Software apps and online services
After assembling the robot, you should be able to program it using the BluPants Studio. Watch the video and check out how learning to code can be fun and easy.
The video shows lessons 5 and 6 from BluPants coding class. Find more lessons here. Other than the drag and drop coding blocks shown, it also natively supports Python. For more information about BluPants visit www.blupants.com or watch our Intro to BluPants video.
Let's see how you can get your Lego Ev3 robot to work with BluPants.Building your robot
By default, BluPants works with the Gripp3r robot. The instructions to assemble it can be found here. You do not have to necessarily build the exact same Gripp3r robot we have. As long as you have the motors connected the same way we use on our robot, BluPants will work seamlessly on yours too.
The BluPants default setup is the following:
- Claw motor connects to port A
- Left wheel motor connects to port B
- Right wheel motor connects to port C
- Range sensor connected to port 4
The range sensor should be connected to port 4.
Once you have your robot assembled, it is time to flash a micro SD card with the BluPants image.Booting your robot with the BluPants image
You may refer to the official ev3dev page, or to this video for instructions on how to flash an SD card using Balena Etcher. Regardless the documentation you use, just make sure you flash the correct BluPants image file to your SD card.
Find the Memory Expansion port (SD Card reader) in the left side of your Ev3 brick.
After flashing the SD card, turn off your Ev3 brick, and insert the card as shown bellow:
Find the USB port for the WiFi and connect your USB WiFi dongle directly. Alternatively, connect the USB Hub, if you are also using a USB camera. On the pictures bellow we connect the WiFi dongle and the camera using the USB Hub.
Power on your robot and wait for it to boot.
Once it boots, if it is the first time you use the BluPants image, you will need to connect your robot to the WiFi network.Connecting your robot to WiFi
Using the navigation buttons go to "Wireless and Networks -> WiFi". Make sure the "Powered" option is enabled, then click "Start Scan".
Wait for a few seconds and you will see a list of WiFi networks found under the "Networks" list. In video below, it connects to a WiFi network identified (SSID) as "BluPants". You will need to find your own WiFi SSID and click the center button to select it.
Click "Connect", and in the case your network is protected with a password, you will need to provide it. Type your password, then click "OK" and "Accept".
You should see a message "Status: Associating" for a couple of seconds. If you provided the right password and everything goes well, you should see the message "Status: Online", and your WiFi IP address will show up on the top left corner of your Ev3 display.
Watch the video with all the steps described so far.
The robot IP address in the video is "10.0.0.237". Yours will very likely to be different. Once you see your IP address, you confirm your robot is connected and ready for you to start coding with BluPants.Coding time!
Once you have your robot connected to the WiFi, open a browser and visit http://blupants.org. Make sure the computer you are using to browse is also connected to the same WiFi network you connected your Ev3.
On the "Robot" drop-down menu (bottom right), make sure you see your Ev3 IP address and click "Play". If you do not see anything on the list, try reloading the page and/or closing and reopening the browser. The robot IP is only shown after the page loads completely:
And that's it! You are ready to enhance your coding skills with BluPants.
Keep in mind that BluPants is a multi-platform coding environment. It means, that the same learning experience you can enjoy with your Lego Ev3, can also be done with more affordable robots, such as Beaglebones and RaspberryPies.References
The BluPants image for the Lego Ev3 is based on the open source project ev3dev. We would like to thank the ev3dev community for the amazing work. If you want learn more about ev3dev, please visit: www.ev3dev.org.