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Winning Design!: LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT Design Patterns for Fun and Competition (Technology in Action) Paperback – December 14, 2010


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Winning Design!: LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT Design Patterns for Fun and Competition (Technology in Action) + The LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT 2.0 Discovery Book: A Beginner's Guide to Building and Programming Robots
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Product Details

  • Series: Technology in Action
  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 1 edition (December 14, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1430229640
  • ISBN-13: 978-1430229643
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #219,556 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

James J. Trobaugh is an experienced coach and leader in the FIRST LEGO League. He is author of the acclaimed book Winning Design!, focusing on the physical aspects of LEGO MINDSTORMS robot design. He s been involved with FIRST LEGO League since 2004 as coach for Team Super Awesome, and as a technical judge at LEGO World Festival. He is also the FIRST LEGO League Director of the Forsyth Alliance in Forsyth County, Georgia.

James started out as a LEGO hobbyist by founding the North Georgia LEGO Train Club in 1998, and has found in LEGO robotics a natural blending of his LEGO hobby and his day job as a software architect. An added bonus is the joy of sharing his love of technology not only with his own children, but with kids in general.


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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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This is an excellent book for FLL teams at all levels -- beginners to veterans.
Ram
It is one of those "everything you need to know" books about building a robot for the FLL tournament.
CyBot-G
The illustrations and diagrams are good and relate well to the text they support.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By NXT dad on October 27, 2011
Format: Paperback
Unfortunately, the book preview is completely wrong for this book. The actual book uses very cheap B&W printing. As a result, the pictures of robots and the instructions for building models are completely illegible. As an adult, I was able to piece together the models with some guesswork. However, the target audience for the book is late elementary/middle school kids. My kids found it extremely frustrating to use the book. I ended up purchasing the PDF version of the book. The illustrations in the PDF are in color and are much higher quality than the printed book! I would recommend the PDF version for anyone considering this book.

The actual contents of the book are quite useful for kids interested in the competitions with the NXT robot. There are lots of good ideas and some basic designs to get started with. Among the books that I have seen for contests like FLL, this is the best from a technical content point of view.

So... 1 star for the printing and 4 stars for the content.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By luv2teach on December 20, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book provides extremely useful information for preparing and getting ahead in the robotics competition. As a rookie coach, I wish I had access to this book prior to this year's FLL tournament. It can be very helpful to both rookie and experienced teams/coaches as it discusses many design and programming topics that teams will encounter so that teams can achieve consistent results with their robots. There are lots of typos but a small distraction for what this book has to offer. I highly recommend.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. Kelly on December 22, 2010
Format: Paperback
I've participated in many FLL tournaments as a technical judge, and I've seen many good robot designs hampered by a lack of understanding of some basic design principles. I've now completed reading the book and I'm quite impressed with the author's decision to break the book into four sections, each focusing on a particular skill (or skills) and providing plenty of real world examples of HOW and WHY things are done... or should be done.

The book is HEAVY on figures... and that's a good thing. Many of the concepts that the author writes about simply cannot be understood well without some hands-on explanations. That's why teams will be pleased to see diagrams and examples using real NXT parts to explain concepts such as turning, squaring up along a wall, and line following. And he didn't leave out some great discussion on attachments - one of the most important concepts for teams who wish to successfully accomplish multiple game table elements.

Finally, the author provides some tips and suggestions for managing your programs as well as presenting them (and the robot) to the technical judging team. And you'll also find complete building instructions for the DemoBot... a real robot that the author uses to demonstrate techniques throughout the book... build it and THEN read the book!

All in all, I'm very pleased with the book - I think new/rookie FLL teams will receive the most benefit from the book, but experienced teams are sure to find some stuff in here that will improve their scores and successes.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lego mom on February 28, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're interested in creative ways to solve NXT problems, then this book is for you. It offers both software solutions and building solutions. I coach an NXT team and have 10 boys ages 9-14, after reading this book we all learned something!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Studying llfe in New York on March 23, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book delivers what it promises: winning design. It's especially useful for teams or coaches for First Lego League (FLL). If read thoroughly, it covers just about every detail you'd need to know to get a novice team up and running. If this is your first FLL team, I'd suggest going through before the season starts, or as soon as you get started. It also will even help an experienced team to think in the way that judges are most impressed by when designing your robot. Does it cover every aspect and every possibility for robot design? No. Should it? No. If there were typos, they didn't distract me. I'd consider it high on my list of my reference books for FLL.

Part of the process for FLL IS figuring out how to look at a situation and take an iterative approach to process improvement. This book more than gets you there, if you use the information as a sound jumping off point.

FYI-- Here would be my list of other reference books, in order my frequency of use:
The LEGO Technic Idea Books: Simple Machines, Fantastic Contraptions, and Wheeled Wonders all by Yoshihito Isogawa
First Lego League, The Unofficial Guide by James Floyd Kelly and Jonathan Daudelin
The Lego Mindstorms NXT 2.0 Discovery Book by Laurens Valk
Building Robots with Lego Mindstorms NXT by Astolfo, Ferrari and Ferrari
Forbidden Lego by Pilegaard and Dooley
Lego Mindstorms NXT-G Programming Guide by James Floyd Kelly
Benchmarks for Science Literacy, Project 2061, published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Shopper on May 3, 2012
Format: Paperback
I am capable of building robot models but could not build a full robot that was useable with this book. I did not buy the additional Online E-book that accompanies this book, I am not sure if it's worth the extra cost. I have seen others on youtube use these robots so maybe the E-book helps. (I tested the waters by borrowing this book from the library, didn't like it.)

The Legoeducation.us website has a book called "Preparing Your Team for FIRST Lego League" by KK Quah that is helpful for beginner level teams. The author has coached a team that won 1st place in the FLL in 2010, and he serves as a Judge, along with continuing to coach teams for the FTC and VEX robotics competitions. The book features a very simple robot, not even with a motorized attachment, but has illustrations and a cd-rom with a few color illustrations to build a good base robot with simple mechanical attachments, and also features some simple programs, has some ideas for how to guide the teams with certain skill building lessons, and has some worksheets that can be given to the kids to help guide their design and mission solving process, but some of the attachments are also hard to see but more buildable than this other book. The "Preparing" book is expensive though, rivaling this book's cost if you add on the E-book.
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