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LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT: The Mayan Adventure (Technology in Action) [Paperback]

by James Floyd Kelly
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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Book Description

December 11, 2006 159059763X 978-1590597637 1

LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT has hit the world by storm, giving you the ability to build your own robots and program them to perform all types of actions. What kind of robots? How about five exploratory robots, used to explore the newly discovered tomb of an ancient Mayan king?

You are along for the ride with Evan and his archaeologist uncle as they explore a Mayan pyramid complete with traps and treasures. Using a variety of NXT robots, the archaeology team is able to move deeper into the tomb towards the secrets of King Ixtua. But beware of the traps! The pyramid's design has successfully deterred unwanted visitors through the centuries, and your team will need to be careful and alert.

You will learn and use a design methodology that will teach you about the new motors and sensors that your robot can use. Complete building and programming instructions are provided for each robot, allowing you to follow along and learn as you build.

Can you help Evan and the team of explorers navigate through the old pyramid and discover King Ixtua's tomb? Read the stories, examine the environments, and build and program the robots that will allow the team to move closer to the secrets of The Mayan Adventure.

  • This book shows how to design a NXT robot to solve real-world problems.
  • It includes worksheets that encourage constructive brainstorming techniques.
  • You’ll gain access to four new and unique robot designs.
  • This book is suitable for both adults and kids exploring NXT.

Frequently Bought Together

LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT: The Mayan Adventure (Technology in Action) + The LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT 2.0 Discovery Book: A Beginner's Guide to Building and Programming Robots
Price for both: $37.39

Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

James Floyd Kelly is a professional writer from Atlanta, Georgia. He has written numerous books on multiple subjects, including LEGO robotics, open source software, and building your own CNC machine as well as a 3D printer.�He is the editor-in-chief of the number one MINDSTORMS NXT blog, The NXT Step (, where he is joined by fellow NXT experts who share their knowledge and designs with other robot fans around the world.

Product Details

  • Series: Technology in Action
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 1 edition (December 11, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159059763X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590597637
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #337,230 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
110 of 111 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm the Author, so buyer beware :) December 14, 2006
The description that Amazon is providing lacks detail, so let me please share with you how this book works.

First, there are 5 robot projects that require one (1) NXT robotics kit - preferably the retail kit, but the educational kit will work with some minor substitutions.

The book has a storyline running through it - Evan is on vacation with his archaeologist uncle in Guatemala, exploring a newly discovered Mayan tomb. The archaeology team begins to encounter problems in accessing areas of the tomb and Evan comes to the rescue by offering to build small robots that can go in and accomplish certain tasks that a human cannot.

The book is broken into 5 sections. Each section has 1 chapter that has part of the fictional story. The story starts in Chapter 1 and continues in chapters 5, 9, 13, 17, and concludes in chapter 21.

Next, each section contains a "building theory" chapter that helps you to examine the problem the archaeology team has encountered and to brainstorm (mindstorm) a robotics solution. You use a "Design Journal Page" for each robot (and I've included 6 blank copies in the back of the book for you to follow along). These theory chapters are found in chapters 2, 6, 10, 14, and 18.

Finally, complete building instructions (photos) are provided for all 5 robots in chapters 3, 7, 11, 15, and 19. Programming instructions (screenshots of the NXT-G programming language) are provided in chapters 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20. In these chapters you'll also find instructions for setting up your "testing environment" to simulate the challenges faced by the archaeological team.
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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A GREAT Reference Book for Kids Interested in Robotics December 15, 2006
By Railrho
My 13-year old son loves the NXT, but he's too busy to sit down with a kit and make his own projects. He has BEGGED for step-by-step building and programming instructions for NXT robots.

This book has met his need in spades.

There are five robots in the book to build and program, and step-by-step instructions are provided for each. The book also has a friendly, encouraging style, which kids and parents will appreciate.

The model instructions that come with the NXT kit are good, but the kit only provides instructions for building four robots. Your child will go through those robots in a hurry! (Mine did). If there are parents out there who have purchased an NXT kit for their child, then I'd encourage you to make this book a companion purchase.

