Torben Hoffmann

Torben Hoffmann

Building Lego Robots with Elixir

Robots are fun. Programming is fun. Programming Lego robots with the visual environment… well, not so fun. This is the starting point for putting Elixir on the Lego Mindstorms EV3. It ought to be fun to do, but my son and I got lost in the visual environment when trying to do advanced things. After having created a simple EV3 library in Elixir, the fun started coming back. This talk is about how the EV3 Elixir library works and how to use it to make robot control software that is easy to write and understand. Among the key building blocks of Elixir are processes, and we will have a look at how to design things using lots of processes and how that makes things easier to work with. We start from conceptual architecture and end with elegant Elixir programs.

Talk objectives:

- Show how using lots of processes with asynchronous message passing create super solutions in Elixir.

- Inspire people to hack Elixir on Lego Mindstorms EV33

Target audience:

- Programmers curious about how to apply Elixir’s processes in a good way



Torben Hoffman has been working with Erlang since 2006. Currently as an architect for Basho, previously as CTO of Erlang Solutions and before that as technical architect and developer for Motorola and Issuu. By day he is an Erlang priest, by night an Elixir alchemist and a Lego Mindstorms hacker. He is devoted to protocols as the way of describing and developing non-trivial software. He has worked extensively with process improvement and people management at Motorola before going back to his engineering roots.

Github: LeHoff

Twitter: @LeHoff