Thursday, June 24, 2010

Book Review: The LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0 Discovery Book...

The NXT Mindstorms 2.0 kit has some cool building elements and building instructions for the somewhat experienced builder; all that is needed is a REAL manual for those who are new to NXT robotics. Well, here is the missing manual; The LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0 Discovery Book: a beginner’s guide to building and programming robots!
by Laurens Valk, published by No Starch Press.

On the inside front cover is a very nice new Quick Build Reference Chart (in color) with a differential chart between friction and non-friction pins and axles, as well as, a gray tone equivalents as pictured in the book. On the back inside cover is the kit’s parts list.

The book is divided into 4 parts: Getting Started – which covers what’s in the kit, building and programming a simple robot; Building and Programming Robots with Sensors; Creating Advanced Programs; and Advanced Robot Projects (my favorite is the Snatcher – with a few PSP-Nx adaptations it could become my personal butler). Lot of diagrams and pictures in this book make it easy to use. The author makes reference to the new Sound and Display tools, referring the reader to LEGO Mindstorms User Guide; it would have been nice though he had included his own interpretation of using these tools, I’m sure it would have been better than what is in the user guide.

There is also a nice companion website to the book:
So whether you are a novice or an experienced NXTer, you will find this book a wonderful resource guide to the LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0 kit with some rather interesting new robot building ideas.

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