The LEGO MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor Activity Book

The LEGO MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor Activity Book

A Beginner’s Guide to Building and Programming LEGO Robots
by Daniele Benedettelli
September 2021, 200 pp.

Look Inside!

>Robot Inventor Activity Book page 48 & 49 Robot Inventor Activity Book page 82 and 83Robot Inventor Activity Book pg 181 and 182

Download Chapter 2: Baseball batter

Download the book's source code

With its amazing assortment of bricks, motors, and smart sensors, the LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Robot Inventor set opens the door to a physical-meets-digital world. The LEGO MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor Activity Book expands that world into an entire universe of incredibly fun, uniquely interactive robotic creations! Using the Robot Inventor set and a device that can run the companion app, you’ll learn how to build bots beyond your imagination—from a magical monster that gobbles up paper and answers written questions, to a remote-controlled transformer car that you can drive, steer, and shape-shift into a walking humanoid robot at the press of a button.

Author and MINDSTORMS master Daniele Benedettelli, a robotics expert, takes a project-based approach as he leads you through an increasingly sophisticated collection of his most captivating robot models, chapter by chapter. Each project features illustrated step-by-step building instructions, as well as detailed explanations on programming your robots through the MINDSTORMS App—no coding experience required.

As you build and program an adorable pet turtle, an electric guitar that lets you shred out solos, a fully functional, whiz-bang pinball machine and more, you’ll discover dozens of cool building and programming techniques to apply to your own LEGO creations, from working with gears and motors, to smoothing out sensor measurement errors, storing data in variables and lists, and beyond. By the end of this book, you’ll have all the tools, talent and inspiration you need to invent your own LEGO MINDSTORMS robots.

Author Bio 

Daniele Benedettelli is known worldwide for his LEGO MINDSTORMS creations. He has spent nearly a decade collaborating with the LEGO Group to help develop and test LEGO MINDSTORMS, including the software for the LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 set. His YouTube videos boast over 8 million views, and his creations have been featured on many TV shows. He is author of The LEGO BOOST Activity Book (No Starch Press, 2019), The LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Laboratory (No Starch Press, 2013), LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT Thinking Robots (No Starch Press, 2010), and Creating Cool LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT Robots (Apress, 2008). Benedettelli lives in Tuscany, Italy, where he works as a freelance LEGO designer and high school robotics teacher.

Table of contents 

Chapter 1: Getting Started
Chapter 2: Baseball Batter
Chapter 3: The Gobbler
Chapter 4: SARKIAP-1 the Transformer
Chapter 5: Shelly the Turtle
Chapter 6: Whac-A-Mole!
Chapter 7: Pinball
Chapter 8: Guitar
Chapter 9: Where to Go from Here
Appendix A: Word Blocks Quick Reference Guide

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


"An excellent project-based introduction to the new MINDSTORMS set . . . Through creative models and platforms to develop coding skills, the book provides something for everyone. Overall, Benedettelli’s projects are a great way for anyone to dive into LEGO MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor."
—Sanjay and Arvind Seshan,

"Daniele Benedettelli made a book that should be included with every Robot Inventor Set. With a few very different builds, he not only shows building techniques, he also shows and teaches programming in an engaging manner. Everything (especially the programming) is explained for novices and experts alike, and builders are encouraged to go beyond the book with challenges. This is how robotics should be learned—by building, doing, and tinkering—and Daniele’s book is an excellent guide that I would easily recommend to those with an interest in LEGO robotics!"
—Joe Meno, Brick Journal

“This book is a great tool for understanding the basics of building and coding with MINDSTORMS. In the past I’ve been intimated by trying to figure out a new app, but Daniele’s directions and explanations are easy to follow.”
—YouTuber BrickTsar

"The LEGO MINDSTORMS 51515 Robot Inventor set provides some guidelines within the official app for beginners, but in some cases, it might not be detailed enough to understand the concepts or how the different blocks work. This is where Daniele Benedettelli's book really shines - it is a very detailed, project-based step-by-step guide created for the new MINDSTORMS environment. We start with simple models that can be built quickly, but towards the end there are some spectacular constructions that are even using the box of the set! My favorite section is at the end of the book - we get a reference guide for the word blocks used in the app, which is really appreciated."
—Balazs, RacingBrick

"The author’s passion for MINDSTORMS is palpable. At the end of every chapter, he reminds us what we have learned, from the points of view of both building and programming your robot. I recommend this book if you are starting out with MINDSTORMS, and if you are looking to try something beyond the included models."
—Richard Jones, Editor and Curator, The Rambling Brick

