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Basic Robot Building With LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0

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Basic Robot Building With LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0

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  • Copyright 2013
  • Dimensions: 7" x 9-1/8"
  • Edition: 1st
  • eBook (Watermarked)
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-311183-0
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-311183-5

Basic Robot Building with LEGO® Mindstorms® NXT 2.0


Learn LEGO® Mindstorms® NXT 2.0 from the ground up, hands-on, in full color!

Ever wanted to build a robot? Now’s the time, LEGO® Mindstorms® NXT 2.0 is the technology, and this is the book. You can do this, even if you’ve never built or programmed anything!

Don’t worry about where to begin: start right here. John Baichtal explains everything you need to know, one ridiculously simple step at a time… and shows you every key step with stunningly clear full-color photos! You won’t just learn concepts–you’ll put them to work in three start-to-finish projects, including three remarkable bots you can build right this minute, with zero knowledge of programming or robotics. It’s going to be simple–and it’s going to be fun. All you need is in the
box–and in this book!

  • Unbox your LEGO® Mindstorms® NXT 2.0 set, and discover exactly what you’ve got
  • Build a Backscratching Bot immediately
  • Connect the NXT Intelligent Brick to your computer (Windows or Mac)
  • Navigate the Brick’s menus and upload programs
  • Start writing simple new programs–painlessly
  • Build the Clothesline Cruiser, a robot that travels via rope
  • Program your robot’s movements
  • Learn to create stronger, tougher models
  • Help your robot sense everything from distance and movement to sound and color
  • Build a miniature tank-treaded robot that knows how to rebound
  • Write smarter programs by creating your own programming blocks
  • Discover what to learn next, and which additional parts you might want to buy

JOHN BAICHTAL is a contributor to MAKE magazine and Wired’s GeekDad blog. He is the co-author of The Cult of Lego (No Starch) and author of Hack This: 24 Incredible Hackerspace Projects from the DIY Movement (Que). Most recently he wrote Make: Lego and Arduino Projects for MAKE, collaborating with Adam Wolf and Matthew Beckler. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with his wife and three children.

Sample Content

Table of Contents

Conventions Used in This Book 4

    Special Elements 4

Chapter 1 Unboxing the LEGO Mindstorms NXT Set 7

The Box 7

    Under the Flap 8

    Opening the Box 9

The Contents 9

    Reading Material 10

    Connector Pegs 11

    3M Connector Pegs 12

    Connector Pegs with Bushing 13

    Connector Pegs with Cross-Axle Ends 14

    2M Axle Peg 14

    Connector Peg with Towball 15

    1/2 Connector Pegs 16

    Bushings 16

    Cross Axles 17

    Cross Axles with End Stops 18

    Wheels and Treads 19

    Gears 20

    Teeth 21

    Balls 21

    Beams With Pegs 22

    Beams 23

    Angle Beams 24

    Car Parts 25

    Steering Links 26

    Angle Elements 26

    Cross-Axle Connectors 27

    Cross Blocks 27

    More Miscellaneous Parts 28

    Peg Joiner 29

    Motors, Wires, and Sensors 31

    USB Cable 34

    Mindstorms Wires 35

    The NXT Brick 35

Next Chapter 36

Chapter 2 Project: Backscratcher Bot 37

Adding Batteries to the NXT Brick 38

Parts You Need 40

Step-by-Step Assembly Instructions 42

Programming the Backscratcher Bot 49

Running the Backscratcher Bot 56

Next Chapter 56

Chapter 3 Anatomy of the NXT Brick 57

The Brick 58

    Buttons 59

    Ports 59

    Connector Holes 61

    Reset Button 62

Menus 63

    My Files 63

    NXT Program 66

    Try Me 67

    The View Menu 68

    NXT Datalog 70

    Settings 70

    Bluetooth 73

Powering Your NXT 77

Resetting a Crash 78

Updating NXT Firmware 78

The Next Chapter 79

Chapter 4 Introduction to Programming 81

System Requirements 82

Installing the Software 83

    Installing on a PC 83

    Installing on a Mac 84

NXT-G 101 85

    The Programming Block 85

    Commonplace Blocks 87

Programming the Backscratcher Bot 92

    Create the Program 92

    Connect to the NXT Brick 93

    Download the Program 94

The Next Chapter 94

Chapter 5 Project: Clothesline Cruiser 95

Parts You Need 96

Step-by-Step Instructions 97

Programming the Clothesline Cruiser 119

Setting Up the Clothesline 120

What to Do With Your Cruiser? 121

The Next Chapter 122

Chapter 6 Building Stronger Models 123

Use Multiple Pegs 123

Connect Each Part to as Many Others as Possible 123

Reinforce Corners with Angle Beams 124

Use Combination Parts and Cross Blocks 124

Attach Cross Axles 125

Combine Technic and System Bricks 126

Use Chassis Bricks 128

The Next Chapter 129

Chapter 7 Know Your Sensors 131

Mindstorms Sensors 131

    Touch Sensors 132

    Ultrasonic Sensors 133

    Color Sensors 133

    Sound Sensor 134

    Motor 135

Calibrating Sensors 136

Third-Party Sensors 137

    Compass Sensor 138

    Passive Infrared (PIR) Sensor 138

    Wi-Fi Sensor 138

    Magnetic Sensor 139

    Flex Sensor 139

    Voltage Sensor 140

    Barometric Sensor 140

    Inertial Motion Sensor 140

The Next Chapter 141

Chapter 8 Advanced Programming 143

Data Wires 144

    Green Wires 144

    Yellow Wires 145

    Orange Wires 145

    Gray Wires 146

Connecting Wires 147

Additional Blocks 148

    Variable Block 148

    Constant Block 149

    Random Block 150

    Keep Alive Block 150

    Light Sensor Block 151

    Rotation Sensor Block 151

    Display Block 152

    Bluetooth Block 152

    Logic Block 153

Creating Your Own Blocks 154

The Next Chapter 156

Chapter 9 Project: Rebounder 157

Parts You Need 158

Step-by-Step Instructions 159

A Note About Tank Treads 175

Programming the Rebounder 176

The Next Chapter 180

Chapter 10 Expanding on Mindstorms 181

Read Blogs 181

    The NXT STEP 181

    Mindstorms 182

Design Virtual Models 183

Attend Gatherings 184

    LUGs 185

    Conventions 185

FIRST LEGO League 186

Read BrickJournal 188

Expand Your Collection 188

    Bricklink 189

    Pick a Brick 189

    LEGO Education 189

Third-Party Brick Makers 190

    Omni Wheels 190

    Bricktronics 190

    Tetrix 191

Print Your Own 192

Glossary 195

Index 201


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