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Learn Engineering with LEGO®

A Practical Introduction to Software, Mechanical, and Electrical Engineering
by Grady Koch
July 2023, 200 pp.
ISBN-13: 
9781718501799
Full Color
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If you want to go beyond the basic robots included in the LEGO® MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor kit, you need to make the expert choices of a professional engineer. In this hands-on introduction to the field, NASA veteran Grady Koch introduces you to real-world engineering techniques for working with motors, sensors, and software using only the parts in the Robot Inventor kit.

You’ll begin by writing your own programs with the Word Blocks and Python languages and discover how to plan a program by crafting algorithms to represent each task your program must achieve. Then you’ll design mechanisms, master concepts such as gearing up and gearing down, and work with each of the kit’s sensors to create complex designs. 

Learn how to:

  • Combine the Robot Inventor kit’s parts to create universal joints, two-speed transmissions, and more 
  • Use sturdy shapes, like triangles, to strengthen your designs
  • Convert the rotary motion obtained from a motor into linear motion
  • Choose the correct building elements to meet the needs of your design

The many exercises and projects in each chapter provide detailed instructions for designs you can incorporate into your own inventions. Build a differential, a ratchet, a tank drive vehicle, and much more.

Author Bio 

Grady Koch is the author of several books about LEGO® and creator of hightechlego.com. He has a Ph.D. in electrical engineering, over 30 years of experience as a research engineer at NASA Langley Research Center, and three patents in the field of LiDAR for studying the atmosphere. He has written or contributed to over 175 conference and seminar papers, including 13 peer-reviewed journal papers as first author. Throughout his career, Koch has worked with student interns and learned how to bridge the gap between a student’s academic instruction and laboratory practice.

Table of contents 

Part 1: Software Engineering
Chapter 1: The Hub
Chapter 2: Programming

Part 2: Mechanical Engineering
Chapter 3: Building Elements
Chapter 4: Gears
Chapter 5: Mechanisms
Part 3: Electrical Engineering
Chapter 6: Motors
Chapter 7: The Motion Sensor
Chapter 8: The Distance Sensor
Chapter 9: The Color Sensor

The chapters in red are included in the Early Access PDF.