Home > Store

Build and Program Your Own LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Robots

Register your product to gain access to bonus material or receive a coupon.

Build and Program Your Own LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Robots

eBook (Watermarked)

  • Your Price: $19.19
  • List Price: $23.99
  • Includes EPUB, MOBI, and PDF
  • About eBook Formats
  • This eBook includes the following formats, accessible from your Account page after purchase:

    ePub EPUB The open industry format known for its reflowable content and usability on supported mobile devices.

    MOBI MOBI The eBook format compatible with the Amazon Kindle and Amazon Kindle applications.

    Adobe Reader PDF The popular standard, used most often with the free Adobe® Reader® software.

    This eBook requires no passwords or activation to read. We customize your eBook by discreetly watermarking it with your name, making it uniquely yours.


  • Copyright 2015
  • Dimensions: 7" x 9-1/8"
  • Edition: 1st
  • eBook (Watermarked)
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-351824-8
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-351824-5

Build and Program Your Own LEGO®  MINDSTORMS® EV3  Robots

Absolutely no experience needed! Build and program amazing robots with the new LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3!

With LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3, you can do modern robotics without complex wiring or soldering! This step-by-step, full-color tutorial teaches all you need to know, including basic programming skills most introductory guides skip. Even better—it’s packed with hands-on projects!

Start by “unboxing” your new EV3 kit and getting to know every component: motors, sensors, connections, remotes, and the EV3’s more powerful, easier-to-program “brick.”

Then walk through building your first “bots”…creating more sophisticated robots with wheels and motors…engineering for strength and balance…“driving” your robot…building robots that recognize colors and do card tricks…and more!

LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 robotics is the perfect pathway into science and technology… and this book is the easiest way to get started, even if you have absolutely no robotics or programming experience!

  • Explore your new EV3 kit: both the retail “Home”  and LEGO “Education” versions
  • Get foolproof help with building the Track3r and other standard robots
  • Build cars and tanks, and hack them to do even more
  • Write programs that enable your robots to make their own decisions
  • Improve your programs with feedback
  • Handle more sophisticated engineering and programming tasks
  • Troubleshoot problems that keep your robot from moving
  • Get involved with the worldwide MINDSTORMS® robotics community

Marziah Karch is Senior Instructional Designer at NWEA, a Google Expert at About.com, and Senior Web Editor at GeekMom. She has more than a decade of experience in instructional technology and was senior educational technologist for Johnson County Community College, where she also taught interactive media development. She holds a master’s degree in Instructional Design and Technology, and is pursuing a doctorate in Library and Information Science. Her hands-on technology experience ranges from 3D animation to multimedia learning, content management to music video creation. She has extensively explored the educational potential of LEGO robotics. She is the author of Android Tablets Made Simple.

This book is not authorized or endorsed by the LEGO® Group.

