Synopses & Reviews
The LEGO® MINDSTORMS Robotics Invention System (RIS) is a wildly popular kit for building mobile robots. This book contains all the information you need to get the most out of your kit. Based on hands-on robot projects, the book includes descriptions of advanced mechanical techniques, programming with third-party software, building your own sensors, working with more than one kit, and sources of extra parts. This book goes far beyond what you'll find in the official documentation to enable you to build and program whatever you can imagine.The center of the RIS kit is a small programmable robot brain called the RCX. This book explains the software architecture of the RCX as well as the various options that are available for programming it.The book includes:
- Hands-on robot projects, with complete building instructions and programs. Different aspects of these projects are used to explore fundmental issues of mobile robot design.
- A chapter on NQC, a popular programming environment for RIS. You'll learn how NQC fits into the RIS software architecture, as well as how to write programs using NQC's C-like syntax. Includes copious examples.
- A chapter on legOS, an alternate operating system for the RCX. legOS provides very low-level access to the resources of the RCX, enabling complex robot programming. This chapter describes legOS's structure and includes useful sample programs.
- A chapter on pbForth, another powerful option for RCX robot programming. The chapter includes sample programs in Forth.
- A chapter about building your own sensors. Making your own sensors is economical and educational. This chapter describes how to build several different sensors that will work with the RIS kit.
The book includes numerous illustrations and code examples. Many URLs are listed to serve as an introduction to the thriving online MINDSTORMS community.
The LEGO MINDSTORMS Robotics Invention System is a wildly popular kit for building mobile robots. Get the most out of the kit for hands-on robot projects, featuring descriptions of advanced mechanical techniques, programming with third-party software, building sensors, working with more than one kits and sources of extra parts.
About the Author
Jonathan Knudsen is an author at O'Reilly & Associates. His books include The Unofficial Guide to Lego Mindstorms Robots, Java 2D Graphics, and Java Cryptography. He is the Courseware Writer for LearningPatterns.com.
Table of Contents
1. Welcome to MINDSTORMS
What Is a Robot?
What Is MINDSTORMS?
2. Hank, the Bumper Tank
About the Building Instructions
A Simple Program
Bumpers and Feelers
3. Trusty, a Line Follower
Some Tricky Programming
The Light Sensor
Using Two Light Sensors
4. Not Quite C
A Quick Start
RCX Software Architecture
5. Minerva, a Robot with an Arm
Two Sensors, One Input
Where Am I?
An Expensive Thermometer
7. A Remote Control for Minerva
Two Heads Are Better Than One
The Allure of Telerobotics
Programming the Remote Control
8. Using Spirit.ocx with Visual Basic
You May Already Have Visual Basic
Calling Spirit.ocx Functions
Immediate and Delayed Gratif ication
Programs, Tasks, and Subroutines
Retrieving the Datalog
9. RoboTag, a Game for Two Robots
New Brains for Hank
11. Make Your Own Sensors
Other Neat Ideas
What About Actuators?
A. Finding Parts and Programming Environments
B. A pbFORTH Downloader
C. Future Directions