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The Unofficial LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT 2.0 Inventor's Guide [Paperback]

David J. Perdue , Laurens Valk
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Book Description

December 18, 2010 1593272154 978-1593272159 Second Edition

The LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT 2.0 set offers hundreds of building elements, programming software, and powerful electronics that you can use to create amazing robots. But where do you begin?

This eagerly awaited second edition of the bestselling Unofficial LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT Inventor's Guide is your key to designing, building, and programming robots with the NXT 2.0 set.

You'll learn practical building techniques, like how to build sturdy structures and use gears, and gain a solid understanding of the set's NXT-G programming language. A series of projects new to this edition offers step-by-step instructions for building and programming six robots, each of which can be built with just one NXT 2.0 set, including:

  • Inventor-Bot, a fast, simple, modular vehicle with treads
  • Sentry-Bot, a robot guard that shoots balls at intruders
  • Table-Bot, a vehicle that uses its antennae to avoid falling off a tabletop
  • The Jeep, a four-wheeled vehicle that avoids obstacles and follows lines
  • The Lizard, a large walking robot that uses the color sensor to detect and respond to different colored balls
  • The Printer, a stationary robot that uses a pen or marker to draw letters, words, and shapes on paper

Additional resources include the Piece Library, which contains basic information on the more than 80 types of LEGO pieces in the NXT 2.0 set, and the Quick Reference, which lists the 34 types of standard programming blocks. So go ahead. Grab your NXT 2.0 set, fire up your imagination, and see what you can invent with The Unofficial LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT 2.0 Inventor's Guide.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

David J. Perdue ( has been inventing robots with MINDSTORMS since 2001. The author of Competitive MINDSTORMS: A Complete Guide to Robotic Sumo Using LEGO MINDSTORMS (Apress, 2004), he has also written for BrickJournal and Computing Unplugged. Perdue is an implementation delivery engineer for EMC, an information infrastructure provider. He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Laurens Valk is a member of the MINDSTORMS Community Partners, and one of his robots appears on the NXT 2.0 box. Valk is the author of The LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT 2.0 Discovery Book, a co-author of LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT One-Kit Wonders (both No Starch Press), and a contributor to The NXT Step Blog. He lives in the Netherlands where he studies Mechanical Engineering at Delft University of Technology.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: No Starch Press; Second Edition edition (December 18, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593272154
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593272159
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 8.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #276,000 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Getting Started Guide To NXT 2.0 January 20, 2011
This new edition of the Inventor's Guide provides everything one needs to get started with the current Lego Mindstorm's NXT 2.0 set, and importantly gives an organization to structure one's developing parts, assembly and programming knowledge through your increasing knowledge of this fascinating hobby. The authors are both widely published in the Lego NXT community and are engineers themselves with more than a decade each of involvement in this hobby. This extensive handbook begins with a clear and succinct introduction to everything you will find in your NXT 2.0 set, including parts and software installation. It then proceeds with a clear and well illustrated tutorial in constructing structures with the parts, beams and gears. A similar and non-threatening introduction to NXT-G programming follows. Chapter 10 provides a brief but clear introduction to a sound methodology to design and develop NXT robots and projects. The following chapters describe and give a tutorial background for 6 fascinating robotic projects concluding with an electro-mechanical printer similar to early personal computer plotters built entirely in the hardware and programming language of Lego Mindstorms NXT 2.0. The appendices catalog the parts contained in the set and each of the elements of the NXT-G programming language giving a categorization that will allow one to organize their increasing knowledge.

I highly recommend this well-organized and exciting tutorial to anyone who wishes to learn this fascinating hobby, or to be given along with the set to provide the necessary knowledge to obtain the real benefits of the NXT 2.0 set.

--Ira Laefsky, MSE/MBA
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Best Buy for LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT builders January 2, 2011
This book amounts to a comprehensive "missing manual" for the LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT 2.0 kit.

