Dad of Divas' Reviews: Book Review - The Unofficial LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT 2.0 Inventor's Guide

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Book Review - The Unofficial LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT 2.0 Inventor's Guide

About the Book
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.

About the Authors
  1. David J. Perdue

    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.
    View David J. Perdue's full profile page.
  2. Laurens Valk

    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.

My Take on the BookThis book is full of so many great ideas! From beginners to advanced robotic masters, you are taught to build expert robots. Full of great step-by-step instructions and images, you are walked through the process of building. The book is broken into 4 parts that are all very easy to understand and will guide through the process of building. One of the best parts of this book is that this book will definitely challenge you to build up to eight different robots, but above and beyond that you are also able to test just how good you've become with any one of the 85 building and programming challenges.

The building and programming instructions are so easy to understand. Learning to program and build with your NXT 2.0 kit becomes so much easier with this huge resource at your side.

I cannot recommend this book enough as it is a HUGE resource for anyone who is into and using the Lego Mindstorms NXT 2.0 robotics system. Being that the book is so easy to use, readers are given the opportunity to learn from the very first to last page within the book. If you are new to Lego Mindstorms or an advanced user, this book will provide you with so much, that you will definitely want it by your side in the future!

All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.
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