This book is about building robots using Lego bricks and components. In the first section of the book (Part I) we will discuss why you might find an interest in robotics as a hobby, and why Lego is an ideal system to have a fast start and great results. If you're reading this book you probably own a Mindstorms set, so you already have an interest in robotics, and for this reason we kept this part very short. Nevertheless you might find there some thoughts about what robotics can give to you and your family, besides a lot of fun. And how it can change your perception of the environment that's around you.
The second section (Part II) is about how to build a robot. Here we provide a set of tools you need to explore the world of robotics. Some basic knowledge about mechanics, motors, sensors, pneumatics, navigation, and many tips and tricks. We will compare different standard architectures, discuss solutions to common recurring problems, learn how to organize complex projects in terms of subsystems.
In the third section (Part III) we start to face the tough question, the one we actually would try to answer with this book: "I got a Mindstorms kit, I have learnt how to use it, what do I build now?". Here we will show you a large survey of possible ideas, but do not expect to find complete models to copy step by step.
8-Page Full Color Insert
The 8-page, full color insert will contain detailed photography of the most impressive robots that readers will be able to build after reading the book. The photos will also detail the more complex electrical and construction challenges.
About 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 l! anguages 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.