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Exploring Lego Mindstorms EV3: Tools and Techniques for Building and Programming Robots Paperback – 2 Sep 2014

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Exploring Lego Mindstorms EV3: Tools and Techniques for Building and Programming Robots + The LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Discovery Book (Full Color): A Beginner's Guide to Building and Programming Robots + The LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Idea Book: 181 Simple Machines and Clever Contraptions
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Product details

  • Paperback: 408 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 1 edition (2 Sept. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118879740
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118879740
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 2 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 871,296 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

EJ Parkss Exploring LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 is a comprehensive introduction to the new EV3 kit. From the starter robot vehicle to a robot that eats and poops, readers of all skill levels will find something new and exciting to activate their imaginations. Dustyn Roberts, author of Making Things Move: DIY Mechanisms for Inventors, Hobbyists, and Artists If you thought computer programming wasnt for you because its all about math, youll want to read this book. Using a casual, conversational style, EJ Park explains the principles of programming using lots of everyday situations as examples and shows you how to apply those principles to build lots of fun projects with LEGO MINDSTORMS. Park explains programming for the rest of us, showing that its all about describing and controlling the behavior of robots that can sense, move, and react to the physical world. Tom Igoe, Associate Arts Professor, New York University, Tisch School of the Arts The LEGO EV3 System is a powerful and versatile platform for learning about robotics and physical computing. In Exploring LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 , EJ Park gives us a practical, step–by–step guide that makes it simple to learn how to control motors, use sensors, and program robots. If you are a student, a teacher, a hobbyist, or just curious about robotics, the author and her five robot companionsthe Auto Driver, Spy Rabbit, Mr. Turto, Big Belly Bot, and Guapowill guide you on a journey from beginner to roboticist in no time. Jaymes Dec, Technology Educator, The Marymount School of New York and the NYC Makery BUILD AND PROGRAM INTERACTIVE ROBOTS WITH LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Exploring LEGO Mindstorms EV3 is the perfect guide for aspiring robotics aficionados and LEGO enthusiasts to harness the power of the LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 building set and software. Loaded with hands–on robot building and programming challenges, the book starts with the basics before helping you learn how to use different types of LEGO TECHNIC parts and program the motors and sensors of robots using the EV3 software. This accessible resource offers a complete introduction to the most fun and engaging educational platform in robotics. Explore the features of the EV3 brick, a programmable brick Design your robots actions using Action blocks Incorporate environmental sensors using Infrared, Touch, and Color sensors Program with data wires and Sensor blocks Process data from sensors using Data Operations blocks Build unique EV3 robots that each have different functions: Auto–Driver, Spy Rabbit, Mr. Turto, Big Belly Bot, and Guapo the Puppy Discover ideas and practices that will help you to develop your own method of designing and programming EV3 robots Find more robots and program downloads at the companion website: www.wiley.com/go/exploringlegomindstormsev3.

About the Author

Eun Jung (EJ) Park has been developing LEGO robotics curricula at RoboFun since 2010. There she designs robots that are used in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) programs for children and youths. She also designs and builds automatons, mechanical moving sculptures that respond to human interaction.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By S. P. Long TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 19 Nov. 2014
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I'm a big fan of Mindstorms, mainly for the Lego building rather than the programming aspect (I do enough of that in my day job...), and have several third-party books like this one which add to the limited paper documentation supplied with the Mindstorms kits themselves.

This book concentrates mostly on the programming side of the latest EV3 kit rather than the Lego building, and is positioned as a beginner's guide to programming, starting from first principles and covering most aspects of Mindstorms EV3 coding. It has good, comprehensive coverage of the Mindstorms environment and the code components, and includes instructions for building 5 robots.

The building instructions are unfortunately not as clear as those I have seen in other books, such as those from No Starch Press - they compress several stages onto a single page, with every component in an identical shade of grey, and clarity suffers badly as a result; while trying to build one of the models, I spent far too long squinting at tiny grey-on-grey images trying to work out what I was supposed to be doing. This is, I guess, an effect of the book's emphasis on the programming side, so is understandable, but it would have been nice to see a little more space given over to making the instructions a bit clearer.

