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Make: Lego and Arduino Projects: Projects for extending MINDSTORMS NXT with open-source electronics 1st Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1449321062
ISBN-10: 1449321062
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Editorial Reviews

Book Description

Building Robots with Bricks, Sensors, and Microcontrollers

About the Author

John Baichtal is a contributor to MAKE magazine and Wired's GeekDad blog. He is the co-author of The Cult of Lego and author of Hack This: 24 Incredible Hackerspace Projects from the DIY Movement.

Matthew Beckler is a graduate student in EE at Carnegie Mellon University, and is a co-founder of Wayne and Layne, LLC, where he makes open source hardware.

Adam Wolf is a firmware engineer at an electronic design services company, and is a co-founder of Wayne and Layne, LLC, where he makes open source hardware.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 and up
  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Maker Media, Inc; 1 edition (December 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449321062
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449321062
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.6 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #192,286 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David C. Scheltema on December 16, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have very mixed feelings about this book. I think this book is a good attempt, but for the following reasons does not leave you feeling like you bought an educational book, but rather a manual for how to incorporate an Arduino Shield (sold by two of the authors) into your project. There is nothing, in my view, that is too wrong about selling a book and selling a product you use in the book's projects, but since it is not EXPLICITLY mentioned, especially to the online sales on Amazon, it leaves you feeling a bit ripped off. That written what follows are a few of oddities the book contains:

Beyond the buy book, still need to buy or make shield issue is that the authors try to introduce and present too many things i.e. an introduction to LEGO construction (via super glossy step by step instructions for their projects... this could have been done in a better layout --not one step one page. Also, some of this could have been put on a website and then the cost and content for the book could have been more refined in its information and more focussed in its incremental introduction of new concepts and projects --often the chapters are rather loosely related... not as tightly linked as some MAKE books that I own, that is for sure!

Moreover, during the intro to Arduino... and when I say introduction, I mean a near historical chronicalling, the book even includes glossy color photos... I guess it is nice to know what the guys who created the Arduino project, but why is this in the book?

Other oddities in the book come when you find yourself reading pages of external resources...
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an interesting book; I've played with an Arduino and the Mindstorms 2.0 kit.....BUT...

My biggest complaint by far with this book is the Lego parts lists. Of course, you can't just simply buy a kit with all the parts included. What were these dolts thinking, do they have a direct line to LEGO so they can easily get ANY part they want? I'm in the midst of an increasingly annoying search trying to track down all the pieces required for these projects. I may have to end up ordering way more of what I need because these "parts websites" usually have a 5$ minimum, even when you only need one of a 15 cent part, and of course, no one website has all the parts needed for any one of the projects in this book. ARRRRGH!! Be ready to do this kind of scavenging if you buy this book, you won't be building any of the projects for at least a few weeks!
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
My son is 9 years old and has the Mindstorm NXT 2.0 set. This book bridges the NXT with Arduino electronic products. This allowed for a great opportunity to teach my son something about electronics and to expand his learning.

It also had a very nice chapter on basic electronics theory. This book has excellent step by step color instructions.

I felt like the content was decent enough but not organized as well as it could have been.

It starts you right off with a project which is great, BUT it doesn't explain what Arduino and where to get them until a future chapter. Obviously you can search online and find it, but it didn't flow as well as it could have.

The other problem I had was that many of the examples can be done without the need for Arduino mods. When I get a book to "hack" a product, I want examples that are unique and show that I can do things that the original non-hacked system cannot do.

That being said, the one project that did shine was the chapter on the "Gripperbot". You build a lego robot that is controlled by two arm-mounted Wii Nunchucks. This project truly shows the potential of mixing legos with Arduino and if there were more projects of this caliber, then the book would have been 5 stars easily.

A little off topic...my son knows some JavaScript so after learning about Arduino and Lego NXT, we found an opensource project online called Noduino. This project allows you to utilize the Node server and program using JavaScript.

In conclusion, this book did open our eyes to the world of robotics beyond the Lego Mindstorm set which is great. There is a ton of potential there, I just wish it would have provided more unique examples and flowed better.
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Format: Paperback
Just before Christmas I received this fantastic book and over the last few months I have been making my way through it.

I think this is the number 1 book if you are coming from a LEGO MINDSTORMS background and want to know more about electronics and the Arduino platform or are coming from an Arduino background and want to integrate it with an easy to use building framework like LEGO.

The book features nice big colourful photos and building instructions. It features a wide range of projects from a robotic clock to a drawing bot, you can even make a drinks dispenser. The book also covers the basics of electronics, history and in-depth details of LEGO MINDSTORMS and the Arduino platform and how to connect a LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT to an Arduino.

I would say the only sticking point that people might find with this book is that it requires a Bricktronic Shield/Motor Controller to build most of the projects. Full instructions on how to make your own shield are provided in the book which is useful if you don't have one. If making one is not your thing, you can buy one from Wayne and Layne (co-writers of the book) for a fairly cheaply.

As I have already said, this book is awesome if you want to extend the possibilities of your LEGO MINDSTORMS kit or use LEGO with the Arduino platform.
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