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10 Cool Lego Mindstorm Ultimate Builders Projects: Amazing Projects You Can Build in Under an Hour
     

10 Cool Lego Mindstorm Ultimate Builders Projects: Amazing Projects You Can Build in Under an Hour

by Mario Ferrari, Giulio Ferrari (Joint Author), Tonya L. Witherspoon, Kevin Clague, Soh Chio Siong
 

LEGO MINDSTORMS lets you design and program robots that can do just about anything!
You've just purchased the LEGO MINDSTORMS Ultimate Builder Kit. Now what? Overwhelmed by the creative possibilities? The Builder Kit is targeted towards those who want to become "master LEGO builders."

10 Cool LEGO MINDSTORM Ultimate Builder Projects: Amazing Projects You

Overview

LEGO MINDSTORMS lets you design and program robots that can do just about anything!
You've just purchased the LEGO MINDSTORMS Ultimate Builder Kit. Now what? Overwhelmed by the creative possibilities? The Builder Kit is targeted towards those who want to become "master LEGO builders."

10 Cool LEGO MINDSTORM Ultimate Builder Projects: Amazing Projects You Can Build in Under an Hour provides step-by-step instructions and detailed illustrations for users of all skill levels and proficiencies. This MINDSTORMS kit features many rare parts, a spare motor, a turntable, special gears, transparent beams, and even a pneumatics system-parts that can be confusing and that will be new to many LEGO builders. 10 Cool LEGO MINDSTORM Ultimate Builder Projects teaches readers how to incorporate these new features into their creations as they build 10 unique robots.

From out of the box to up and running in less than an hour. This book teaches users how to create 10 amazing projects in under an hour.
8-page color insert. An eight-page color insert will illustrates the complete projects in full-detail.
Specifically targeted to both new users of the LEGO MINDSTORMS and experienced MINDSTORMS fans.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781931836609
Publisher:
Elsevier Science
Publication date:
09/20/2002
Pages:
176
Product dimensions:
7.98(w) x 9.98(h) x 0.60(d)

Read an Excerpt

Hopper is a four-legged robot designed to move in a loping, hopping motion. Unlike most robots with legs, Hopper's design is extremely simple, which makes it an excellent starter project, and its unique gait makes it a fun robot to play with and program.

I spent quite a while trying to select an appropriate name for this robot. Having rejected such names as FleaBot, Skipper, and even Dennis (the Hopper), simplicity won out. Sometimes naming a robot can be the most difficult part of the invention process.

Hopper's hopping action is generated by the spinning action of the large pulley wheels, which drive the legs down and back, then retract them quickly. Although Hopper doesn't actually leave the ground on each hop, it does drive itself forward, and even has the ability to turn left and right. Positioning the weight correctly is crucial to achieve the desired hopping motion: Place the heavy RCX brick too far forward and there is too much weight on the front legs for Hopper to move; place it too far to the rear and the robot will flip onto its back.

Programming Hopper poses an interesting challenge. In order to hop forward, the legs need to move synchronously despite the fact that the motors run independently. You can synchronize the legs by simply allowing a small rest time between movements, during which the robot's own weight will return the legs to the resting state before starting movement again. If you're programming using the NQC (Not Quite C) programming language, use the Float command in place of the Off command. Float allows the motors to turn freely when they are turned off, which lets the legs return to the resting state in about half a second. If you program using the LEGO RCX language, allow at least a second or so between movements because the motors tend to resist turning.

The program for Hopper is designed to let it hop around the RIS Test Pad, following the black oval and hopping on the green rectangles. Due to the way the legs move, Hopper will only work on a smooth surface, so the Test Pad is an excellent place to let it roam. You can download the Hopper program from the Syngress Solutions Web site (www.solutions.com/syngress).

 

Meet the Author

Mario Ferrari received his first Lego box around 1964, when he was 4. Lego was his favorite toy for many years, until he thought he was too old to play with it. In 1998, the Lego Mindstorms RIS set gave him reason to again have Lego become his main addiction. Mario believes Lego is the closest thing to the perfect toy. He is Managing Director at EDIS, a leader in finishing and packaging solutions and promotional packaging. The advent of the MINDSTORMS product line represented for him the perfect opportunity to combine his interest in IT and robotics with his passion for LEGO bricks, which started during his early childhood. Mario has been a very active member of the online MINDSTORMS community from the beginning and has pushed LEGO robotics to its limits. Mario holds a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the University of Turin and has always nourished a strong interest for physics, mathematics, and computer science. He is fluent in many programming languages and his background includes positions as an IT manager and as a project supervisor. Mario estimates he owns over 60,000 Lego pieces. Mario works in Modena, Italy, where he lives with his wife Anna and his children Sebastiano and Camilla.

Giulio Ferrari is a student in Economics at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, where he also studied Engineering. He is fond of computers and has developed utilities, entertainment software, and Web applications for several companies. Giulio discovered robotics in 1998, with the arrival of MINDSTORMS, and held an important place in the creation of the Italian LEGO community. He shares a love for LEGO bricks with his oldest brother Mario, and a strong curiosity for the physical and mathematical sciences. Giulio also has a collection of 1200 dice, including odd-faced dice and game dice. He studies, works, and lives in Modena, Italy.

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