LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT One-Kit Wonders

Ten Inventions to Spark Your Imagination
by the Contributors to The NXT Step Blog

November 2008, 408 pp.
ISBN: 978-1-59327-188-6

This book is currently out of stock, but the ebook is still available

View an excerpt from Chapter 10: "The Bike"

The creative minds behind The NXT STEP blog are back with a brand-new collection of innovative robots. Whether you're just getting started with LEGO robotics or have been building and programming robots for years, LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT One-Kit Wonders is packed with new and exciting techniques, advice, and robots that guarantee awesome results. And best of all, you'll only need one NXT Retail kit to build all ten of them!

LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT One-Kit Wonders will make it simple for you to construct even the most complex of these ten robots, all while you learn the ins and outs of the NXT kit. You'll learn to build and program:

  • PunchBot, a robot that you program using old-fashioned punchcards
  • M, a robot that sorts your M&M candies by color
  • NXT Dragster, a super-fast racecar that will take you all the way to the drag strip
  • BobBot, a versatile skid-steer loader, equipped with a ball grabber or demolition claw
  • RoboLock, a security system for your robots
  • The Hand, a robotic replacement hand to protect you from those dangerous cleanup jobs, like picking up your brother's gym socks
  • SPC, a robotic vehicle that can park itself between two objects using front-wheel drive
  • The Bike, a two-wheeled robot that can balance and steer

Armed with the knowledge you gain from this book, you'll be inventing your own amazing creations in no time.

Requirements: One LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT set (#8527)


About the Author

BlueToothKiwi lives in New Zealand with his partner and four children. He has an electrical engineering background but is now working in the banking industry. He has been building robots with MINDSTORMS NXT for two years and especially enjoys building outdoor robots that go places too dangerous for humans. BlueToothKiwi is a contributor to The NXT STEP blog and Brick Journal. He is also a member of the MINDSTORMS Community Partners (MCP), a group that assists LEGO with testing and growing the NXT product. He also teaches local school children how to build and program NXT robots and mentors a Robocup team. He would like to thank Christine, Robert, and Daniel for all their help in the development of the Candy Picked (Chapter 1) and The Bike (Chapter 10).

Martijn Boogaarts is a freelance technical trainer on integration technology. In 1986 he started a LEGO "robotica”"club at his school and has since built many robots. Martyn was one of the initial organizers of LEGO WORLD, and he built several large demonstration models, including the Road-Plate-Laying-Machine, a working car factory (27 RCXs), and a Pinball machine. In April 2005 he contributed to the AFOL-MINDSTORMS tournament in Billund, and later that year he was asked to join the MINDSTORMS Users Panel (MUP2). Martyn contributes to The NXT STEP blog and shares knowledge about the NXT to show that you can build it, too.

Eric D. Burdo is a grown-up (okay, a big kid) working as a computer programmer in Maine. He's been infatuated with robotics and creating with LEGO bricks since he was a little kid. When the RCX kits were produced, he purchased two. His wife bought him an NXT kit as a birthday gift in September of 2006, and he became a contributor to The NXT STEP blog a few months later. Eric likes to tinker with hobby electronics and teach his six-year-old how to dissect old electronic toys. He also teaches computers and LEGO robotics part time. He would like to thank Adrianne, Jacob, and the rest of the students of his Robotics and Engineering class for helping with the testing and building instructions for his robot contribution, The Hand (Chapter 7).

Jonathan Daudelin has been building LEGO MINDSTORMS robots as a hobby for six years. He enjoys using CAD software to render his robots on the computer. He also helped start and was a member of a FIRST LEGO League team, Built On The Rock. In their second year of competing, he and his team won first place in the Robot Performance and Innovative Robot categories at the World Festival in the 2007 Nanoquest challenge. His team's robot achieved perfect scores in all three of its rounds, which had occurred only once before in World Festival history.

Jim Kelly is a freelance writer based in Atlanta, Georgia. He received an English degree and an Industrial Engineering degree—an unusual combination, but very helpful in his career. Jim was accepted into the LEGO MINDSTORMS Developer Program (MDP) in early 2006 and helped to beta test the LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT kit and software. He is now a member of the MINDSTORMS Community Partners, a group that continues to assist LEGO with testing and growing the NXT product.

