Competitive MINDSTORMS: A Complete Guide to Robotic Sumo using LEGO MINDSTORMS

Product Description
With the advent of TV shows such as Junkyard Wars and BattleBots, robot building is gaining popularity throughout the mainstream population, but no books have been published with this particular focus. Competitive MINDSTORMS: A Complete Guide to Robotic Sumo using LEGO MINDSTORMS sets a new precedent, covering the design and construction of Robot-Sumo robots using MINDSTORMS. Written by an experienced robot builder active in the building-community, this groundbre… More >>

Competitive MINDSTORMS: A Complete Guide to Robotic Sumo using LEGO MINDSTORMS

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  1. The Lego company has a Mindstorms product line that lets you build Lego models with simple programmable electronics. Easy but fascinating robots. Perdue offers you third party support, in the form of advice that is independent of the company. This book is an amalgam of neat assembly instructions and diagrams of robots to build, with accompanying source code to control them.

    The Lego library is easy enough to understand. You code in C, and link to that library. So the outlook is procedural, not object oriented. But for the code examples shown, and for any code that you are likely to write, their sizes are small enough that a procedural approach is perfectly adequate. And with less overhead than an object oriented outlook.

    A nice aspect is that you can tinker with both the hardware and software, in tight feedback design loops of changing something and testing it. In other projects, often it might be purely software. Which may not appeal to you, if you’re the sort who is attracted to robotics.
    Rating: 4 / 5

  2. Competitive Mindstorms: A Complete Guide To Robotic Sumo Using Lego Mindstorms is a hobby guide to using the Lego Mindstorms Robotic Invention System to design, build, program, and unleash autonomous “sumo-bot” creations for use in a robotic sumo arena. Written by dedicated Lego Mindstorms enthusiast David Perdue, Competitive Mindstorms introduces the reader to the sumo-bot, provides seven projects designed to give hands-on experience in three different approaches to robotic sumo (small-and-fast class, medium class, and big-sumo strategies), presents extensive discussions of Lego pieces and building methodology, programming techniques, and much more. Black-and-white photographs illustrate the building instructions in this go-to guide especially friendly to beginners but packed with valuable tips, tricks, and techniques for the seasoned Lego Mindstorms hobbyist as well.

    Rating: 5 / 5

  3. The heart of this book is the step-by-step instructions to construct seven different Lego robot chassis. This is just like any Lego instructions you will find, but it’s not in color, and there is English text to add more material about the reasons behind the design.

    In addition there is Mindstorms control code to accompany each chassis design. The programming language is Not Quite C (NQC). Installation instructions for NQC are included as this is a step you will have to take in addition to the standard Mindstorms installation.

    The bots range from just a small construction around the RCX control block to designs that are ‘gargantuan’. They are as sturdy and well designed as those that you find in the original Mindstorms kit.

    I was disappointed that there was not more emphasis placed on describing the program logic. I would have appreciated flow charts as most of the control logic is simple state machines.

    Overall I think this would be a fine book for anyone serious about Mindstorms sumo.
    Rating: 4 / 5

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