LEGO Mindstorms Masterpieces: Building Advanced Robots

Product Description
In LEGO Mindstorm Masterpieces, some of the world’s leading LEGO Mindstorms inventors share their knowledge and development secrets. The unique style of this book will allow it to cover an incredibly broad range of topics in unparalleled detail. Chapters within the book will include detailed discussions of the mechanics that drive the robot – and also provide step-by-step construction diagrams for each of the robots. This is perfect book for LEGO hobbyists looking t… More >>

LEGO Mindstorms Masterpieces: Building Advanced Robots

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  1. This is the book of the greatest, most complex Lego pieces to date, and I highly recommend it to anyone thoroughly engrossed in the area of Lego programming. It is an invaluable resource with amazing graphics, and very creative new inventions which serve as a wonderful catalyst for my own ideas. Great guide.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  2. Included are complete building instructions for some truly amazing robots/machines. You’ll need LOTS of Lego to build them though. Even if you haven’t you’ll be inspired by the authors imagination and ingenuity. The writing is good, and the descriptions/instructions detailed and clear.

    The best reason though for buying the book is the included CD which contains no less than ten other Mindstorms books in PDF format,including the most excellent ‘Building Robots with Lego Mindstorms’. I had expected to find software and sample programs, but their absence is more than made up for by the books.
    Rating: 4 / 5

  3. This book has gathered together “Masterpieces” from some of the the world’s greatest LEGO creators. Builders from the US, Canada, Italy, Netherlands, and Japan have brought you their passions, the theories behind each masterpiece, and detailed building and programming techniques. “LEGO Mindstorms Masterpieces” is truly at the zenith of all related books and I believe it will become a true masterpiece both in name and in reality.

    This book began in July of 2002. And, while the the creation, writing and editing was extremely difficult, the authors fought mightily to accomplish our goal: to build LEGO robots both suitable for Master Builders and worthy of this book’s title! Amazing PneumADDic II and Synchropillar by Kevin as a computer processor specialist and creator of LPub and LSynth. Splendid Stair-Climber by Doug who is a well known creator of several Omni Drive Vehicles. And, two awesome works – Learning Brick Sorter and The LEGO Turing Machine that were invented by the famous Ferrari brothers – they are co-authors of the best selling “Building Robots with LEGO Mindstorms” and have been called the “DaVincis of LEGO”. Biped robot expert Miguel created complex SSCT faithfully based on the real robot that was active for life search and explore in WTC, New York. Lastly, a robotic arm driven by 10 motors and feedback system – CyberArm IV that I have created as a series in four years. All of these are the real robots that are backed by real robotics – only the materials are LEGO! We are very pleased that we could explore a new frontier in LEGO Mindstorms, and be able to offer it in book form.

    As the one of pioneers of LEGO robots, I have had my experience of the results in the MIT Media Lab fortunately in the middle of the 80s, and the result of my writing of over half year keeping is included in bundle CD-ROM as a over 50 pages bonus chapter. I have tried to write about a lot of topics to explain the world of robots and LEGO Mindstorms – history of LEGO robot or their philosophy of the LEGO Group, precious list and description of early LEGO educational sets for control learning, personal robot boom in the 80s, from a more than 300-year-old Japanese automata (the Karakuri) to the latest state-of-the-art robotics. I believe that my discussion and description about the way of thinking and creation – included building, programming, CAD and even about Art – are useful in particular.

    We hope that this book will never lose its value and that it will become loved by people of all generations.

    From Tokyo
    Hideaki Yabuki
    Media Activist
    Rating: 5 / 5

  4. After building many of the robots presented in Lego Mindstorms Masterpieces published by Syngress, I feel I am now qualified to give a fair personal assessment of this book. I have purchased many Lego Mindstorms books and each one has great ideas and a lot to offer. All books have shortcomings and room for improvement. How good a book is depends on how well it address the readers needs. My needs center on my use of Lego Mindstorms to teach mechanical engineering, logic, programming and robotics to my 13-year-old daughter. Lego Mindstorms Masterpieces is the newest addition to our Lego toolbox. There are so many positive things to say about this publication I’ll place the very few items I would have preferred done differently at the end of this review.

    A few key benefits this book offers to anyone involved with Lego Mindstorms are complete, well illustrated assembly instructions, detailed commentary by the authors with additional tips to aid in the construction, explanations of where the inspirations for the creation came from with historical references, web site listings for additional information and a e-book CD-ROM with program files. Many of the authors have active web sites of their own and are available to generously help people stuck during construction.

    Lego Masterpieces not only expand the reader’s knowledge of Lego Mindstorms applications, but engineering and robots in general. The concepts presented can be applied anywhere the logic, computers, or machines are designed and built. The book shows that the construction of a machine must go hand in hand with the programming to best fit an application. Giulio Ferrari explores basic Artificial Intelligence and the foundations of modern computers with the Turing Machine. Another chapter presents the mechanics and theory of creating logic cells amazingly through the use of pneumatics and then combining them into the synchronous PneumADDic II calculating machine by Kevin Clague. And again by Kevin, the building of an asynchronous artificial muscle using Autonomous Pneumatic Circuits in the Synchropillar without RCX programmed control. An all terrain wheeled vehicle by Doug Carlson uses his Tri-Star drive design called the Stair Climber and will crawl over and out of almost anything. A spy robot by Miguel Aguilio called The Shape-Shifting Camera Tank utilizes Vision Command’s camera, can increase or decrease it’s height and you may control it with it’s own Lego parts constructed joystick. The Learning Brick Sorter by Mario Ferrari, which combines a robotic arm with an automated task, blends the machine with excellent basic AI programming, which can learn new tasks. And finally, the most advance Lego robotic arm I’ve ever seen is in the chapter on CyberArm IV by Hideaki Yabuki. Not only does this arm have five Degrees of Freedom and 180-degree rotation, but you can also build the optional Power Glove to operate the robotic arm from your own hand movements!

    The few complaints I have of this book are that the Bill Of Materials on some of the chapters are printed so small and illegible that I couldn’t read them with a magnifying glass! Adding a page and printing the illustrations larger and clearer would have better represented the quality of the overall material. The other complaint is found in most books. Someone should proof read it before publication. Spell checkers don’t think!

    My final message about this book is BUY IT and start collecting the parts you’ll need. It expands the frontiers of Lego Mindstorms and you’ll need all the parts you can get your hands on!
    Rating: 5 / 5


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