Build a Rubik's Cube Solver and a Tic-Tac-Toe Playing Robot!
by Daniele Benedettelli

December 2009, 224 pp.
ISBN: 978-1-59327-216-6
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It may look like one, but the LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT set is not a toy.

Whether you've been building with the original LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT set for years or you just picked up a 2.0 set, you'll love this book. LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT Thinking Robots will show you how to build and program two robots that think. You'll be awestruck when the TTT Tickler ties you at tic-tac-toe and amazed when the One-Armed Wonder solves a Rubik's Cube in just a few minutes.

These robots aren't child's play. The models are challenging, and you'll have to do a bit of thinking yourself to get them to work. But once you get the hang of it, your efforts will be amply rewarded.

In addition to providing detailed instructions for building each model with either the original or the NXT 2.0 set, author Daniele Benedettelli takes you inside the robots to show you how they're designed, what makes them think, and how to use them. You'll learn how to:

  • Control and calibrate your robots for best performance
  • Dig into tic-tac-toe strategy to see how the TTT Tickler always plays to win
  • Use the CubeSolver program to solve a Rubik's Cube with the One-Armed Wonder
  • Better understand artificial intelligence as it relates to robotics, problem solving, and gaming

So go ahead, put on your thinking cap and get building!

Requirements: A computer running Microsoft Windows 2000 or higher, one complete LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT or NXT 2.0 set, a webcam, some marbles, a couple of rubber bands, and an Internet connection (to download the programs).

About the Author

Daniele Benedettelli is known worldwide for his original LEGO robots, including the LEGO Rubik Utopy (a Rubik's Cube Solver) and JohnNXT 5 (based on the robot in Short Circuit). Benedettelli is a member of the MINDSTORMS Developer Program (MDP) and a MINDSTORMS Community Partner (MCP), groups that help to test and develop new NXT products. He holds a masters degree in Robotics and Automation from the University of Siena (Italy) and is the author of Creating Cool MINDSTORMS NXT Robots (Apress). In his spare time, Benedettelli enjoys composing music.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Getting Started
Chapter 2: The TTT Tickler: A Tic-Tac-Toe Player
Chapter 3: Building the TTT Tickler with the Original NXT Set
Chapter 4: Building the TTT Tickler with the NXT 2.0 Set
Chapter 5: The One-Armed Wonder: My New Rubik's Cube Solver
Chapter 6: Building the One-Armed Wonder with the Original NXT Set
Chapter 7: Building the One-Armed Wonder with the NXT 2.0 Set
Appendix: Thinking Robots

View the detailed Table of Contents (PDF)

View the detailed Index (PDF)