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The LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Laboratory: Build, Program, and Experiment with Five Wicked Cool Robots!
The LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Laboratory: Build, Program, and Experiment with Five Wicked Cool Robots!
Price: 10.27

4.0 out of 5 stars Great book if you want to learn LEGO EV3 in depth, 28 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a great book for really learning how to program the ev3 in depth. There is also a wealth of detail on constructional techniques, which are illustrated in the excellent models described in the book with full constructional details.
My only problem was that with a couple of the models SENTIN3L and T-R3X particularly I found them to be a bit unstable, and they could fall over. I think this was because I used rechargeable NiMh battery cells which are quite heavy in the eV3 brick. I asked the author on his web site (quick response) and he had used the rechargeable pack that LEGO supply as an extra (it is standard with the Educational set but not the retail one) and I think this is lighter, altering the centre of gravity of the model. This is why I give it 4 rather than 5 stars. Notwithstanding, this is an excellent book and a must if you are really serious about getting to grips with the potential of the ev3 system. The analysis of steering geometry and the programming to allow for it in the steerable SUP3r CAR is superb!
I bought the Kindle addition which worked well if you have a second monitor on your PC on which to display it, with the LEGO program on the main monitor.

2" Luggage Strap With TSA Combination Lock with SEARCHCHECK Indicator - RED & BLACK
2" Luggage Strap With TSA Combination Lock with SEARCHCHECK Indicator - RED & BLACK
Price: 7.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great belt product, 16 Dec 2011
Ordered this belt and it arrived promptly. Exactly as described. It secured our suitcase which had a non TSA lock which we left unlokced, and travelled to the States and back again without mishap. Easy to set the combination, and the belt seemed quite sturdy. Also easy to pick out our case from the luggage carousel. I also liked the tamper indicator which showed if the US customs had in fact opened the case.

The LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0 Discovery Book
The LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0 Discovery Book
by Laurens Valk
Edition: Paperback
Price: 19.50

