Friday, October 8, 2010

Book Review: The Art of NXT-G Programming...

There is a new NXT-G programming book, The Art of LEGO Mindstorms NXT-G Programming by Terry Griffin from No Strach Press, available for LEGO® NXT Mindstorms® robotics fans young (about ages 11+) and old, instructors of NXT robotics, and FLL (FIRST LEGO League) and FTC coaches (using NXT-G programming).

The book starts off with an excellent brief overview of the LEGO® NXT Mindstorms® kit and NXT-G software. Then the book goes into an in-depth coverage of the software. There are nice graphic instructions for building a rather simple “test” robot to practice
programming with. The instructions are given for both the Educational and Consumer/Home versions of the Mindstorns NXT kit. The Move block & Motor block are covered in one chapter and in another chapter an overview of the sensors and the programming them are explained. The rest of the book covers data wires, program flow, a couple of useful programs, my blocks, and datalogging for ding (educational NXT kit) experiments; everything you need to know to become a proficient NXT-G programmer.

The book is written in fairly easy to understand language, there are examples, and lots of pictures of the programming. The instructions for writing a particular program are clear and concise. What I like
is how the author has drawn circles on the programming pictures to highlight the item of discussion. The book’s discussion covers the LEGO® NXT Mindstorms® Educational and Consumer /Home kits and the NXT-G 1.0 and 2.0 software versions, if information is specific for particular version, it is noted with a little icon.

Whether you are a neophyte or intermediate programmer The Art of LEGO® Mindstorms® NXT-G Programming is definitely a good teaching book to have in your library.

Book Reviews *

Saturday, October 2, 2010

LEGO & the ESA Rosetta Project…

If you think building with LEGO® elements and building “toy” robots with LEGO® Mindstorms® NXT kits is just child’s play, think again!

Check out how LEGO® is being used by the European Space Agency’s Rosetta Project.

Truly amazing!

By the way, it seems FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) robotics is not only encouraging youngsters to think about similar careers in science & technology, but is actually preparing them for those careers with cutting edge technology.

When Godtfred Kirk Christiansen developed the first LEGO® brick in 1949, he probably had no idea where it would lead…