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LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT: The Mayan Adventure (Technology in Action) 1st Edition
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About the Author
James Floyd Kelly is a freelance writer living in Atlanta, Georgia, with degrees in English and Industrial Engineering. A long-time Lego Mindstorms developer, he is editor-in-chief of the world's most popular Lego blog, thenxtstep.com, which continues to draw an estimated 30,000+ readers monthly, and is a regular contributor to the Lego Mindstorm development team. James Kelly has written on topics including robotics, building custom computers and free software. His most recent book, Don't Spend a Dime: The Path to Low-Cost Computing, is the first book on free software to be published in four years. When not writing, he and his wife enjoy watching their little boy discover all kinds of new and exciting things about the world.
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 morePublished on August 13, 2013 by JRVV
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 morePublished on April 19, 2013 by sfg
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 morePublished on December 6, 2012 by Jacqueline
Thank Goodness that this book is not a User manual or Engineering documents that one has to refer to build robots! Read morePublished on April 19, 2010 by Rbhatta
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 morePublished on April 5, 2010 by Rhonda
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 morePublished on September 15, 2008 by Cinophile
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 morePublished on May 13, 2008 by Mark Kinsey