The actual content in terms of learning about programming is good, but I have a problem with the style. Some parts are written in a rather childish and patronising fashion - the reference to a robot that "poops", for example, and comments such as "you will feel very proud of yourself after you get through this process" - it all feels a bit like being talked down to. This doesn't happen all the way through the text, but every now and then a page leaps out as being slightly irritating as a result.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Prof TBun on 11 Dec. 2014
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
One thing that LEGO enthusiasts expect is something colourful and visually pleasing. Something which this book is not.

The narative is very much a case of, "do this, now do this, now do this, etc". I found this style grinding me down very quickly. Not only that, such a plodding through approach would have surely have been better done as a video tutorials.

Navigating this book is much harder than it should be. I could not understand the purpose of the end of chapter summary, telling you what things that you had just learned. Surely you already know that if you have just read the chapter.

The start of Chapter 3 "Getting Started with programming" want to make me scream. She waffles on inanely for paragraph after paragraph, telling the reader nothing except how little she thinks you know about what a program is. All she succeeds in doing is making herself appear arrogant and stupid. As it happens this particular reader was creating innovative experts systems, when she was still in nappies. In all my time tutoring in software, I have never taken her belittling approach. The educational programming language LOGO has been around since the time I was born and educational robots for over a decade before that.
Weavers were using programmable looms over 200 years ago, so who on earth is it that she thinks has obtained a robot kit and yet also doesn't have a clue as to what a program is and does?

Park's motto seems to be why explain something in a sentence, when it can be done in a paragraph. This makes the book much harder to use as a reference. I could have done without the propagandising. Does anyone reading this book need to be told by her that the software is powerful and Mindstorms is cool?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. D. Spicer TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 9 Jan. 2015
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I'm not quite sure about this book, at 376 black and white pages it's a heavy read for a younger person - but in many ways that's who it appears to be aimed at. I guess most will be able to manage the jargon and it's clear enough, steps are plainly set out and explained. Unfortunately, Wiley didn't go as far as colour for this book and I think that they should have done. The grey-scale construction pictures are dull to look at and often muddy which makes following the sequences harder.

The Spy Rabbit featured on the cover was an interesting and attractive project, but I didn't bother with the Big Belly Bot, "A robot that eats and poops". Frankly I'm not sure if that is designed to appeal to small kids, or undergraduate humour but it didn't appeal to me and spoilt what could have been an interesting book.

To be honest, if I had paid RRP for this book I would have been disappointed. It's OK, but that's all. Amazon have other that are clearer and avoid robots that poop.
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By A to Z TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 18 Dec. 2014
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
We've owned the EV3 for a year but had barely scratched the surface of the potential of this robot building set prior to owning this book, which takes you through the various things you need to know to be able to build and program your own designs. The focus is firmly on programming rather than building and in fairly easy to read chapters, the author works through various models, which get gradually more complicated as the book goes on. Everything is broken down into logical steps, as various pieces, bricks and functions are introduced. Her style is chatty and somewhat American, but she doesn't assume you have any prior knowledge - which personally I found really helpful.

There's a good balance between text and diagrams - it is a pity that these are not in colour as, by the nature of the EV3, colour would really help a lot and make building and programming a lot easier. That said, the author clearly knows her topic and delivers it in a clear way, telling you everything you need to know and it's not too heavy on jargon. To get the best of the book you really need to have an interest in programming - and it's too complex for younger children, though they will enjoy being involved in the projects, from a basic vehicle through to more complex robots with sensors. We are working the way through the book and have found it easy to follow thus far.

For us, as a family, from an eight year old, through to a professional programmer it's a useful guide to the EV3, which is pitched at all levels as we as a family show. We have really enjoyed using the book and increasing our knowledge whilst having fun along the way. This comprehensive tome which is really handy is you are getting to know the EV3 and it's far better than trying to find the best of what is available on the internet and the Lego site. I would highly recommend this book.
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