LEGO NXT Mechatronics Book Cover

As stated in a previous blog entry, I'm feverishly working on a LEGO NXT book project entitled LEGO NXT MECHTRONICS: Intelligent Machines Concepts. The focus of this book is to explore how table top machines and gadgets can be created using the LEGO NXT. Now you may ask, sounds like a previous LEGO Mindstorm books written on the subject. The difference between this book and the ones already published is New Product Development design techniques and modeling tool we be explained through hands-on projects and experiments. Some to the topics to be explored in the book include:

bulletadding wireless interfaces using ordinary remote controls,
bulletcreating circuits to allow the NXT to work with small embedded controllers (Basic Stamps, Handy Crickets, etc)
bulletprototyping external sensor and control circuits
bulletcreating software tools using Excel VBA, NXT G-Code, and NXC
bulletModeling electronic circuits using freeware circuit simulation packages
bulletdesigning intelligence through behavior modeling
bulletexplanation of the LEGO NXTcomputer architecture
bulletMechatronics Systems Architecturing Techniques for intelligent machines
bulletusing the LEGO Digital Designer in creating intelligent machine platforms
bulletCreating Hybrid Machines with the aid of other motorized construction kits
bulletPhysical Computing and the NXT

 Here's the cover of the book. I'll be posting sample chapters as they are created for the NXT community to review.



NXT Projects

I'm currently in the mist of writing a book on Mechatronics using the LEGO NXT has the computing platform. Prior to writing the book I've created a mini primer with some basic projects for the main book. I'll be providing updates to this blog along with sample chapters. Drop me and email and let me know what you think about the posted material.



Radio Shack's Invention Lab

The folks at Make Magazine (www.makezine.com) and Radio Shack (www.radioshack.com) have teamed up to create  the InventionLab website (http:rsinventionlab.com). I'm quite excited about this website because it promotes electronics as a cool hobby for DIY/Maker folks. The first project to kick off the website is an electronic prank toy called the Joke-A-Tron. This project is a new tech spin of the "Whoopee" cushion of days of old where the annoying sound would get plenty of laughs from both the prankster and victim. The Joke-A-Tron is small audible circuit whereby hiding the device within the target person, the circuit admits a small high pitch tone (about 1-2KHz) every few second. The trick behind this gadget is the person trying to find the annoying audible circuit. All the instructions, and parts list are on the website along with a video explaining circuit construction. I'm thinking of creating a LEGO NXT or Handy Cricket version of this device to give it a programmable tone of choice for the prankster. Enjoy!!!!