Sample Content

Table of Contents


Chapter 1 What’s In the Box? 1


The LEGO Family Tree 6


    LEGO System Bricks 6

    LEGO Technic 6

Core LEGO Units 7

    Beams 8

    Angled Beams 10

    Beam Frames 12

    Pegs 12

    Axles 15

    Bushings 16

    Axle Connectors 17

    Ball Joints 19

    Gears 20

Parts with Flair 26

    Wings 26

    Spikes 27

    Other Decorative Parts 28

The Brains and Brawn 30

    EV3 Intelligent Brick 30

    Servos 34

    Sensors 35

    Cables 37

Summary 40


Chapter 2 What’s In the LEGO Education Box? 41

Storage Box 41

Color Scheme 44

Ball Caster 45

Tank Tracks 46

Rechargeable Battery Pack 47

Sensors 48

    Touch Sensors 48

    Gyro Sensor 49

    Sonic Sensor 50

Gears 50

The Expansion Set 53

    Extra Wheels 53

    Extra Beam Frame Elements 54

    Gears and Joints 59

    Tank Cleats 65

    Wings and Other Decorative Pieces 66

Summary 70

Chapter 3 Comparing the EV3 and NXT 71

The NXT Versus the NXT 2.0 Versus the EV3 71

The Brick 73

    Sensor and Motor Connections 74

    The Sides 76

    Programming 77

Advanced and Alternative Programming Environments 78

Part Compatibility 80

    Sensors 80

    Motors 80

    Batteries 80

Summary 81

Chapter 4 Building Your First Bots 83

Downloading Instructions 83

The EV3 Starter Robots 84

    Track3r 85

    R3ptar 91

    Spik3r 93

    Ev3rstorm 97

    Gripp3r 102

    Bonus Bots 106

Summary 107

Chapter 5 Building the LEGO Education Bots 109

Educator Vehicle 109

Gyro Boy 111

Color Sorter 114

Puppy 115

Arm 116

Expansion Models 116

    The Elephant 117

    Tank Bot 118

    Znap 119

    Remote Control 119

    The Stair Climber 120

    Color Spinner Factory 121 

Summary 123

Chapter 6 Hacking What You Have 125

Project 1: The Car 125

    Testing 131

    Troubleshooting the Flaws 132

Project 2: Hack Your Tank 133

Project 3: Modify the Educator Bot 137

    Modify the Design 139

    Substitute for the Caster Ball 141

Summary 147

Chapter 7 Make Your First EV3 Program 149

About the LEGO Education Software 149

Getting Started 150

    Navigating from the Lobby 150

    Creating a New Project 152

Getting to Know the Programming Canvas 153

    Program List 155

    Select or Pan Button 155

    Comment 156

    Save, Undo, or Redo 156

    Zoom 156

    The Content Editor 156

    The Programming Canvas, Blocks, and the Palette 158

    The Connection Area 159

Writing Your First Program 159

    Flowcharting 160

    Dragging Blocks Onto the Programming Canvas 161

    Changing Modes 162

    Checking Your Ports 164

    Making the Bot Move 165

        Moving the Wheels 166

        Controlling Bot Direction 167

        Adjusting Motor Power and Speed 168

        Adjusting Rotation Count 168

    Connecting Your EV3 to Your Computer 169

    Making Decisions and Using Loops 172

    Saving Your Changes 178

Alternative Programs 179

Summary 179

Chapter 8 More MINDSTORMS Programming: The Line-Following Robot 181

What Is a Program? 181

Project: The Line-Following Robot 183

Getting Started 184

    Making Your Own Test Track 185

    Thinking About the Instructions 187

    Finding Direction 188

    Calibrating the Sensor 189

Creating the Program 194

    Creating New Variables 194

    Calculating with Variables 200

    Improving the Program with Feedback 202

    Troubleshooting Your Program 206

    Adding a Countdown 209

    Using a Loop to Make the Robot Follow the Line 211

    Adding Switches for Steering 213

Creating Custom Blocks 216

Documenting Your Work 219

Summary 219

Chapter 9 Engineering the Floor-Cleaning Robot 221

Programming a Collision-Avoiding Robot 221

    Activating the Touch Sensor 223

    Adding Collision Avoidance 224

    Testing Your Bot 227

    Navigating Corners 228

    Adding a Bit of Randomness 229

    Using the Education Edition’s Ultrasonic Sensor 232

Controlling Your Bot with the Infrared Remote 235

    Programming the Remote 236

    Creating Multi-threaded Programs 241

Adding the Floor-Cleaning Functions 245

    Building the Mophead Assembly 246

    Adjusting the Sensor Assembly 250

    Building the Floor Cleaning Program 253

Summary 256

Chapter 10 The Color Magic Card Trick 257

Brainstorming and Building the Bot 258

    Building the Platform 261

    Raising the Platform 265

    Building the Wheel Assembly 267

    Checking the Assembly 269

    Placing the Intelligent Brick 270

    Controlling the Cards 272

Calibrating the Color Sensor 280

Creating the Program 282

    Detecting the Color 284

    Playing the Sound 287

    Adding the Motor Block 288

Summary 289

Chapter 11 Daisy-Chaining Projects 291

The Daisy-Chain Test 291

    Numbering Your Bricks 292

    Programming the Test 295

Building a Daisy-Chained Robot Car 297

    Assembling the Wheels 297

    Programming the Bot 307

    Adding a Remote Control 309

    Adding Collision Avoidance 317

Messaging Between Robots 320

Adding “Magic” to the Card Trick 321

    Configuring the Sending Program 321

    Configuring the Receiving Program 323

    Running the “Magic” 325

Summary 325

Chapter 12 Extending Play 327

Installing leJOS 327

    Preparing Your Desktop 328

    Loading the SD Card 330

    Working in LeJOS 333

Community-Created Models 334

    DINOR3X 335


    EV3D4 337

    EV3MEG 338

    MR B3AM 339

    KRAZ3 340

    RAC3R 341

    EV3GAME 342

    WACK3M 344


    Finding More Communities 345

Scoring Extra LEGO Parts 346

    Tetrix 346

    K’nex 346

    Erector Sets 346

    3D Printers 346

Robotics Competitions 347

    First Robotics LEGO League 347

    World Robot Olympiad 347

    4-H 347

Decorating Your EV3 348

Summary 348

Appendix: Glossary 349

Index 363


Submit Errata

More Information

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020