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EVB: Replace the Brain and Sensors in your LEGO®  MINDSTORMS EV3 with a BeagleBone Black. 100% LEGO compatible but Much More Powerful.
EVB: Replace the Brain and Sensors in your LEGO® MINDSTORMS EV3 with a BeagleBone Black. 100% LEGO compatible but Much More Powerful.
276 backers pledged $36,738 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

EVB: Replace the brain of your LEGO® EV3 with BeagleBone project video thumbnail
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$36,738

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This is huge, much cheaper, but much stronger. It even boots faster than the original!

What's EVB? Much cheaper, More powerful, More fun!

Thank you for taking time to view our Kickstarter page!

EVB is a shield (or called cape) for Beaglebone Black (BBB). It fully support LEGO® MINDSTORMS® EV3 system, either the hardware and software! EVB is compatible with all LEGO® sensors just like the EV3 Brick, 100% compatible! It allows the EV3 VM to be run on the Beaglebone Black. What powerful is, with extra Sensor Board in EVB system, you can do more! This means you can add more sensors to your LEGO® system.

EVB can be loved by users especially those wanting to expand both platforms even further and their learning/making/hacking/coding journey into the now quickly emerging wonderful world of making!

EVB is easy for beginner and powerful for senior or professional makers!

How Does it Work? How is EVB Possible?

EVB works as same as LEGO® MINDSTORMS® EV3.

BeagleBone Black is a credit-card-sized Linux computer that connects to the Internet and runs software such as Android 4.0 and Ubuntu. With plenty of I/O and processing power for real-time analysis provided by an AM335x 720MHz ARM® processor, BeagleBone can be complemented with cape plug-in boards to augment functionality. Find more.

LEGO® Mindstorms EV3 has ARM9 (TI Sitara AM180x) in it, so upgrading to BeagleBone Black with ARM Cortex-A8 (TI Sitara AM335x) is definitely a step up, plus all the expandability of BBB is a big plus!

EV3 is based on the famous GNU/Linux operating system, the main chip used is TI AM1808, the most important, it is also open of all software and hardware (Thank LEGO® providing such a good learning materials for the majority of fans, Andy almost found 80% of the original information on EV3 on official blog). More, Beaglebong Black is based on TI AM335X series chip development board. So it is possible!

LEGO® MINDSTORMS EV3 source code on GitHub.

EVB is more powerful!

Features of EVB and Technical Specs

Here you can see the comparison.

In this table, you can see how powerful EVB is. With BBB, you can do what LEGO® EV3 do. 

EVB Sensors (All can be used by EV3, too)

Usage

We will provide blocks for LEGO® software. So you can use it as original sensors. For more video demo shows, please check the UPDATE later.

ADC Module:

It can detect 2 channels of voltage from 0 to 3300mV. With this module, you can use all the Arduino analog sensors on the EVB or EV3. Accuracy: 10bit(3.2mV).

Gesture Sensor (APDS9660):

Gesture & Color & Proximity Sensor: First, it can detect 6 kinds of gestures by your hand(UP, DOWN, LEFT, RIGHT, NEAR, FAR). Second, it can measure the RGB color value. Third, it can be used as a proximity sensor.

Light Sensor (BH1750FVI):

It can measure the light intensity in the standard unit lux. Range: 0-65535 lux.

Pressure/Altitude Sensor(BMP180):

Pressure/Altitude Sensor: It can measure the air pressure or the altitude data. Range: 300-1100hPa. Relative accuracy: ±0.12hPa(±1.0m).

IR Receiver:

 IR Receiver: It contains a 21 buttons remote controller with this sensor.

9DOF Sensor(MPU9250):

Tri-Axis angular rate, Tri-Axis accelerometer, Tri-axis compass.

Temperature&Humidity Sensor(SHT20):

High precision Temperature & Humidity measurement. Temperature Accuracy: ±0.3deg. Humidity Accuracy: ±3.0%RH.

How things going so far?

This video shows our recent work on EVB. It can fully support LEGO® parts now.

This video shows EVB is driving LEGO® robot to solve Rubic's Cube. Note that there is no EV3 included. The building program we used is come from mindcuber.com. We use the drawings and EV3 program, we did not undergone any modifications and it works directly. It runs perfectly on the EVB now.

Timeline

  • 12/2013 The idea started;
  • 01-06/2014 We finished transplanting underlying driver and carrying out sub module development verification;
  • 07/2014 We started to design PCB and hardware testing;
  • 10/2014 We continued the development of a series of intelligent sensors (available on EV3);
  • 11-12/2014 We continued to test and develop new sensors, arrange small series production;
  • 01/2015 If successful it will raise public test panels shipped to the backers, the LOVERS AND TESTING EDITION;
  • 02-04/2015 According to the feedback and test results, we will start mass production run. It is expected to begin before the end of April official shipping.

Why we need Your Support?

Rewards

Thank you

The goal of our first Kickstarter is to raise enough fund to  design into production, which will give our platform more functions. By pledging to this project you are helping us provide a full range of solutions, to make more ideas around the world come into reality. We will also use the funds to create more sensors to help all the fans playing with LEGO® and Beaglebone.

For "Expert" Hakers

BBB is powerful. In EVB application, we put the simple way to help users using easily. But if you are expert, you can do much more fun and cool things based on our work. You can even compile your C program through the Telnet/SSH connection to handle the sensors and motors:

Or want to try Python? I don't have a try, but just apt-get install it : )

You can use your OpenWrt wireless router to make internet robot, smart car and so on. It is only depond on your imagination.

