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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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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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Top Customer Reviews
There are some good ideas and some basic designs to get started with. However, the material is very disorganized and wordy/repetitive. In addition, I think there is too much emphasis on "winning" rather than learning.
So... 1 star for the printing and 2 stars for the content.
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.
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