The Unofficial Guide to LEGO MINDSTORMS Robots

Posted By: maxxum
The Unofficial Guide to LEGO MINDSTORMS Robots

The Unofficial Guide to LEGO MINDSTORMS Robots
ISBN: 1565926927
Author: Jonathan Knudsen
Publisher: O'Reilly
Edition: 1 edition (October 1, 1999)
Language: English
Paperback: 256 pages

Using a project-oriented approach, The Unofficial Guide to LEGO(r) MINDSTORMS Robots introduces programming and constructing robots using the popular robotics invention. While presenting four complete and progressively more capable robots, the author cover the usage of sensors, motors, the Infra-red (IR) port, and programming languages. Programming topics are covered well, particularly the languages NQC and pbForth, and installing replacement firmware.
Although the book is stronger at covering the software than the mechanical aspects of robot design, the assembly plans incorporate many useful features that can be used in your own designs, including a directional transmission and a single-motor grabber.
Two projects provide clear demonstrations of using the IR port for communication. One involves creating a remote control and using it to communicate with a robot; the other project creates tag-playing robots to demonstrate inter-robot communication.
The series of step-by-step, robot-building photographs are helpful, but they are in black and white and are without a lot of accompanying text. For the simpler robots this isn't a problem, but for Minerva (which is somewhat complicated and a very good learning example) they are a little difficult to follow.
The last chapter of the book includes an informative discussion on building your own sensors, getting sensor input to the RCX, and configuring sensor inputs from your programs.
A thorough introduction, this book even provides links to many online resources. If you specifically need a detailed, organized tutorial on robot mechanical issues, this book may not suit you. If, however, you are looking for a book that introduces building MINDSTORMS robots with useful examples and covers programming them, replacing their firmware, and introduces building sensors for them, this is a perfect book. –John Keogh
Topics covered: Building robots using the Robotics Invention System, programming the RCX using RCX Code, NQC, pbForth, and C, using sensors and actuators, gears, transmissions and pulleys, obtaining and installing pbForth and legOS replacement firmware, communication with and between robots using the IR port, and making your own sensors.