Preface

Welcome to this book. I am so excited to have the opportunity to share with you a passion of mine as an educator who has hands-on experience with LEGO, transforming learning and engagement with students, a parent who has spent countless hours building and creating stories with my kids, an Adult Fan of LEGO (AFOL) with my own LEGO collection to fulfill my hobby, and, of course, just someone who loves the energy of the LEGO community and the continuous positive sharing of remarkable ideas.

I have one major goal with this book: I want this book to be a permission slip for you to build and make. Sometimes when we read books such as these, we build as suggested in the book and that is the extent of the creative process. Being an educator who has spent time in elementary and middle schools, I have learned that not providing the answer is the true facilitator of creativity. What I have created is a series of builds not only for you to explore the new LEGO Robot Inventor Kit but also the world of smart robots that impact our daily lives.

So, each chapter will explore a smart robot concept to explore along with a model robot to build. However, each build has been designed for you to add your own touch. You will see suggestions and ideas to apply the learning of the chapter into new layers of building. I hope you love the freedom to take the ideas and build your own version. 

With this permission slip, I cannot wait to see what you create. Make sure you share!

Here we go. Let's go explore the new LEGO MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor Kit that is now available. 

Who this book is for

The audience of this book is robot enthusiasts, LEGO lovers, hobbyists of tinkering, educators, students, and anyone who is looking to learn about the new LEGO Robot Inventor Kit. The book is designed to go beyond basic builds to intermediate and advanced builds, but keeping it open enough to explore how to add personal flare to the builds and code.

Anyone can complete these builds regardless of background. If you have a growth mindset and love learning, then that is all you need to be successful with the robots in this book.

What this book covers

Chapter 1, History of MINDSTORMS, focuses on a very brief and quick history of the LEGO MINDSTORMS timeline. This chapter serves as information and context for this new MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor Kit 51515. It provides a backdrop of how we have arrived at this new kit.

Chapter 2, Getting Started with the Robot Inventor Kit, is focused on getting familiar with the various parts and components available in the LEGO Robot Inventor Kit and finishes with a small build to explore the basics of the kit.

Chapter 3, Building an Industrial Robot Claw, is focused on how the user can use different components available in the Robot Inventor Kit to build a working model of a robotic arm.

Chapter 4, Building a LEGO Guitar, is focused on combining robotics and music by using the Robot Inventor Kit to make a guitar that is playable and codable to our unique needs and musical tastes.

Chapter 5, Building a Scorpion, is focused on how to build a scorpion robot designed around the famous features of this creature. In particular, you will be building the stinger and a body style similar to a scorpion along with some additional features that the kit provides.

Chapter 6, Building a Solid Sumobot, is focused on how to build a sumobot that will endure battle in a sumo arena while utilizing sensors to be more effective in a strategy designed for success.

Chapter 7, Building a Dragster, is focused on how to build a dragster to see how it turns out in terms of speed and design.

Chapter 8, Building an Egg and Ornament Decorator, is focused on building a robot that will spin around objects such as eggs or ornaments for you to be able to design patterns using markers and other art materials.

Chapter 9, Creating Plankton from SpongeBob SquarePants Part 1, is focused on building the main component of Plankton for the robot to showcase animatronics.

Chapter 10, Creating Plankton from SpongeBob SquarePants Part 2, is focused on building the rest of Plankton by adding the final details to the build and programming the robot to be interactive.

To get the most out of this book

To be successful and get the most out of this book, you will need the following materials and software:

If you are using the digital version of this book, we advise you to type the code yourself or access the code via the GitHub repository (link available in the next section). Doing so will help you avoid any potential errors related to the copying and pasting of code. The programming software can be used on computers and/or tablets/phone. You may want to explore and experiment with both platforms to find out what you prefer.

Download the example code files

You can download the example code files for this book from GitHub at https://github.com/PacktPublishing/Smart-Robotics-with-LEGO-MINDSTORMS-Robot-Inventor/. In case there's an update to the code, it will be updated on the existing GitHub repository.

We also have other code bundles from our rich catalog of books and videos available at https://github.com/PacktPublishing/. Check them out!

Code in Action

Code in Action videos for this book can be viewed at http://bit.ly/2Ovna4w.

Download the color images

We also provide a PDF file that has color images of the screenshots/diagrams used in this book. You can download it here: http://www.packtpub.com/sites/default/files/downloads/9781800568402_ColorImages.pdf.

Conventions used

There are a number of text conventions used throughout this book.

Code in text: Indicates code words in text, database table names, folder names, filenames, file extensions, pathnames, dummy URLs, user input, and Twitter handles. Here is an example: "You will drop in another Set Action block with the condition of 4 to activate that code sequence in our main program."

Bold: Indicates a new term, an important word, or words that you see onscreen. For example, words in menus or dialog boxes appear in the text like this. Here is an example: "Insert another If block nested in the Forever block and underneath our first If block."

Tips or important notes

Appear like this.

Get in touch

Feedback from our readers is always welcome.

General feedback: If you have questions about any aspect of this book, mention the book title in the subject of your message and email us at [email protected].

Errata: Although we have taken every care to ensure the accuracy of our content, mistakes do happen. If you have found a mistake in this book, we would be grateful if you would report this to us. Please visit www.packtpub.com/support/errata, selecting your book, clicking on the Errata Submission Form link, and entering the details.

Piracy: If you come across any illegal copies of our works in any form on the Internet, we would be grateful if you would provide us with the location address or website name. Please contact us at [email protected] with a link to the material.

If you are interested in becoming an author: If there is a topic that you have expertise in and you are interested in either writing or contributing to a book, please visit authors.packtpub.com.

Reviews

Please leave a review. Once you have read and used this book, why not leave a review on the site that you purchased it from? Potential readers can then see and use your unbiased opinion to make purchase decisions, we at Packt can understand what you think about our products, and our authors can see your feedback on their book. Thank you!

For more information about Packt, please visit packt.com.

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