Instant LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Paperback – 25 Sep 2013
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About the Author
Gary Garber teaches physics, math, and engineering at Boston University Academy. Gary is the Past-President of the New England Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers, and has led dozens of professional development workshops in education, on both the local and national level. Gary runs the Boston University FIRST Robotics program. He has run and hosted numerous robotics workshops in VEX, Tetrix, and LEGO platforms. He has also run several LEGO robotics tournaments and spoken on robotics education at both local and national conferences. His robotics team has worked with Engineers Without Borders, NASA, and the National Science Teachers Association on a variety of engineering and education projects. He is currently an educational consultant, working to develop new software tools for the classroom, at the Tufts Center for Engineering Education and Outreach, which is a pioneer in LEGO Robotics Education. He currently resides in Massachusetts, US and when he is not playing with LEGOS, robots, or toy trains, he enjoys spending time with his wife Catalina, and their two children, Alejandro and Leonardo.
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Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Yes, this is a warning to all readers out there: If you bought the retail home version of the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Kit (i.e., the one sold here on Amazon and basically every LEGO store, toy store, department store and every other website on the internet), then this book is NOT FOR YOU. In order to build and program the robots in this particularly useless book, you must be have the Education version of the Mindstorms EV3 Kit, which is only sold to schools and educators. Now, why this guy would not (a) explain this on the cover and all information available about his book, and (b) consider building robots in the book which could be built using EITHER version of the EV3 kit, I have no idea. I think he is either oblivious to the fact that there is a retail version out there and it is the only version available to the general public, or he simply doesn't care about any of his potential readers who are not students or educators at this particular time.
Bottom line: Wait for another author to write a book in the future, or buy the education version of the EV3 kit FIRST. Otherwise, prepare for some major frustration.
If you wonder why this book can't be used with Retail kit: the key difference is that it utilizes ultrasonic and gyro sensors which are available for purchase separately but not included in the Retail kit. There may be also be some issues with availability of bricks necessary to follow the instructions in the book, but even if some of them are not included in the Retail set, this would not be a big issue since one can find creative workarounds with the parts available. Sensors is the key difference which makes this book kit-specific. Ultrasonic sensor can be replaced with infrared, but there is no replacement for the gyro sensor.
This book is also available on Kindle (if you have a color Kindle, e-book is in full color). The paper version appears to be black and white. I had a concern that black and white images would be more difficult to follow when it comes to finding the right bricks and programming, so I ended up getting the e-version and I can confirm that the book is perfectly readable on the Kindle. The publisher also offers PDF (and ePub) formats through their site.
Currently, there are only three books on Lego Mindstorms EV3 on the market, this one and a fairly pricey, but beautifully printed in full color "Classroom Activities for the Busy Teacher: EV3" which cover the Education set, and "The LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Laboratory: Build, Program, and Experiment with Five Wicked Cool Robots!" which covers the retail set. All three seems to be good, solid books, which offer complementary information on EV3 and help kids with getting up to speed.
Garber refers to the various segments of the book as ‘recipes’ and that really is a good name for them. Each section breaks down into steps, along with CAD renderings or screenshots. This makes for a good tutorial as it is easy to follow. Be it good or bad, you don’t need to read most of the book. The images are enough to know what is going on.
I would recommend this book for anyone, but with the focus on the educational kit, it is really best suited for teachers (or students who have access to an educational kit at school). Unlike the LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT, EV3’s educational kit is quite different from the retail kit. The educational kit contains different sensors (ultrasonic instead of IR, no IR remote, and a gyro sensor), software (the educational software directly supports these sensor differences and includes data logging), and finally different parts (most notably the caster ball, pictured right).
One down side is that it is very quick tutorials. This does not go into super depth, but if you are looking to just get up and running and then explore for yourself, then this book is might be a good option.
((edit: They corrected the cover page title since then))
Also be aware that this book if for those who have the EV3 Education set!! (teachers and students, mainly the set found in schools)
If you get/have the 31313 Retail Set (the blue box on sale here on Amazon) you will NOT be able to build the robots in this book as you will be missing the fat tires, gyro sensor, etc...