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LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT: Mars Base Command

Book Description

Congratulations! You're on Mars Base Alpha, the first human outpost on the red planet. Don't relax, though. It's not all roses and unicorns up here. Mars isn't called "The Bringer of War" for nothing! You've just been rained on by a meteor shower and it's up to you—you!—to put your LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT robotics skills to work to save the day, and the base! And that's only the beginning of the challenges that lie ahead.

LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT: Mars Base Command is a book of challenge. It's about challenging yourself to design and build robots to solve problems, tough problems. Taking a similar approach to best-selling LEGO author James Kelly's other books, this book presents a series of four challenges in the setting of mankind's first-ever manned base on the planet Mars. Each challenge begins with a backstory to set the scene. You're given instructions for constructing a playing field, including devices that your eventual robot must manipulate. Your job is to build a robot that will execute the challenge and garner you the most points.

The book requires the LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT Education Resource Set. Scoring sheets are included that allow for the book's use in educational and group settings. Teachers can base lesson plans around the different concepts taught in each challenge. Groups and clubs can choose to run mini-competitions in which teams or individuals compete against each other in a race to save the base. LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT: Mars Base Command is an excellent choice for an individual, a group, or a teacher wishing to learn about and have more fun with LEGO's best-selling robotics platform.

What you'll learn

  • How to build and test robots using LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT

  • How to develop problem-solving techniques as you set up and conquer the challenges in the book

  • How to organize and host a challenge at your school or between friends

  • About challenges we might face as humans move beyond Earth

  • To work as a team to brainstorm solutions to tough problems

  • To grow in your ability to make decisions when faced with multiple solutions

  • Who this book is for

    LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT: Mars Base Command is written for individuals, clubs, and teachers who want to have fun with LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT while learning more about robotics and problem-solving. The book is an excellent choice for individuals who own the kit and are slightly bored with it. The Mars Base storyline and ensuing challenges cure that boredom. Teachers and club leaders will appreciate the book for its problem-solving and teamwork applications.

    Table of Contents

    1. Title
    2. Dedication
    3. Contents at a Glance
    4. Contents
    5. About the Authors
    6. About the Technical Reviewer
    7. Acknowledgments
    8. Introduction
      1. Who This Book Is For
      2. How This Book Is Structured
      3. Prerequisites
    9. Chapter 1: Plan B
      1. We Fix It
      2. It’s Bad
      3. Will That Thing Even Work?
      4. Now, We Wait
      5. Proceed
      6. Operational
      7. Your Turn
    10. Chapter 2: Creating the Power Interrupt Device
      1. Tackling the PID Challenge
      2. Taking One Challenge at a Time
      3. Building the Power Interrupt Device
      4. Summary
    11. Chapter 3: Creating the Power Redirect
      1. Tackling the PR Challenge
      2. Taking on One Challenge at a Time
      3. Building the Power Redirect
      4. Summary
    12. Chapter 4: Creating the Solar Collector
      1. Tackling the SC Challenge
      2. Taking on One Challenge at a Time
      3. Building the Solar Collector
      4. Summary
    13. Chapter 5: Synopsis and Rules of the Plan B Challenge
      1. Setting Up the Challenge Area
      2. Understanding the Challenge Rules
      3. Understanding the Mission Objectives
      4. Scoring the Challenge
      5. Frequently Asked Questions
      6. Adding Novice and Expert Rules
      7. Summary
    14. Chapter 6: Storm Front
      1. Storm Is Coming
      2. Lockdown
      3. Good Luck, Boys
      4. Damage Detected
      5. Worth a Shot
    15. Chapter 7: Rescuing the Lander Mark VII
      1. Tackling the Lander Challenge
      2. Examining the Challenge Area
      3. Building the First Half of the Lander Chassis
      4. Summary
    16. Chapter 8: Finishing the Lander Mark VII
      1. Summary
    17. Chapter 9: Synopsis and Rules of the Storm Front Challenge
      1. Setting Up the Challenge Area
      2. Understanding the Challenge Rules
      3. Understanding the Mission Objectives
      4. Scoring the Challenge
      5. Frequently Asked Questions
      6. Adding Novice and Expert Rules
      7. Summary
    18. Chapter 10: Internal Medicine
      1. We Need a Plan
      2. It Can’t Be That Simple
      3. The Tools are the Same
      4. Are you Serious?
      5. Your Turn
    19. Chapter 11: Getting Started with Commander Evans’s Hand Challenge
      1. Tackling the Prosthetic Hand Challenge
      2. Examining the Challenge Area
      3. Creating the Wrist Actuator and Simulating Battery Gel Leaks
      4. Summary
    20. Chapter 12: Finishing Commander Evans’s Hand
      1. Building the Index Finger Breaker Switch
      2. Building the Thumb Joint Assembly
      3. Summary
    21. Chapter 13: Synopsis and Rules of the Internal Medicine Challenge
      1. Setting Up the Challenge Area
      2. Understanding the Challenge Rules
      3. Understanding the Mission Objectives
      4. Scoring the Challenge
      5. Using the Mars Base Beta Mission Scoring Form
      6. Frequently Asked Questions
      7. Adding Novice and Expert Rules
      8. Summary
    22. Chapter 14: Systems Crash
      1. Is It Always Like This Around Here?
      2. Won’t It Just Be a Bumpy Ride?
      3. A Very, Very Tiny Pair of Pliers
      4. Think Small
      5. Your Turn
    23. Chapter 15: Setting Up the Black Box Challenge
      1. Tackling the Black Box Challenge
      2. Examining the Challenge Area
      3. Building the Interface Port and Memory Switch
      4. Summary
    24. Chapter 16: Finishing the Black Box Challenge Setup
      1. Summary
    25. Chapter 17: Synopsis and Rules of the Black Box Challenge
      1. Setting Up the Challenge Area
      2. Understanding the Challenge Rules
      3. Understanding the Mission Objectives
      4. Scoring the Challenge
      5. Frequently Asked Questions
      6. Summary
    26. Chapter 18: Mars Base Lambda
      1. Job Well Done
      2. Keep a Clear Head
    27. Chapter 19: Designing Your Own Challenges
      1. Writing the Story
      2. Creating the Challenge
      3. Designing the Models
      4. Setting the Rules
      5. Having Fun
    28. Index