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The LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0 Discovery Book Paperback – 13 May 2010

4.8 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: No Starch Press; 1 edition (13 May 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593272111
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593272111
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 2 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 315,015 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From the Publisher

"The NXT set can be complicated. Sure, you can build some sort of robot, but can you actually make it do anything interesting?" said No Starch Press founder Bill Pollock. "This is the introductory MINDSTORMS 2.0 book that everyone needs; the one book that will make sure that that pricey MINDSTORMS kit won't end up gathering dust in a shoebox somewhere."

About the Author

Laurens Valk is a member of the MINDSTORMS Community Partners who help test and develop new NXT products. He has been inventing robots with the MINDSTORMS NXT sets since their introduction, and one of his robot designs appears on the NXT 2.0 packaging. Valk is a co-author of LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT One-Kit Wonders (No Starch Press) and a contributor to The NXT Step Blog (thenxtstep.blogspot.com). He lives in the Netherlands where he teaches robotics.


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Format: Paperback
The building and programming instructions that come with the original LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT 2.0 set are nice, but contain only 4 models and basic programming instructions for those. After finishing those models I wanted more and this book is just the thing.

It contains very clear printed instructions for the models it explains (I personally prefer that to having to sit in front of my PC while building) it provides explanations of how the programming blocks work in a much easier to understand format than the NXT-G help files (it feels like someone takes you by the hand to personally show you around instead of having to dig your way through the documentation) and goes way beyond what you learn in the instructions that come with the NXT set by explaining how to use wires to pass data between blocks.

Rather than just telling you how to put the programming blocks together the book teaches you how the program works using easy to understand diagrams.

Last but not least, the book contains a considerable number of interesting robots that are fun to build and additional challenges to expand on them. To make this even easier, there is a companion website where you can ask questions and propose solutions.

I really like the first and last pages on the book (inside cover and inside back cover) which provide you with a reference chart to easily identify parts of different lengths and a complete inventory of the NXT 2.0 set.
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Format: Paperback
If you have bought a Lego Mindstorms set over the last year, the chances are that it has been the NXT 2.0 kit. The previous 1.0 kit is increasingly hard to find. The problem is that many of the resources in the Internet and in Lego Mindstorms books has to date been largely based on the previous kit which has a different range of parts, and which also has an earlier (although compatible) version of the software. Thus the release of Lauren Valk's new book is welcome not least for the fact that it is fairly and squarely based on the NXT 2.0 8547 set.
The book describes itself as a beginner's guide to building and programming robots. It certainly fulfils this function and is an excellent guide to all of the features incorporated in the NXT 2.0 software. It starts by giving clear instructions for the building of an explorer robot with which to explore the fundamentals of writing a simple program, and the reader is quickly able to drive the robot forwards, backwards and to make simple turns. Right from the start the reader is encouraged to experiment and throughout the book there are numerous suggestions for tasks that can be tried, all of which will increase the readers confidence, experience and problem solving skills.
The early programs are enhanced with the addition of sound and visual output using the built in speaker and screen on the NXT brick. A following chapter introduces the use of the wait block and also simple loops, as well as the ability to perform parallel program sequences that can happen simultaneously. Also introduced at this stage is the use of the "my block" facility whereby the user can create their own program blocks containing a sequence of blocks which can then be incorporated into other programs. All of this occupies the first 50 pages of this 300 page book.
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Format: Paperback
I've had a Mindstorms NXT 1.0 kit since it came out and while I've enjoyed building projects with it I've struggled to find a way to get my kids (9 years old) involved under their own steam, until I brought this book. NXT 2.0 Discovery Book takes you by the hand right from the start and walks you through everything you need to know to build your own robots, starting with a very simple Logo Turtle style robot right up to a colour sorting robot. Everything is explained in detail and is interesting to look at, I think I've had to help my kids twice when they got stuck, pretty good considering the subject matter.

While this book is aimed at NXT 2.0 it will work with 1.0 assuming you buy the extra touch sensor and the new colour sensor, I'd also recommend getting the latest software as well. A couple of the builds need minor adaptations to work with the static components from 1.0 but nothing a reasonably competent Lego builder can't handle.

The book covers everything from how the sensors work, loops, and even data wires/hubs. Only thing its missing is more advanced stuff on dynamic programming but then that's more than covered by other (advanced) books and needs additional hardware anyway.

Essential purchase for all new Mindstorm NXT owners.
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We gave it to our 11 year old son a month or so after he had the Mindstorm NXT for Christmas.

He loves it and the book together with the Lego kit have provided hours of learning, discovery, creativity and fun.
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Format: Paperback
this book describes the basics of the equipment you could find in Lego Mindstorm package. I bought two books: that one + Inventor's Guide. My son (12 year old) switched to the second one very quickly leaving the Discovery Book behind. He says that was ok to start with but when you are making more complicated projects you hardly ever have to come back to the foundations described there.
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