In dedicated chapters it provides coaching in building basics (how to use gears, for instance) and NXT-G programming. Also, the building and programming instructions for the models they've included are loaded with helpful information. The authors have clearly worked hard to anticipate what an NXT user wants (and needs) to know.

As the previous reviewer mentioned, the only thing that could make this book better is printing it in color; but that would have made the costs prohibitive, so they've settled for making the best grayscale instructions possible.

It's definitely a "best buy" for the new NXT user.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Reference Book May 11, 2011
By CyBot-G
The Unofficial LEGO Mindstorms Guide NXT 2.0 Inventor's Guide is an excellent book for the NXT robotics hobbyist to add to their reference library. It offers something for every level of NXT robotics building and programming. It is a learning guide that will take the beginner who has some experience with the NXT system, to the immediate level, to the advanced level builder/programmer.

I found the building instructions clear with very good diagrams, I particularly liked the "blow-up balloons" to show detail. The programming diagrams were also very good with the use of labels to explain. Besides being a great reference for the hobbyist, The Unofficial LEGO® Mindstorms NXT 2.0 Inventor's Guide also a great guide for teachers of NXT robotics.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More MINDSTORMS Ideas December 30, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a great book for MINDSTORMS fans who are looking for more ideas to develop their programming and building skills. I bought it as a companion for Laurens Valk's Discovery Book, another great resource. My only complaint with both books is that they aren't in color, which makes it a bit harder to tell which components are which; however, that's a minor gripe in a great book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My son like the book and concept, but it got a bit too in depth for him to really enjoy it. It seems to be set for kids between 11-14.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good explanation of toy robots February 27, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I used it to explain engineering and science to elementary student and the parents
children were fascinated with the robot.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My grandson loved it. December 28, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bought because Darien was getting Mindstorm for Christmas. His mother said it was keeping him busy.. sounds great to me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Guide December 19, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I got this book for my 6 year old "NXT crazy" son for Christmas 2012. He just loves designing new things with his NXT and gets heaps of ideas from YouTube. We've found that Lego's NXT website is a bit limited and this book covers so much of the basics and it's great to have so much information in one book. I was pleasantly surprised when I received the book as it's jam packed and more than I expected!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
I really enjoyed this book. Very useful infirmation. Great read with very good graphics. Step by step instructions very easy to follow.
Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Number one gift desired.
My son spent a great deal of holiday break designing cool things with his Lego Mindstorm. A perfect investment. No ordering or shipping complications.
Published 5 months ago by Janie
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! Cool Stuff!
Bought this used from an Amazon seller.It was as just like new and arrived pretty quickly.Our son has had his Lego Mindstorm kit for awhile and really likes this book. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Stacy Thibeault
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative and easy to understand even for my first grader.
It was surprisingly to easy to read and understand. Good source for innovative projects. Even my first grader was able to understand it after little help.
Published 10 months ago by Ravi
5.0 out of 5 stars Update from original book that was for NXT 1.0
My grandson and I have been using the original book in our weekly SKYPE robotics class. The projects were more difficult for him because he has the NXT 2. Read more
Published 10 months ago by B. Brierly
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful guidelines for Mindstorms NXT
I gave this to accompany the Lego Mindstorms NST 2.0 that our family gave my grandson. He can't seem to get enough robot making. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Jim Garrison
5.0 out of 5 stars Lego Mindstorms Book.
Loved it. the book provides many new challenging robots to build and program. I'm looking forward to using it with my students at school.
Published 12 months ago by art h.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine Book
The next, next generation of LEGO smart bricks is due out fall of 2013, but for everyone with the NXT 2. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Lisa
5.0 out of 5 stars gift
gift for my grandson for Christmas.......He loves these Legos kits, he is 8 years old and this challenge his brain.. thank you
Published 16 months ago by Gloria Enderby
5.0 out of 5 stars easy to follow
my son (age 11) loves it and uses it to build his NXT robots. He has been using it for about 2 weeks and it keeps him ahead of the game.
Published 18 months ago by Joe Btsfplk
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