Our Story and Team

At middle of 2013 Andy bought one Beaglebone Black (BBB), an open-source development board. After a period of time he was playing more the underlying operating system, drivers, has generated strong interest but unfortunately there were no suitable level of projects he had practiced hand.

LEGO® released their third generation robotic systems MINDSTORMS EV3 at the same time. Andy has the first generation of LEGO® RCX robots kit, he knows LEGO® and love it. So he feel happy to read the materials EV3. What is really excited is that he found EV3 is based on the famous GNU / Linux operating system, the main chip used is TI AM1808, the most important it is also open of all software and hardware (Thank LEGO® providing such a good learning materials for the majority of fans, Andy almost found 80% of the original information on EV3 on official blog). More, Beaglebong Black is based on TI AM335X series chip development board, to put it simply, it is an upgraded version of AM1808 replacement, but Beaglebone Black is a piece of open source development board, makers can find detailed information about hardware and software on their official website and TI official online .

Andy got an idea: Since processors of LEGO® MINDSTORMS EV3 and Beaglebone Black are from one same serial, LEGO® is also based on the GPL released all of the source code, then it must be possible to put LEGO®'s entire system ported to BBB up, even more it will be powerful than EV3. After research, Andy started FATCATLAB…

Fatcat (肥肠) is a supercat. He is in charge of keeping cute and overseeing our work. Andy is a robotics enthusiasts and designer of hardware and software for embedded systems. Fu is good at design cuirts. He works for EVB hardware design. Tully Genhan is as a Marketing Advisor and open-source hardware engineer.

Acknowledgement

We would like to express our gratitude to all those who gave us the possiblity to implement this project:

Steve Chang: From Maker Studio, he provides many very nice modules to the world. Like the Facebook Page.

Xander Soldaat: On his Website, he provides information about the hardware and software aspects of EV3 most detailed information (including source code EV3), without his information, the project can not succeed.

Lauro Ojeda: On his Website, he provides a direct operation through C language for LEGO® motors, sensors information for project commissioning, it helps us saving a lot of time.

David Gilday: On his Website,he shows solution of solving Rubic's Cube program.

Jason Kridner: One official person who is responsible for BeagleBone Black, without such a good open source project, it will not have the cape of the project.

Roboter Soong, etc.

Risks and challenges

There are always some risks and challenges for any hardware project in manufacturing. We have a lot of experience in hardware manufacturing, however. The EVB is fully tested and is ready for the batch manufacturing. We hope everything will go smoothly and we will work hard to have the rewards to be shipped in time.

But it does mean everything will be perfectly 100% ensured. While EVB has undergone several test version, but we are still worried about a small bug in it, so it will take time testing it before the official mass production of fully verified, which it may cause delays.

Disclaimer
LEGO®is a trademark of the LEGO Group of companies which does not sponsor, authorize or endorse this site.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    THANK YOU AND OPPORTUNITY: We thank you for your support! You will also get one opportunity that take part in our thankful reward. We will randomly select one backer when we receive every $68 and send you one EVB. Just one dollar!

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    Pledge $24 or more About $24

    SENSOR EDITION: Each sensor costs $24. If you want 2 sensors, then $48 needed. If 3 sensors, then $72 and so on. Each sensor will contain a 35cm wire and two hand screws.

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    Pledge $59 or more About $59

    EARLY BIRD EDITION: You will get one EVB Kit (including Main Board, LCD, Battery Packs, 2x35cm wire, 2x45cm wire, Acrylic case). (Beaglebone Black not included)

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    Reward no longer available 100 backers
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    Pledge $68 or more About $68

    EVB KIT EDITION: You will get one EVB Kit (including Main Board, LCD, Battery Packs, 2x35cm wire, 2x45cm wire, Acrylic case). (Beaglebone Black not included)

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $128 or more About $128

    ALL SENSORS EARLY BIRD EDITION: You can get 7 sensors covered all kinds of sensors. Or you can choose 7 sensors by yourself. Each sensor will contain a 35cm wire and two hand screws.

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    Pledge $148 or more About $148

    ALL SENSORS EDITION: You can get 7 sensors covered all kinds of sensors. Or you can choose 7 sensors by yourself. Each sensor will contain a 35cm wire and two hand screws.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $208 or more About $208

    EVB KIT AND ALL SENSORS EDITION: You will get one EVB Kit (including Main Board, LCD, Battery Packs, 2x35cm wire, 2x45cm wire, Acrylic case) and all sensors(or you can choose 7 sensors by yourself). (Beaglebone Black not included)

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    Pledge $288 or more About $288

    EVB BEST BUY KIT EDITION: You will get one BeagleBone Black, one EVB Kit, 7 sensors(you can choose what you want) and an 8G high speed microSD card. We recommend those guys who don't have a BeagleBone Black to choose this kit!

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    Pledge $308 or more About $308

    LOVERS AND TESTING EDITION: You will get one beta version EVB Kit and all beta sensors when we reach the goal. You could test EVB, and share the feedback with us. After large production run, you will get one official version EVB and all sensors. (Beaglebone Black not included) Optional: If you want a BBB, please add extra $69. Then we will send you an offical BBB.

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    Reward no longer available 15 backers
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,600 or more About $2,600

    SUPER PROJECT AND TEACHER EDITION: If you are big fan and have super idea to make great project. You may need lots boards. In this reward, you will get 10 EVB KIT AND ALL SENSORS EDITION. Specially, we will give our best technical support for you. (10 Beaglebone Black included)

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Funding period

- (42 days)