"The LEGO MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor Activity Book is a book I wished I had when I bought my first LEGO MINDSTORMS set. It explains building techniques, programming, and much more from start to finish. My dream was always to build big robots but to get there, you needed to do so much research but this book sums it all up. It is great for MINDSTORMS builders like me and aspiring robotic engineers!"
—Robotic Engineering, YouTuber

"Daniele Benedettelli's book is a valuable guide for both those who approach the MINDSTORMS world for the first time and for those who are already more experienced. The different levels of difficulty and complexity of the various models allow a gradual approach to topics such as construction techniques and programming. Everything that is shown and explained has a connotation of irony and engagement, not at all boring. Never. Build-Program-Learn seems to be the common thread in every chapter. The quick reference guide included as the last chapter is a really valuable aid in learning the programming blocks included in the app in depth."
—Francesco Frangioja, Certified LEGO Facilitator

"Whether you are new to LEGO MINDSTORMS and Robot Inventor is your first kit or you have experience with the previous generations of MINDSTORMS, this book remains relevant. 7 amazing models are very well explained with full color instructions and detailed programming explanation. Even advanced users will find useful building techniques and learn programming skills from this book. It shows that it is not Daniele's first book on MINDSTORMS. The models and first chapters start easy and guide us to complete understanding of this great robotic platform as you progress along the many different models. The LEGO MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor Activity Book is a must for all LEGO MINDSTORMS enthusiast."
—Marc-Andre Bazergui, founder or the ROBOTMAK3RS Recognized LEGO Online Community (RLOC)

"The projects in this book are incredible and really well made. Clear instructions, step-by-step programming with descriptions. This is really thinking for those who have never used a LEGO MINDSTORMS!"
—Greta Galli, YouTuber

"Really cool constructions that can be built with the MINDSTORMS system. Step-by-step build, and the programming explained!"
—AustrianLegoFan, YouTuber

"A delightful book and great way to learn about LEGO MINDSTORMS without even realizing you're learning! By the time you’re done reading and tinkering around your own LEGO MINDSTORMS, you’ll be not only conversant in the LEGO MINDSTORMS lingo, but you’ll want to venture out and make your own unique MINDSTORMS creations!"
—Dr. McBrick, YouTuber

"The LEGO Mindstorms Robot Inventor Activity Book is the missing manual for the LEGO Mindstorms Robot Inventor Kit. Anyone starting out who wants to learn to build robots needs to start out with this book to learn to build interactive robots."
—Jon Lazar,, @8bitbricks on TikTok

"The LEGO MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor Activity Book is a delightful introduction to next steps with the LEG 51515 kit. Daniele has taken the time to select some really interesting models that will engage both younger and older builders and programmers. From the super simple Baseball Batter, to the amazing SARKIAP-1 Transformer, to the signature Guitar, the build instructions are clear and compact . . . You can be confident that you'll have fun building, programming, and showing off the models in this book!"
—Ralph Hempel

"The book is perfect for beginners. The information is laid out in an easy to understand format. It tells you what you need from beginning to end. The images are crisp and well written. I highly recommend this.”
—David DiPonzio, Advanced Reviewer

"Building LEGO MINDSTORMS robots is fun! Building them with The LEGO MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor Activity Book helps you understand how to build better, and improve your coding skills. It even includes a robot that requires the use of the box!"
—Jetro de Château, Hispabrick Magazine

"I had an absolute blast building the projects in this book. The progression from simple programs to complex logic was straightforward and clear to understand, but nothing quite touches the first time your SARKIAP-1 transforms from a car into a walking robot or you play your very own pinball game! In the process this book also presents an excellent introduction to programming and error handling. The content is approachable and enjoyable."
—Brian Mork, Advanced Reviewer

"If you want to do more with your 51515 set, this book will definitely help you with that . . . It is well written and the explanation about the programs is great. You really get the feeling you are taken along a journey of making robots. The blocks reference guide at the end of the book is a welcome addition. This will surely help people who need a little assistance in gettings [sic] used to how these all work . . . All things considered, I highly recommend getting this book!"
—Jim van Gulik, Root Administrator, Eurobricks

"Essential . . . Benedettelli communicates clearly and with helpful, informative detail, and clear color photos will help even the most confounded of learners."
—Rosemary Kiladitis, Mom Read It

"Ideal companion to the LEGO MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor set."
—I Programmer, @Iprogrammerinfo