Getting Started with LEGO® MINDSTORMS Cover

Getting Started with LEGO® MINDSTORMS

Learn the Basics of Building and Programming Robots
by Barbara Bratzel and Rob Torok
September 2022, 144 pp.

Download Chapter 1: building your first robot Look Inside!

Getting Started with LEGO® MINDSTORMS pagesGetting Started with LEGO® MINDSTORMS pagesGetting Started with LEGO® MINDSTORMS pagesGetting Started with LEGO® MINDSTORMS pagesGetting Started with LEGO® MINDSTORMS pages

You’re the new owner of a LEGO® MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor or SPIKE Prime kit. Now what? This full-color, illustrated instructional guide teaches you the basics of robotics engineering, using examples relevant to both LEGO® sets. You’ll be making remote-control vehicles, motorized grabbers, automatic ball launchers, and other exciting robots in no time!

Rather than feature step-by-step instructions for building a handful of models, you’ll find essential information and expert tips and tricks for designing, building, and programming your own robotic creations. The book features a comprehensive introduction to coding with Word Blocks, an intuitive visual programming language based on Scratch, and explores topics such as using motors and sensors, building sturdy structures, and troubleshooting problems when things go wrong. As you learn, loads of challenges and open-ended projects will inspire you to try out ideas. Your journey to becoming a confident robot designer begins here.

Author Bio 

Barbara Bratzel is a K-8 STEM teacher who consults at the Center for Engineering and Education Outreach at Tufts University. She has been a keynote speaker and workshop leader at LEGO® robotics educational conferences around the world, and she’s the author of several robotics books for teachers, including Makerspace LEGO® (College House Books).

Rob Torok teaches Computer Science, Math, and Engineering Design at a senior secondary school in Tasmania. He has run robotics workshops for teachers and students, and consulted for LEGO® Education Australia and the Center for Engineering and Education Outreach at Tufts University. He contributed a chapter to The LEGO® MINDSTORMS NXT Idea Book (No Starch Press).

Table of contents 

Chapter 1:
Building Your First Robot
Chapter 2: Introducing the MINDSTORMS App
Chapter 3: Light and Sound
Chapter 4: Motors and Movement
Chapter 5: Events and Control
Chapter 6: Sensors
Chapter 7: Operators and Remote Control
Chapter 8: Variables, Lists, and My Blocks
Chapter 9: Troubleshooting
Chapter 10: Techniques for Better Building
Chapter 11: Fixes for Fables and Fairy Tales

View the Copyright page
View the detailed Table of Contents
View the Index


"A MINDSTORMS set will direct you to build and program a robot, but Getting Started with LEGO® MINDSTORMS will tell you how to build and program with its open-ended prompts."
—Joe Meno, BrickJournal

"Written with a friendly, easy-to-follow voice . . . a supremely intuitive guide that’s meant to foster an interest in programming, building, and working with LEGO Mindstorms robots."
—Rosemary Kiladitis, Mom Read It

"This book will teach you everything you need to know to go from beginner to proficient robotics engineer."
—Mariana Ruiz, GeekDad

"A really good introduction to how to use [MINDSTORMS] . . . it's brilliant that the authors are making books like this."

"Well thought-out [and] super easy to follow . . . I'd recommend [Getting Started with LEGO® MINDSTORMS] for anyone looking at getting into LEGO MINDSTORMS or LEGO Education Spike as it is a brilliant companion for a beginner."

Extra Stuff 

Check out an interview with the authors on

Download the building instructions for the front cover's model.