Required Parts

The projects in chapters 5 through 19 for the most part can be built from the pieces found in either the Robotics Invention System 1.0, 1.5, or 2.0. However, in some cases a few extra parts are required in order to complete the project. I tried to minimize the extra parts required, but some cases were unavoidable. The table below summarizes the extra parts required for those chapters.

 Chapter  Using RIS 1.0  Using RIS 1.5 or RIS 2.0
 9 - Dumpbot  Motor (1x)  Motor (1x)
 10 - Scanbot  Motor (1x), Rotation Sensor (1x)  Motor (1x), Rotation Sensor (1x)
 14 - Diffbot  16-Tooth Gear (2x), Differential (1x)  16-Tooth Gear (2x), Differential(1x), Bevel Gear (1x)
 17 - Communication see below  see below
 18 - Using the Datalog see below  see below
 19 - Roboarm  Motor (1x)  Motor (1x), 2x4 Brick (14x), 2x8 Brick (1x), 1x4 Brick (4x)

Chapter 17, which discusses communication with the RCX, has two parts. In the first part communication is between a computer and the RCX. This part can be completed with an RIS set. The second part features RCX-to-RCX communication, and thus requires two RCX's. The most obvious way to do this is to use two RIS sets (perhaps work on this project with a friend), although the only extra parts required are: 1x12 beams (3x), Motor (2x), RCX (1x), and 2x4 brick (1x). Note the extra 2x4 brick is not needed when using RIS 1.0.

Chapter 18 has three sub-projects. The first two can be done with the RIS alone. The third project makes use of the Temperature Sensor - an optional accessory available from LEGO.

My recommendation is to make a Rotation Sensor and a third motor your top priority for MINDSTORMS expansion. Since the RCX has three outputs, you'll almost always find ways to use three motors in your own robots. The Rotation Sensor is also extremely useful. At that point you'll be able to complete most of the projects in the book (if you are using RIS 1.5 or 2.0 you'll also want to get hold of a few ordinary LEGO bricks in order to complte chapter 19).

The extra parts for chapter 14 are somewhat specialized, but they also tend to be fairly common in the mid or large sized Technic sets. Personally, I wouldn't go out of my way to obtain them unless you're facinated by differentials.

For the First Edition only:

Chapter 13 originally required some special parts (listed in the table below). For the second edition of the book, the model was reworked to use only parts found in the RIS set, so no additional parts are needed when using the second edition of the book.

 Chapter  Using RIS 1.0  Using RIS 1.5 or RIS 2.0
 13 - Steerbot  Steering Gear Bearing (2x), 20-Tooth Rack (1x) Steering Gear Bearing (2x), 20-Tooth Rack (1x)

 [Dave's Lego Site]