MindCub3r in Russian - we make a robot that can assemble a Rubik's cube (article updated)

Not so long ago I got a set of LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 (31313) and was surprised to find that in the Russian-speaking segment of the Internet there are quite a few interesting materials and instructions for assembling and setting up robots from this set. I decided that this thing needs to be fixed.

This instruction is a free translation of materials from the official site of the MindCub3r project and is complemented by the experience of self-assembly of this robot, which can assemble a Rubik's cube in less than 2 minutes.

Read more about LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 on this site .

Here's what we should end up with:

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MindCub3r can be built from one set of Lego Mindstorms EV3 (31313, Home Edition).

You will also need assembly instructions and software developed by the authors of the project.

IMPORTANT MESSAGE!!!

Literally the day before yesterday, the author of the project announced in his FB that he had tweaked the software for his robot, and now it works with the “standard” firmware of “brick” 1.06N . This information has also already appeared on the main page of the project , the MindCub3r-v1p1a.zip archive , which contains, among other things, an updated version of the program, is already available for download. Downloading and installing a unit for a color sensor is still necessary.

The further text of the article is corrected taking into account the latest changes on the project website!


We watch or download the assembly instructions for MindCub3r here .
Firmware (at the time of writing of the article EV3-Firmware-V1.06H.bin) for bricks is downloaded from the official LEGO MINDSTORMS website here .
Download the MindCub3r-v1p1a.zip archive with project files (MindCuber-v1p1.ev3, autorun.rtf and mc3solver-v1p1.rtf) download here .
We also need firmware for the color sensor, which we take here . The thing is that the standard settings of this sensor do not correctly detect colors in RGB mode.

After you assemble the robot and download everything you need to your computer, you can proceed with the setup.

If you have not updated the firmware of the “brick” first of all, install the new version of the software for the main Mindstorms EV3 unit:

1. Launch the LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 software;
2. Select Tools - Firmware Update ;

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3. In the dialog that appears, click “View” , find the previously downloaded file EV3-Firmware-V1.06H.bin and click “Open” ;

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4. In the dialog box in the table "Available firmware files" select EV3-Firmware-V1.06H and click "Download" . We are waiting for the download to finish;



5. Reboot the main unit (turn it off and on again).

Next, install the firmware for the color sensor:
1. In the LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 software, open a new empty project;
2. Select Tools -Block Import Wizard ;

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3. In the dialog that appears, click "View" , find the pre-loaded file ColorSensorRGB-v1.00.ev3b and click "Open" ;

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4. In the dialog box in the table "Select blocks to import", select ColorSensorRGB-v1.00.ev3b and click "Import" .

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5. To complete the installation, close the dialog box and exit the LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 software.

Now the most crucial moment is downloading the robot program into the brick:
1. Unpack the previously downloaded archive MindCub3r-v1p1a.zip ;



2. Launch LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 software;
3. Select File - Open the project , look for the MindCub3r-v1p1.ev3 file unpacked from the MindCub3r-v1p1.zip archive and click "Open";

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4. After opening the project, load it into the "brick". Download, but DO NOT LAUNCH !!!

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5. Go to Tools - Memory Browser (Ctrl + I) ;

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6. Select (select) the “MindCub3r-v1p1” project folder in the “Module” or “SD card” tab ;
7. Click "Download" ;

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8. We find the mc3solver-v1p1.rtf file unpacked from the MindCub3r-v1p1a.zip archive and click "Open" ;
9. Once again click “Download” , after making sure that the project folder “MindCub3r-v1p1” is still selected;
10. Find the InstallMC3-v1p1.rbf file , unpacked from the MindCub3r-v1p1a.zip archive and click "Open" ;

Note: the mc3solver-v1p1.rtf file has the text extension .rtf. Please do not try to open this file with a text editor.

11. Close the dialog box, exit the program and restart the module.

The last step is to install the MC3 Solver application on the main module:

1. Turn on the block:



2. Find the project folder MindCub3r-v1p1 in the second tab (in the block memory or on the SD card):



3. Select the InstallMC3-v1p1 file and click on the central button of the module to install:



4. In the third tab, we check the availability of the installed MC3 Solver v1p1 application :


5. Reboot the block.

6. In the third tab of the block, run the application "MC3 Solver v1p1" to start the program mc3solver-v1p1.rtf:



That's it! MindCub3r is ready to use!

7. Run the program in the first or second tab of the block:



After starting the program, the robot will ask you to insert a cube (“Insert cube”) and will start scanning it with a color sensor.
After scanning, the robot will think for a moment and begin assembly.
A successful solution to the problem is marked by a joyful rotation of the cube.

Here, in fact, the process of the robot:


The ideal scenario is described above, but in practice everything is a little worse - the sensor may not correctly detect colors - in total, the robot can conduct 3 (three) scan cycles before it generates an error (Scan error). After that, you need to remove the cube and put it back into the robot. The reason for this may be either a low battery of the module or an “incorrect” cube.
I sometimes went through 3-5 repetitions (3 scan cycles and one removal) before the robot took up the assembly, but the result is definitely worth it.

If you still have questions, ask them in the comments to the article, I will answer them with pleasure.

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