For those kids who DO have time to get creative, the book encourages that, too. Each robot in the book is given a specific "mission" to complete, and kids are encouraged to complete the mission by using their own robot designs. There's a "design journal" in the back of the book, where kids can keep track of their own NXT creations.

This is the ONLY NXT book out there that caters to kids. If you and/or your child are new to the NXT, then this book is a perfect and USEFUL introduction.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent... December 28, 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I cannot describe just how great this book is - I am a software engineer with over 13 years of experience and found Mr. Kelly's approach to learning to play with the NXT excellent and beyond my expectations. The first four chapters are broken up logically. Chapter 1 contains a well written story and lays the foundation of the problems and challanges that await the reader. During this chapter the first 'problem' is introduced. The 2nd chapter is devoted exclusively towards reiterating the problem and laying out the analysis of 'how to solve' the problem at hand. Also during this chapter the reader is given an introduction on a "Design Journal" that will later assist them building the solution. The end of the chapter 2, the reader can continue to read chapters 3 and 4 - which layout the author's solution to the problem or spend time on attempting their solution to the problem that was just introduced and analyzed. Chapter 3 deals with the 'hardware' implementation of the solution - specifically the building of the robot. Chapter 4 lays out the software solution. This was exactly the best approach for young readers!! However, don't feel this book is something you can give your child and then walk away. You have to involve yourself in the process - you have to read it, you have to work the solution with your budding LEGO master builder. I am working through the exercises with my 10 year old son who has been interested in robots for a number of months now. He has really enjoyed reading the book and has even started working out his own solutions with the "design journal".
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great way to teach kids to program January 26, 2007
My 9 year old son absolutely devoured this book. He talks incessantly about building robots and made his own robot design journal page based on the one in the book. I'm a professional software developer, and I've been searching for a way to teach my kids to program. They can't type, so normal languages are just mechanically too hard. I tried StarLogo, Squeak, and a few others until I found the NXT programming environment. They managed to LEGO-ify programming. This book makes brings it all together in an enjoyable way. A+
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book if you teach or have kids who use Mindstorm robots
This is the fifth copy I've bought of this book. I've given the others to parents and teachers new to working with robotics. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Jo Ray Van Vliet
5.0 out of 5 stars Not for NXT 2.0 or the Education version (you need the NXT 1.0 kit)
I did not know this when buying this book so wanted to make sure that others know that (we have the 2.0 kit). Read more
Published 12 months ago by sfg
5.0 out of 5 stars Anothe great book by Mr. Kelly
Mr. Kelly not only uses his talents to give back to teach children about engineering, but he also has a very warm personality that I found out after I contacted him regarding this... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Jacqueline
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank Goodness!
Thank Goodness that this book is not a User manual or Engineering documents that one has to refer to build robots! Read more
Published on April 19, 2010 by rbhatta
5.0 out of 5 stars quick and clean
I was surprised at how quickly I received the book. I planned on using it in a classroom and had not even considered putting it in my lesson plans yet. Read more
Published on April 5, 2010 by F. Rodriguez
5.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff for any roboticist
At 43 years old I too was wondering if this was just for kids, but it definitely is not. It opens your mind to move beyond the following the step by step instructions in most all... Read more
Published on September 15, 2008 by Cinophile
5.0 out of 5 stars Learning the process
The value of this book is not in the number of documented designs, but how it teaches you the process to come up with your own designs. Read more
Published on May 13, 2008 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars J. kelly author
did you really write this book have not read it yet but it's being shipped to my house.
Published on March 21, 2008 by Christopher A. Johnson
4.0 out of 5 stars A science project!
I bought this to introduce my grandchildren to science projects. Their ages are 7 and 10. We have no special contest or competition to enter. Read more
Published on February 23, 2008 by Ray Computer Geek
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging and Helpful
This book is a wonderful introduction into program and design with the NXT, and yes, we've been using the RCX as well. The book is well laid out. Read more
Published on November 10, 2007 by C. Terrell
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Topic From this Discussion
Work with NXT 2.0?
I'd like to know the answer to this as well. We have lots of other technic sets, so I suppose we can manage, but it would be nice to be sure.
Can anyone help? There must be people who've bought the book to partner the NXT 2.0 set.
Jan 1, 2012 by Sara Simon |  See all 2 posts
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