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New Book Review - NXT "Black Book"

I received my copy of the "NXT Black Book" today from yesasia.com. The book is written by Oba Shinichiro and is slightly larger then the "NXT Orange Book" written by Yoshihito Isogawa. [NOTE: for a review of the "NXT Orange Book", click here.]


The Black Book (BB) is 164 pages and is a mixture of full-color pages and black&white pages. While the Orange Book focuses mainly on Technic building and offers a lot of example robots and devices to create, the BB seems to focus mainly on the NXT-G software. While there are a few robot examples scattered around, the actual samples of robots and devices doesn't start until page 137. The samples consist of full-color pages and there are a total of only 4 sample robots. Of those 4 samples, though, 1 is the Tribot we're all familiar with but the author has created a variation of the Touch sensor apparatus and provides building instructions (BIs). Also provided for the Tribot is an apparatus that appears to be pulled by the Tribot and has some spinning pieces that move as the wheels turn. Another robot is shown that consists of a mixture of NXT and RCX parts and seems to use the Ultrasonic sensor and Light sensor but also has an interesting "chain driven" mechanism for the wheels that I've not seen on an NXT bot yet. The final robot is a true Walker. I'm building it now (and will post pictures when done) based on the limited pictures, but the author has done a good job of providing enough photos to be able to put it together.

One big drawback (for me, at least) is the entire book is in Japanese (as is the OB). So I am unable to tell if the programming instructions for these bots is provided somewhere in the earlier part of the book. It doesn't appear so, but I could be wrong.
As I said, the book appears to be more for someone learning the NXT-G programming environment. This is based on the screenshots and drawings scattered around.

All in all, I'm sure the book will be useful for Japanese users who are wanting to learn NXT-G, but the book is probably not going to be of much use to those who don't read Japanese. I can't really give an honest review of a book that I can't read... all I can really say is that the Walker looks awesome and, if it's really functional, will be fun to play around with...

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