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.

You’ve just gotten a LEGO® robotics kit. Now what? Getting Started with LEGO® MINDSTORMS teaches you everything you need to know to go from beginner to proficient robotics engineer, using examples compatible with the LEGO® MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor and SPIKE Prime sets.  You’ll be making interactive games, competition-ready autonomous vehicles, and practical inventions like motorized grabbers and recycling sorters in no time.

Rather than feature step-by-step instructions for building a handful of models, you’ll find basic information and expert tips and tricks for designing, building, and programming your own robotic creations. You’ll explore programming with both Scratch-based word blocks and Python, and discover techniques for building sturdy structures, working with gears and motors, and using input from sensors. Loads of challenges and open-ended projects will inspire you to try out what you’ve learned.

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


"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

Extra Stuff 

Check out an interview with the authors on