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Creating Cool MINDSTORMS NXT Robots (Technology in Action) Paperback – February 11, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-1590599662 ISBN-10: 1590599667 Edition: 1st Corrected ed. 2008. Corr. 4th printing 2008

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Creating Cool MINDSTORMS NXT Robots (Technology in Action) + The LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT 2.0 Discovery Book: A Beginner's Guide to Building and Programming Robots + LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0 (8547)
Price for all three: $664.16

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Product Details

  • Series: Technology in Action
  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 1st Corrected ed. 2008. Corr. 4th printing 2008 edition (February 11, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590599667
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590599662
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #498,416 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

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More About the Author

Daniele Benedettelli lives and works in beautiful Tuscany, Italy. While he was attending high school, his main passion was writing music and playing the piano. When he wasn't playing the piano, you could find him playing with LEGO.

In 2002, Danny scraped together enough money to purchase the LEGO MINDSTORMS Robotics Invention System. From that moment on, he began to think about building a career out of his love for LEGO!

In 2006, he was selected by The LEGO Company as a member of the MINDSTORMS Developer Program, and in 2007 he became a MINDSTORMS Community Partner (MCP). His EL3CTRIC GUITAR model is one of LEGO's twelve official bonus models that you can build with the LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Retail set 31313.

Danny's other well-known robots include the Rubik's Cube solver, which can independently solve any 3x3 Rubik's cube in less than a minute; LEGONARDO, a humanoid robot which can draw anything; and Cyclops, a mecha that can walk, talk, gesticulate, and can be even controlled with a suit worn by its human operator.

He is the author of several books: The LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Laboratory (No Starch Press), LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT Thinking Robots (No Starch Press), and Creating Cool MINDSTORMS NXT Robots (Apress). Danny holds an MSc degree in Robotics and Automation from the University of Siena.

Danny is currently working as a free-lance LEGO designer and as high school teacher. In his spare time, he enjoys composing songs and music for spots and short films.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Well laid out book, easy to read.
Mark Kelly
All the same, I'm glad to see that the author included the robot because a number of readers will want tackle this enormous project.
David J. Perdue
Hi, One of the better books at this moment for the Lego Mindstorms NXT robotic set.
Bad_Wolf

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By David J. Perdue on June 12, 2008
Format: Paperback
If you're searching for some exciting NXT projects and ideas--or would simply like to build JohnNXT, a replica of the famous Johnny 5 robot--you will enjoy Daniele Benedettelli's book Creating Cool MINDSTORMS NXT Robots. The book presents helpful ideas that you can use in your own inventions and carefully integrates them in a variety of robots with detailed building instructions. In fact, these very features are why I've given the book five stars: challenging robot projects, excellent discussions of useful concepts and ideas, and exceptional building instructions.

Most of the robots seem intended for more advanced users looking for a challenge; in other words, these are generally more complex robots. For example, there are several walking robots--including three bipeds (two-legged robots), one of the most difficult types of robots to create. And with the exception of the massive, multi-NXT robot "JohnNXT" (chapter 8) and a remote control (chapter 9), you can build all the robots from the parts in a single retail LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT set. All the programming in the book is done in NXC (Not eXactly C), an unofficial text-based language with a C-like syntax.

Along the way you'll find in-depth explanations of robotics concepts and helpful descriptions of the robots. Besides an entire "theory chapter" on building biped robots (chapter 1) and another such chapter on finite state machines (chapter 3), the robot chapters themselves include explanations of concepts such as hysteresis, writing a multitask program, and quadruped (four-legged) walking as well as information on the robots' functionality and history. The author also does a good job of presenting and explaining the programming. Although prior NXC experience is helpful, such experience is not required.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Arthur Held on April 21, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've used this book in teaching a tech club of 4th-8th graders. Several students have also taken the book home and built robots from it. The plans are good, and the descriptions excellent. It is also helpful in using NXC to program the mindstorms.

I would hate to be without it now!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bad_Wolf on May 7, 2008
Format: Paperback
Hi,

One of the better books at this moment for the Lego Mindstorms NXT robotic set. This book is clearly written and despite the black and white images, the building instructions are also very clearly written.

This book is obviously written by people who know what they are doing and motivated to reach the highest standards.

After a short program in the Nxt-G programming language, they started to use the NXC programming language for the rest of the book. What makes this book so outstanding, everything is very well documented and everything is explained in great detail.

This is also an easy and pleasant to read book. And many times you find here what is missing in other books. For me, esspecially the introduction of NXC was very usefull. I wanted to use C for a long time, but I did not found the answers I was searching. This book takes its time to show you the mechanics behind th programming language. It teaches you clearly how to construct event tables and how you can visualise the design process, structuring your thaughts.

Also the walking models are very interesting. It gives you a clearly understanding about the problems of let a robot succesfully walk.

What I do missing is coverage of the acceleration, gyroscopic and compass sensors. It should be nice if those sensors also where covered in this book. But it is almost impossible to cover everything and an author has to draw a line.

The projects are well choosen and all very interesting. Personally Quasimodo I find the less interesting robot. While NXT AT-ST is in my opinion a very nice project to understand a walking robot. But I have to be honest, at this moment I am building the AT-ST robot. I did not have the time to build the other robots.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a beginner with Mindstorms NXT so I usually stay away from "advanced" books. But when I've seen this book in a local bookstore I decided I had to get it - the way theory aspects are presented and explained, the building instructions, the code, everything seemed really accessible.

And now that my amazon order arrived and I have it in my hands I am really happy I decided to go with it. Even if it states that it is intended for more experienced users I still think anyone can benefit from reading it. I am already through the first few chapters, built one robot and I love the way it is written. Also other pros are the code can be downloaded from the web and the fact that it tells from the start which robots can be built with the regular NXT set (I don't have 3 sets so I won't be able to build JohnNXT but at least I know this from the start).

One thing I am really grateful for is the steps for connecting the NXT brick to the PC via Bluetooth. I tried to do this before following the steps in the Mindstorms docs (initiating the connection from the brick) and even if the NXT connected fine with the PC, the Mindstorms software could not see it. I gave up thinking the BT driver on my computer is somehow unable to connect properly. After following the steps in the Appendix in this book (and initiated the connection from the BT device manager on the PC) I was able to connect not only the Bricxx IDE but also the Mindstorms software. This is a huge breakthrough - no more wires that need to be connected to load the program and disconnected later to run it. Just this simple aspect makes purchasing this book great, at least for me!
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