For this project, Fay Rhodes has taken on the role of cat herder—otherwise known as manager and editor. With the help of the staff at No Starch, she has taken pains to translate the excellent instructions from our authors into language comprehensible to the average American 11- to 13-year-old (and his or her grandparents). Fay was a contributor to The LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT Idea Book (No Starch Press, 2007) and is the author of The LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT Zoo! (No Starch Press, 2008). She is also a member of the MINDSTORMS Community Partners (MCP) and is a strong advocate for using the MINDSTORMS NXT as an integrative teaching tool in schools. She is a recent immigrant to Perry, Oklahoma (from Massachusetts), where she is mentoring public school students on two new FIRST LEGO League teams. She would like to thank her husband, Rick, for discovering and introducing her to the MINDSTORMS NXT.

Matthias Paul Scholz (from Freiburg, Germany) has a degree in mathematics and has held IT-related positions in various companies in Germany over the past 12 years. He has been an active member of the LEGO MINDSTORMS community since 2000, was one of the developers of the open source leJOS platform for the RCX, took part in the LEGO MINDSTORMS Developer Program, and is presently one of the 20 members of the LEGO MINDSTORMS Community Partners Program. Furthermore, he wrote Advanced NXT: The Da Vinci Inventions Book, contributes to the popular The NXT STEP blog, and maintains the German-speaking sister blog Die NXTe Ebene.

Christopher R. Smith (a.k.a. Littlehorn) is a Senior Quality Assurance Inspector in the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory (SAIL) at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. He invented an inspection tool recognized by NASA, which honored him with the prestigious Space Act Award. He has been designing LEGO MINDSTORMS robots since rediscovering the LEGO product in 1997. As one of the pioneering moderators asked to host the Official LEGO MINDSTORMS Website Community Forums, Chris has volunteered there for the last nine years to cultivate one of the safest online communities. He was again honored when LEGO asked him to become a member of the LEGO MINDSTORMS Developer Program for the NXT system. He is a member of the LEGO MINDSTORMS Community Partners and is a contributor to The NXT STEP blog.

Laurens Valk is a resident of The Netherlands. He got his first MINDSTORMS kit in 2005 and has been a robotics enthusiast ever since. Two months after he got his first MINDSTORMS NXT set in 2007, he was invited to become a contributor to The NXT STEP blog. Laurens enjoys creating computer-aided design drawings of his creations and is responsible for the creation of the clear images in this book. He would like to thank Philippe Hurbain and Jaco van der Molen for helping him with some of the problems that occurred during the building image generation process. Laurens is the designer of the SPC (Chapter 8) and GrabBot (Chapter 9). Look for more of his design on the Internet.


Watch Laurens Valk's video of LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT One-Kit Wonders robots in action:


Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Chapter 1: CandyPicker: a candy-picking robot with built-in generator and remote control
Chapter 2: PunchBot: old-school programming using your NXT
Chapter 3: m: the m&m sorter
Chapter 4: NXT Dragster: The NXT STEP Dragster Challenge
Chapter 5: BobBot: an NXT version of the bobcat
Chapter 6: RoboLock: a security system for your robots
Chapter 7: the hand: a robot for those dirty jobs
Chapter 8: SPC: self-parking car
Chapter 9: GrabBot: a robot that finds, grabs, lifts, and moves
Chapter 10: the bike: an NXT bicycle that can steer and move autonomously

View the detailed Table of Contents (PDF)

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Reviews

"LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT One-Kit Wonders delivers awesome project ideas without forcing builders to scramble for parts, and offers ideas for further exploration once more parts are acquired."
—GeekDad (Read More)

"The book is full of fun projects, and gives kids tools to help create their own designs."
—Make (Read More)

"The One-Kit Wonders book is a great addition to the NXT kit and well worth the cost of the book."
—Associated Content (Read More)

"If you are looking for some fresh ideas, [LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT One-Kit Wonders has 10 wonderful projects for teachers and FLL coaches to explore and to adapt to emphasize particular technology, science and math skills."
—The Robotic Realm (Read More)

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