Winning Design! LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT Design Patterns for Fun and Competition (Paperback)

James Trobaugh





Winning Design! LEGO Mindstorms NXT Design Patterns for Fun and Competition is about design that works. It’s about building with LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT for fun, for education, but especially for competition. Author James Trobaugh is an experienced coach and leader in the FIRST LEGO League. In this book, he shares his hard-won knowledge about design principles and techniques that contribute to success in robotics competitions.

Successful design for competition recognizes that at the critical moment, at the moment when the most people are watching, at the moment when you are the most stressed, that you have only one chance to “get it right”. You therefore need designs that are proven and robust, that will withstand variation such as from a battery running down its charge, that won’t be thrown off by changing light levels, that will repeatedly do just what you have designed them to do, no more, no less.

Winning Design! unlocks the secrets of reliable design using LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT. You’ll learn proven design patterns that you can employ for common tasks such as turning, pushing, pulling. You’ll reduce and compensate for variation in performance from battery charge levels and motor calibration differences. You’ll produce designs that won’t frustrate you by not working, but that will delight you with their reliable performance in the heat of competition.

  • Written by a coach who knows what it takes to field a winning team in competition
  • Useful to coaches who teach, and to students wanting to grow their skills
  • Presents proven design patterns that help take the stress out of competing

What you’ll learn

  • Build using proven-in-competition design principles
  • Reduce variability in mechanical movements
  • Compensate for variability that you cannot eliminate
  • Prepare for success in FIRST LEGO League competition
  • Learn programming techniques employed by winning teams
  • Build competence and confidence in your team’s robotic design skills

Who this book is for

This book is aimed at students, parents, teachers, and coaches involved in LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT robot design and programming. Teachers and coaches will find the book to be a valuable teaching resource. Students and parents will find insight into good design practices. And all readers will enjoy the increased satisfaction that comes from building designs that actually work, and that can be relied upon to continue to work every time.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 What are the Requirements
Chapter 2 Chassis Designs
Part II Navigation
Chapter 3 Going Straight
Chapter 4 Consistent Steering
Chapter 5 Line Following
Chapter 6 Squaring Back Up
Chapter 7 Collision Detection
Part III Manipulation
Chapter 8 Passive Attachments
Chapter 9 Power Attachments
Chapter 10 Pneumatics
IV Programming
Chapter 11 Master Program
Chapter 12 Program Management
Chapter 13 Documentation & Backing Up