Lego Mindstorms Interfacing (TAB Electronics Technical Library)

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9780071402057: Lego Mindstorms Interfacing (TAB Electronics Technical Library)

Here's the perfect book for Lego Mindstorms fans who want to take their hobby to the next level and are intrigued by the challenge of building electronic and software interfaces. "Lego Mindstorms Interfacing" provides everything you need to be off and interfacing: 12 heavily illustrated applications and construction plans, each complete with: project Description; screen shots; photographs; clearly written, descriptive text; and 12 complete applications and construction plans. Authored by a hands-on expert and experienced electronics systems engineer, "Lego Mindstorms Interfacing": details exactly what compondents you'll need; covers wireless applications, electromechanical controls, and software GUIs for Lego Mindstorms; goes beyond NQC (not-quite-C) programming to include visual basic and python applications; explains virtual test box development; offers practical advice on developing diagnostic tools; and features a CD-ROM complete with computer programs and circuit-simulation models. If you've been looking for an expertly written, well-illustrated guide to building electronic and software interfaces for your LEGO Mindstorms - your search ends here.

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Review:

LEGO(R) Mindstorms(tm) Interfacing is the next step for the enthusiast interested in learning more about the computer-control aspects of robot construction. Written by an electronics systems engineer and hands-on enthusiast, this manual includes 12 projects covering different aspects of interfacing, including wireless technology and controls. The CD-ROM includes ready-made programs and circuit simulation models. Library Journal 20021101 During the Second World War, American toy companies were restricted from manufacturing toys because the materials were needed for the war effort. One exception to this rule was the Erector Set, invented and manufactured by A. C. Gilbert. Gilbert received an exception by going before a senate committee to plead his case. Before doing so, he had an open Erector Set placed in front of each of the senators. During the hearing, the senators naturally began to fiddle with all the parts. Before long, these elder statesmen were having a grand time building cars, bridges, cranes, and so forth. Gilbert's argument to the committee was that the Erector Set was a toy that helped develop the next generation of engineers and scientists, which was necessary to the long-term security of the United States. By the end of the session, the senators were having too much fun to argue the point, and Gilbert got his exemption. Since that time the LEGO brick system has displaced the Erector Set as the construction toy of choice for future engineers, and with the introduction of the Mindstorms robotics system a few years ago, LEGO is now the undisputed leader. The LEGO Mindstorms is to the Erector Set what the Space Shuttle is to the Spirit of St. Louis. Today, it is much more than a toy. It has the makings of a flexible and mult-faceted laboratory tool and prototyping system. Don Wilcher's new book gives us a tantalizing look into what can be accomplished by a dedicated Mindstorms enthusiast. One of the strengths of the Erector Set was that it was easy to adapt it to use things that were not included in the original set. Anything that could be screwed, bolted, soldered, or taped in place could be part of the system. The pre-Mindstorms LEGO was not as amenable to that kind of tinkering in the past, but today it constitutes a flexible and inexpensive system with near-endless possibilities. The central thrust of the book is how one can use a variety of interfaces to control and interact with a Mindstorms device. The Robot Command Explorer language (RCX) is the language used to communicate with Mindstorms robots. LEGO MIndstorms Interfacing explains how to take this language and deliver commands and data to and from a Mindstorms robot using anything from a cast-off toy remote control to electronic switching circuits or a range of computer. The book also covers sensors, Basic Stamp controllers, interfaces written in Visual Basic, and several other programming languages. Using these techniques, the Mindstorms system becomes a means of building prototypes for Proof of Concept (POC) development. Wilcher also reveals some of the many shareware and freeware programs that are out there for people working with Mindstorms systems. The book also contains a CD-ROM crammed with software and code libraries. Since the software is made to run in a Windows environment, I was not able to examine it on my Mac. But perhaps one of our readers who buys this book (see sidebar) can fill the rest of us in. The book is well organized and illustrated throughout, with plenty of tables, screen shots, circuit diagrams and code examples. Be warned; this is not a book for the raw beginner. Some familiarity with the Mindstorms system is required before you tackle this book. It also helps to be familiar with some of the subdisciplines of robotics, such as computer programming, electronics, mechanical engineering, and so forth. If you have only a superficial knowledge about these subjects, this book may well be a terrific vehicle for learning more. Amateur scientists should take note of the possibilities that are implied in Wilcher's book. Whether your interest is in robots per se or not, it is now clear that Mindstorms expertise is something that the amateur scientists should consider adding to one's intellectual tool kit. Amateur Scientists' E-Bulletin 20021011

From the Back Cover:

TAKE LEGO MINDSTORMS TO THE MAX WITH EASY-TO-BUILD ELECTRONIC AND SOFTWARE ROBOT CONTROLS!


Here's the perfect book for LEGO Mindstorms fans who want to take their hobby to the next level and are intrigued by the challenge of building electronic and software interfaces.


LEGO Mindstorms Interfacing provides everything you need to be off and interfacing: 12 heavily illustrated applications and construction plans, each complete with:

- Project Description

- Screen Shots

- Photographs

- Clearly Written, Descriptive Text



12 COMPLETE APPLICATIONS AND CONSTRUCTION PLANS


Authored by a hands-on expert and experienced electronics systems engineer, LEGO Mindstorms Interfacing:

- Details exactly what compondents you'll need

- Covers wireless applications, electromechanical controls, and software GUIs for LEGO Mindstorms

- Goes beyond NQC (not-quite-C) programming to include visual basic and python applications

- Explains virtual test box development

- Offers practical advice on developing diagnostic tools

- Features a CD-ROM complete with computer programs and circuit-simulation models


If you've been looking for an expertly written, well-illustrated guide to building electronic and software interfaces for your LEGO Mindstorms your search ends here.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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