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Lego Mindstorms NXT 2.0 Discovery Book: a great book!, 23 May 2010
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.
In the second section of the book, the explorer robot is then modified to include a range of sensors. First the ultrasonic sensor is added to enable the robot to "see" where it is going, and programs are developed to help it avoid obstacles. These are fully detailed, and again open-ended extra tasks are suggested for the reader to experiment with.
Bumpers are then added to utilise the two touch sensors, and all the while, the programs and optional tasks become more ambitious as the reader gains in confidence. The sensor section completes by introducing the colour sensor, which is mounted on the explorer, and the reader is taken through several tasks including the development of a line following program. The use of the buttons on the NXT brick as well as the rotation sensors built in to the motors is also fully explored.
At this stage the reader has completed 85 pages, and Laurens moves on to complete the second section of the book by introducing a couple of more meaty projects, starting with building the shot-roller - a robot defence system. Full clear building instructions enable the reader to construct this robot, and here it should be said that although the book is in black and white, I had no difficulty in following the process, and the book even has a look up diagram on the front inside colour which lets you see the particular shade of grey that each coloured piece is represented by. In this section details are given on the use of the programming palettes in the software and the use of the colour lamp and motor block. The main shot-roller program is then developed with full explanations at every stage. Alternatives for an intruder alarm and for a remote control mode are also explored. I found this project to be great fun! As a parting shot (forgive the pun) Laurens invites the reader to explore how far the shooter can shoot as the angle of the turret is changed. Also to explore adding the ultrasonic sensor to the robot, and also, in a very open-ended way to explore making a catapult in conjunction with other non-lego parts such as rubber bands and plastic spoons. The second project in the first section of the book is Strider: a novel six-legged walking creature. Here I should say that throughout the book I was very impressed with the many novel and original building techniques that Laurens employs in these robots. There are many examples of very interesting ways of mounting motors and the NXT brick, and I look forward to incorporating some of them in my own future designs. Strider is based on an unusual triangular frame. After a discussion on the walking mechanism employed the program is developed to produce a walking robot, enhanced with coloured lights. As by now the reader is accustomed, there follow a range of investigations, including producing a version which can walk in six directions, or a version which is afraid of a light and stops walking when illuminated, or a further version which speeds up the brighter the light shining on it.
The third section of the book is entitled Creating Advanced Programs. This uses a test bed called Smart-Bot which builds a small platform with two motors and some sensors with which to explore advanced techniques. One motor has the light sensor mounted on it, so that it can be angled at different heights. The other has a wheel attached that can be used to rotate the motor to allow rotational inputs to be made and measured. A touch sensor and the ultrasonic sensor complete the line up. Once the bot is built, the use of data-hubs is introduced, and a range of investigations show how sensors motors and the NXT display can be connected so that they can interact by the use of data wires. Further chapters introduce the use of data wires with loops, switches and logic elements, interesting investigations involving the use of random sounds or the control of a light by means of two buttons. This section is drawn together by the development of a simple reaction game using the NXT screen and left and right buttons, complete with on screen scoring.
At this stage the reader should be proficient at all of the programming techniques available on the NXT brick, using the supplied software. The fourth section of the book, which consists of the final 100 pages or so, contains three major advanced robot projects. Snatcher is an autonomous robot arm, which has an ingenious arm and jaws assembly which requires just one motor to operate it, unlike the normal two, and this leaves the remaining two motors to drive the supporting platform. The robot incorporates the ultrasonic sensor which detects the position of the objects to be grabbed, the colour sensor to detect their colour, and a push button sensor to detect when the arm is in the fully elevated position. This was a very neat robot, which was a pleasure to build, and, in keeping with the rest of the book, the accompanying program was developed and tested piece by piece. As ever, three subsidiary projects were suggested for the reader to pursue.
A hybrid brick sorter formed the second of the three advanced projects. This requires the user to obtain a small number of extra coloured lego bricks (2x2 and 2x4 studs) that are sorted by the robot. Once again the construction details were very clear, and the design was very elegant, particularly the way in which the wheel motor and the lock motor are mounted. The logic for the program is clearly illustrated and it is developed in a modular fashion with separate "my blocks". Four further exploration projects are suggested using the robot.
The final project is scary! You build a compact chimney climber. This robot climbs the space between two parallel walls about 32cm apart. The ultrasonic sensor detects when it reaches the top and it then descends to the ground again. The potential for catastrophe seemed to be only too apparent, but by this stage I knew that the model would be well engineered in keeping with the other excellent robots in the book, and also that the program would be well developed. There were plenty of warnings about keeping your hands under the robot as it climbed, or using a cushion in case it fell, but in the event I found that the system performed very well, and it was certainly impressive watching the robot climb up the space. I was even confident enough to modify the program with a small improvement. Even for this robot there were suggestions for further exploration, such as programming in an altimeter, or building an aerial tram!
In conclusion this book is a real gem. If you want to learn how to program using the Lego NXT 2 supplied software this book will teach you how, and if you follow the various discovery paths you will end up able to develop and adapt your own programs with confidence. You will also see some very elegant robot designs, and pick up some building techniques that will enable you to start designing your own robots.
The book has an accompanying website which at the time of writing has downloads for all the main programs and for many of the discovery projects. There are plans to extend the website with a user forum and various other sections over the coming months. There are contact details for the author, and from personal experience I know that he is happy to discuss and comment on issues that may arise from the book. Although the book is called a beginners guide I think that anyone, no matter what their experience of Lego Mindstorms is, will find this book very worthwhile to work through. I can thoroughly recommend it.

Kensington 33374EU Wireless 2.4GHz USB Presenter + Red Laser;Compatible with PowerPoint(TM)/KeyNote(TM)
Kensington 33374EU Wireless 2.4GHz USB Presenter + Red Laser;Compatible with PowerPoint(TM)/KeyNote(TM)
Price: 17.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Wireless Presenter that does an excellent job, 17 Nov 2009
The Kensington Si600 is an excellent piece of kit. It has a good solid feel (unlike some others that I have tried), and the way that the USB receiver fits into the hand device when not in use, acting as an on/off switch is really neat. Operation is simplicity itself. Next and previous slide buttons, together with a screen blank button and a laser pointer make it very easy to operate. I have tried it on both PC and Mac and it works with MS Office 2003 and 2007 and also Mac Office 2008. I have also used it with NeoOffice and OpenOffice on a Mac and also Keynote on a Mac. Works with all of them. No software to install. Simply plug in the USB receiver and off you go.

I thoroughly recommend this product.

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