

Remote Controlled EV3 Lego Excavator 42006

Remote Controlled Excavator

I got the LEGO Excavator a few months ago but the controls on it were way too difficult for my kids to use.  Heck I had a hard time remembering what combination the three switches had to be in to make it open/close the claw or raise/lower the arm.  I found some videos on youtube where people used a lot of power functions gear to make their excavators remote controllable.  The way they did it was cool but I don't own tons of power functions parts so I decided to make mine remote controllable by combining it with my EV3.

The hardest part was figuring out how to control six movements with only four motors. I built a motor multiplexer that uses two motors to control four movements.  This is used to control the claw, arm, rotating the platform,etc.   I used the other two motors to control the tracks.

It is a big hit with my kids :)


Instructions


  • LDD Instructions - I didn't include instructions for the arm/boom since they are the exact same as the standard 42006.  When you build it turn the mux so that it is engaging the gear at the top.
  • EV3 Software - There is a program called RunFirst that you need to run one time when you first build the excavator.  This program creates a text file that is used to remember where the multiplexer is located.  This way if you turn the EV3 off and turn it back on, we know which gear is currently engaged by the mux.


11 comments:

  1. I'm interested in how you modified the EV3 remote control. The remote you have devised appears briefly early on in the video. Thanks, Gerald

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  2. I used the IR remote that comes with the EV3 along with a power functions remote. The EV3 remote is used to control the claw, arm, etc while the power functions remote is used to control the tracks. You could easily do everything with the EV3 remote but I wanted to make it a little easier for my son to use. I put a gear on the switch that controls turning left & right so that it would feel a little like a steering wheel.

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  3. What program opens the *.lxf file? Thanks!

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  4. Hi Paul, you use Lego Digital Designer to open the .lxf file:
    http://ldd.lego.com/en-us/

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  5. Hi,

    I currently have the excavator and EV3 sets, please could you tell me what is additionally required to make your design? I have looked at the LDD file but am not sure what is not part of the 2 sets I have.

    Thank you

    Ollie

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  6. Hi Ollie,
    I don't have an exact list of parts but almost everything I used was from either the EV3 or the excavator set. I know that I did buy another turntable to make the mux:
    http://www.wallofbricks.com/brick.php?id=4624645

    Daniel

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  7. Hi Daniel,

    Thank you for the quick reply and the information.

    Looking at the LDD from what I can see it looks like there are the Power Function motors, is that correct? As I didn't think they were compatible with the EV3?

    Thank you

    Ollie

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  8. You are correct, I did use one medium power functions motor. You can make a cable that will let you connect a PF motor to an EV3 or NXT. Here is the guide I followed on how to make the cable:
    http://www.legomindstormsrobots.com/lego-minstorms/lego-pf-to-nxt-cable/

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  9. I got the LEGO Excavator a few months ago but the controls on it were way too difficult for my kids to use. Heck I had a hard time remembering ... mindstormsev.blogspot.com

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    ReplyDelete