About: Hi to all! I create technological couture; with a background in fashion design combined with engineering, science and interaction design, I create systems around the body that tend towards artificial intellige…

They Move! Create badass mechatronic wings, build using your MindStorms EV3 and assorted Technic elements. For all the fallen angels that need their wings restored - and just, - to create the impossible. Lego-wings! Build, programmed and animated within a few hours. Created in two days with ease of bricks.

Create these witty Mechatronic Wings yourself in 16 steps -

Go through the documentation and build them yourself, or use it as inspiration to build an customised mechanism. All elements in my tutorial are specified by picture and number. If you have any questions, drop a line. Extra instructions can be included based on your feedback.

Happy creating! <3

Step 1: Gather the Elements [BOM Included]

Select all the elements, so you don't have to run around too much,
searching for them. You need at least the following parts for the
WHITE wings [see picture] I sorted them all in an sheet for you.

Attached BOM* [picture] as estimated on used parts


From your EV3 unit you need:

1 piece of EV3 Brick* [serves as the control center and power station for your robot] part # 6009996
1 piece of EV3 Rechargeable Battery Unit [or the 6 AA pack, up to you] part # 6012820
1 piece of EV3 Infrared Sensor part #95654
3 cables - 50 cm / 20 in. part # 6024585 [all cables have modified RJ12 cable connectors]
2 pieces of EV3 Medium Motors part # 6008577
1 piece of EV3 XL Motor part # 6009430

* these parts are specific to the WHITE version of the wings,
for the BLACK version - change the white parts to BLACK parts.

The retail kit you can buy here this are these parts: Look there which parts are missing from my BOM and you can order them at sites as and Ebay.

Step 2: Constructing Base Module + Gears

Always start with the base! [I never do :p] but to be a good instructor,
let's play it the safe way. Collect your parts and follow the pictures!

This part is pretty simple since it's not as 3 dimensional as the wings. The base has 1 motor and 4 gears driving the middle sections to go 'up' [making the structure get an 'fluttering' movement]

This section is how to construct the gearing part.
Here we go:

Step 3: Constructing the Wings - "Motor"

Now we go a level deeper: from 2D to a more 3 dimensional structure (3D)
it's a little bit harder to explain but I'll do my best trying!

1. Create the base part of the wing [in an V-shape for strength]
From here you will later on attach all other parts [see picture #2]

2. The middle part needs the motor and gears, use for each side:

* Medium Motor
* 2x 4 tooth gear #4248204
* beams
* pins (connector peg with ax;e 2 module beide #4666579)
* 2x 3-module universal joint #4525904
for movement

Step 4: Constructing the Wings - "Wing Structure"

When the middle part [motor] is ready,
you can start the sides [wings]

1. Make an flexible connection to the left and also to the right wing shape when connecting to the 'V' shape you created - the flexibility // movement will allow the activated universal joint to move the parts up and down once connected:

2. Connect the motor part in the middle by fusing the beams with an pin.

3. Connect the two flexible side parts through the 3-module universal joint #4525904 together.

4. SPIN it!

Step 5: Connecting the Wings to the Base

When you have the Base (Middle part) including the gears running,
and also both wing parts - you are ready to connect them together.

Follow the pictures for location and positioning.

Step 6: Cover the Motor and Attach Strap-Holders

When the mechanisms works (try it out by pushing in and out and see if everything is stable and the motor or mechanism isn't blocked) cover the motor using Lego beams [see picture] and create strap holders to the back so you can mount elastic band + clips to hold the wings on your back, backpack style. To finish off.

Step 7: Attaching the Sensors and Wiring

I used an EV3 Infrared Sensor part #95654 as people walk up to the wings, the wings start to move*.
The proximity sensor (Port 4) is located in the front. and wires to the back.

*more of this on next page

Next step: wiring! You need to make sure that wires do not disturb the movement and function in any way. Also consider wire lengths for each sensor or motor. My wiring is as followed:

PORT 4 Proximity Sensor

PORT A Medium Motor
PORT D Medium Motor

Step 8: SENSOR #1 - INFRARED [my Use]

The Infrared Sensor is a digital sensor that can detect infrared light reflected from solid objects. It can also detect infrared light signals sent from the Remote Infrared Beacon.

The Infrared Sensor can be used in three different modes: Proximity Mode, Beacon Mode, and Remote Mode.

In Proximity Mode, the Infrared Sensor uses the light waves reflected back from an object to estimate the distance between the sensor and that object. It reports the distance using values between 0 (very close) to 100 (far away), not as a specific number of centimeters or inches. The sensor can detect objects up to 70 cm away, depending on the size and shape of the object.

Choose one of the Remote Infrared Beacon’s four channels from the red Channel Selector. The Infrared Sensor will detect a beacon signal matching the channel that you specify in your program up to a distance of approximately 200 cm in the direction it is facing. The heading will be a value of between -25 and 25, with 0 indicating that the beacon is directly in front of the Infrared Sensor. The proximity will be values between 0 and 100.

This project can use beaconing as soon as both wings are in close distance of each other. NOT specified in the code right now.

Step 9: SENSOR #2 - ULTRASONIC [other Option]

The Ultrasonic Sensor is a digital sensor that can measure the distance to an object in front of it. It does this by sending out high-frequency sound waves and measuring how long it takes the sound to reflect back to the sensor. The sound frequency is too high for you to hear.

