This weeks update : Server side Swift and updates to the site!

So, in terms of coding, the last week has been rather busy, actually in terms of progress, it’s looking good on all front (except Hack24)!

First off, there have been some updates to the website to finally include a basic list of historic Robotics projects.  I had planned to do that last year!  I have also updated the design and content a little, which frankly no one will notice!

Next, I started yet another new project, Burf Search Engine (The Return).  It had been on the cards for a while, however, I have now started coding it.  First in NodeJS, then in Server Side Swift using the Perfect framework.  It went swimmingly well (thanks to Ad) until I had to deploy it to Ubuntu.  There, you start to learn the differences between Apple frameworks and the open source versions of the same framework. Randomly I am expecting the Apple framework to have less //todo and //to implement comments 🙂

The Crypto project didn’t process as far as I hoped this week purely due to my friend (and other coder) being ill, however, momentium has now picked back up.  As your also probably aware Cryptocurrencies took a massive dive this week!

No update on Hack24, it will resume after phase 1 of the Crypto project has been completed and the search engine crawler for is live 🙂

On the side note, really enjoying Altered Carbon on Netflix’s and Thanks to Ford for sending me this epic LEGO set 75885 (Ford Fiesta M-Sport WRC) to review at the weekend.



LEGO Humanoid Diary : Part 1- 3

So, this year my main LEGO Project is a large LEGO Humanoid, one that can see items, point to them, talk and listen.  It will take me a while to build and I am already massively behind on it due to VEX projects.  But here is how I am doing so far

I have already overcome some issues.  The hole in the chest is for a tablet.  The project needs to be complete for July


Book Review : Hacking Your Lego Mindstorms EV3 Kit by John Baichtal


I have known John for a few years now due to him doing a write up on my LEGO Wheelchair for Make, back then he was working on a book that covered using LEGO and Arduino’s together, called Make: Lego and Arduino Projects: Projects for extending MINDSTORMS NXT with open-source electronics.  It’s a fantastic book!

His new book, Hacking Your Lego Mindstorms EV3 is on a similar theme but of course for the EV3, not the NXT.  It also covers making your own parts via 3D Printing and Laser cutting which I found very useful.

The book features nice colourful based instructions to build 5 projects and then how to hack each one (e.g change the EV3 for a Arduino or Pi).  Like the previous book, this book uses products from Wayne and Layne e.g the Bricktronic Shield however also includes hacks / projects using the Raspberry Pi. I would of liked to have seen the introduction to Electronics chapter added to this book which exists in the previous book.  I believe this book is more designed for beginners than the previous book.

If you own a EV3 and want to take it to the next step by using another controller, this book is a very good introduction for you.



Skills Show 2015 : Review

The Skills show is a massive careers show at the NEC, it has over 70,000 + people visiting and boy it’s busy. It covers everything from hairdressing, welding, fitness to joining the army.

The O2 / NSPCC / The Lab had a awesome display and we stayed pretty busy throughout.  The LEGO displays went down like a bomb!

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Got to have a chat with VEX UK and Studica Ltd (who do Tetrix and Fischertechnik).  It was really nice seeing all the different types of robotics platforms for kids to learn on.  

I loved the fact that Forensic Science was next to the butcher area.

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Great event to take the kids to!


Lejos 0.9.1 released!

Back in the day of NXT’s etc, I spent most of my time programming the pBrick in RobotC, being a iOS developer(ObjectiveC), it felt right for me. However Lejos always kept popping up with some awesome features.  Move forward to today and the EV3, for my needs (Mobile connectivity, vision processing) Lejos is the clear winning platform to take your EV3 to the next level.  I find it a lot easier now especially since I do Android development as Lejos is in Java.

Lejos 0.9.1 brings some super exciting features to the table, but don’t take my word for it, please check out Lejos 0.9.1 

2 way communication between Lejos and Android : Work in progress

So, one of the big requirements I need from a programming language for the EV3 is to be able to talk to a mobile device.  With the EV3 being newer, less options seem to be available.

I have started work on some Lejos samples to demo 2 way communication via sockets to an Android device.  The current work in progress can be found on Github 

Watch this space!