Exploring LEGO Mindstorms EV3: Tools and Techniques for Building and Programming Robots

Eun Jung Park

Published by

Wiley

ISBN

9781118879740

RRP

£23.99

Reviewed by

Mehmet Hurer BSc (Hons) MBCS CITP CEng

Score

7 out of 10

The Lego Mindstorms EV3 is Lego’s latest incarnation of the Lego robot building set. Programming is achieved at two levels - low level programming with languages like C, or the more common approach involving the use of Lego’s supplied icon-based programming language. 

Instructions are typically ‘programmed’ on a controller, such as a Windows laptop or Mac, and then downloaded to the robot. In this book the author expands on the icon-based programming approach.

The author introduces the reader to the Lego robot kit and some basic programming structures and, once this foundation is complete, moves on to the icon-based programming language, demonstrated on a relatively simple Lego robot. The icon programs are described clearly and in some detail, with practical examples throughout to reinforce the learning. Fortunately all of the examples are available for download and work as described.

The author then builds on this to present some further Lego robot building projects, including the robot that eats and poops! Each project reinforces and expands on the earlier learning, such as how to use the various sensors and motors, and how to program using variables and logic operations on data.

The final chapter provides some tips on how to create your own robot, again illustrated by an example robot - in this case ‘Guapo’, the robotic dog.

The book is easy to follow for readers of most ages. My only criticism of the book is that the lack of colour and print quality of photographs make it extremely difficult at times to follow the instructions for constructing the robots - Lego’s own construction instructions are far superior. Perhaps some downloadable colour instructions should be provided to accompany the book.

Further information: Wiley

October 2014