Distance to an object can be measured in either inches or centimeters. This allows you to program your robot to stop a certain distance from a wall. When using centimeter units, the detectable distance is between 3 and 250 centimeters (with an accuracy of +/- 1 centimeters). When using inch units, the measurable distance is between 1 and 99 inches (with an accuracy of +/- 0.394 inches). A value of 255 centimeters or 100 inches means the sensor is not able to detect any object in front of it. A steady light around the sensor eyes tells you that the sensor is in Measure Mode. A blinking light tells you that it is in Presence Mode. In Presence Mode, this sensor can detect another Ultrasonic Sensor operating nearby. When listening for presence, the sensor detects sound signals but does not send them.

The Ultrasonic Sensor can help your system track a moving target, detect an intruder nearby, or “ping” with increasing volume or frequency as an object gets closer to the sensor.



The sensors are not super high tech but very good useable in this project, they are able to send new values to the EV3 Intelligent Brick 1,000 times per second. As mentioned - I use INFRARED // the 'Lego MindStorms Ed EV3 Infrared Seeker'*. It has Proximity measurement of approximately 45-70 cm. This is an good range in order to do person detection of the people approaching your system // entering your 'personal bubble'.


Check if nothing is out of module. Since I am stressing the parts
slightly (oops ^^) to make the shapes, be sure that all pins are
correctly pinned in and closed well.

When you are ready you can add some (more) stylistic elements,
I use here a lot of ball joints on the top of the wings to add more drama.

Step 12: Connecting the Brick to Your Computer

Connecting the EV3 Brick to your computer by USB Cable or Wirelessly using either Bluetooth of Wi-Fi.

Using the USB Cable, plug the Mini-USB end into the EV3 Brick's PC port (located next to Port D). Plug the USB end into your computer.

If your computer is not Bluetooth-enabled, you will need a Bluetooth USB dongle for your computer.


While building robots is fun, the heart of robotics is bringing them to life—making them move and accomplish tasks. EV3 Software is an visual and intuitive introduction to programming created to teach kids [and anyone interested in getting into programming] 'how to program'. Setting up takes some time, but from there on it's made easy through drag + drop interfacing with the system.

For the next step you need your computer / laptop with:

Operating systems:
Windows: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8 (excluding Win RT) (32/64 bit) with the latest service packs + Macintosh: Mac 10.6, 10.7, and 10.8 with the latest service packs

System requirements:

* 2 GB of RAM or more
* 1.5 GHz processor or faster
* Minimal supported screen resolution—1024*600


To program with the EV3 there are a few programming languages you can use. EV3's default language is EV3-G. Robotc, leJOS, EV3def are others. But you will use EV3-G.


Once you have confirmed that your computer meets the minimum system requirements, you are ready to install the [free] software. Go to and choose 'downloads' this will take you to another site. Create your LEGO ID. After which you can push the 'Download' button. Close all other programs, then double-click on the installation file in the EV3 Software application folder. Installation will now begin.

* When you open and you get an error message: you might want to install the latest version of Microsoft Silverlight. Visit and follow the directions to install the latest version of Microsoft Silverlight.

Teacher and Student EDITION // During the installation process you will be asked if you want to install the Teacher or Student Edition of the EV3 Software. On Macintosh, Teacher Edition can be selected when choosing Customized installation. In the Teacher Edition you will find additional information and resources that can be useful in a classroom setting and in other teaching situations. You will also have extended Content Editor capabilities to access, create, and manage content used for teaching: for example, by making programs inaccessible to students. It is recommended that all educators install the Teacher Edition.

Every time you open the EV3 Software, you will automatically start out in the Lobby area. The Lobby makes it easy to locate and work with the software and gives you access to everything you need. In the Lobby you will find resources like

open FILE - NEW PROJECT - PROGRAM - NEW PROJECT - OPEN >> and you are in the programming environment.

Step 14: PROGRAMMING SETUP // Start a New Project

When you open a new program or experiment, it will automatically create a project folder file [see picture #1]. All programs, experiments, images, sounds, videos, instructions, and other assets that are used within a project will automatically be stored in this project folder. This makes it easy to store your project and share it with others. Now open the project and you'll see an project properties page [see picture #2].

Step 15: PROGRAMMING SETUP // Programming Environment

When you program a robot you give it abilities— to move, to follow lines, to avoid objects, to make mathematical calculations, and much more. The EV3 Software has an intuitive, graphics-based format that users from 10 to 100 years of age can quickly learn and successfully use.


All the programming blocks that are used for controlling your robot are located in Programming Palettes at the bottom of the Programming environment underneath the Programming Canvas . The Programming blocks are divided into categories according to type and nature, making it easy to find the block you need.

See attached screenshot of blocks.

Step 16: PROGRAMMING the Wings <3

Use attached file EV3WINGS_1.0.ev3 and open in your EV3 program,
you should be able to adjust to your likes. Try it!

The project contains 3 useable programs:

1. Program 'simpleOpen' does simple open + close your wings

2. Program 'Sensor' utilizes the sensor in beacon mode to change the speed and acceleration of the movement of the wings

3. Program 'Control' gives you manual control over the wings using the Brick buttons

* attached is first test video, hope to change this tomorrow with the final programming.

Step 17: WEAR EM!

Totally. Do it. Wear them. Fly away <3 <3 <3

Step 18: Disclaimer

Lego Mindstorms is a series of kits containing software and hardware to create customisable, programmable robots with kids (10+ and up - so also YOU ;)). They include an intelligent brick computer that controls the system, a set of modular sensors and motors, and Lego parts from their Technic line to create the mechanical systems. Lego uses it as an educational tool, learning an younger crowd to construct, program and play. Play safely. A project by Anouk Wipprecht and Lee Magpili to help educate. Private project. LEGO® and LEGO® MINDSTORMS are trademarks of the LEGO Group of companies which does not sponsor or endorse this project.