Absolute Beginner's Guide to Building Robots
Product Author Bios
Gareth Branwyn is a well-known technology journalist and self-proclaimed "reluctant geek." He is writer and editor for Wired, ID and Esquire magazines, and has written many books on technology topics, including, Mosaic Quick Tour (the first World Wide Web book ever published), Jargon Watch: A Pocket Dictionary for the Jitterati, Jamming the Media: A Citizen's Guide, and The Happy Mutant Handbook. He also has contributed material to many technology books, including Que's Catalog of Tomorrow and The Millennium Whole Earth Catalog. He is Editor-in-chief, co-owner, and site designer of Street Tech (www.streettech.com). Gareth also contributed lyrics to Billy Idol's 1993 album Cyberpunk.
Finally, a robots book for people who don't know the first thing about robotics! Absolute Beginner's Guide to Robots is well-written, inviting, and action-packed, with engaging ideas and fascinating factoids about robots and robot-related arts and sciences. You are led gently into the intimidating world of robotics, but nearly 400 pages later, you emerge with a respectable knowledge of robot history, the major fields and "schools" of robotics today, and the basic skills and resources needed to create hobby robots. By the end of the book, you will be the proud owner of three bots, the first two of which demonstrate key robotic principles. The third is a programmable/expandable robot, which serves as a platform for future experimentation. And best of all, these robots are built with simple to get and inexpensive parts - many of which you already have around the house!
39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
True to the phrase "absolute beginner's",
This review is from: Absolute Beginner's Guide to Building Robots (Paperback)Many people have an interest in robotics, but have a difficult time getting started. Even the simplest of robotics projects requires a wide range of basic skills, from how to solder connections to programming microprocessors. This book lives up to the title, in that it starts at the very beginning and steps you through how to build three simple robots.
In the first section, called robots.edu, a history of robots, some of the major players and some of the simple capabilities are described. The second section begins with a list of the tools and skills needed to build robots. As basic as you can go, this gives explicit details about how to start. Three simple robot projects are described in complete detail in the third section. All start with a list and photo of the parts needed to build the robot and a step-by-step building procedure to follow. The parts are easy to obtain and cheap, but if you are not the type to shop around, there is a link to a company called Solarbotics, where... Read more
40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
Excellent fun - pure joy and enthusiasm!,
This review is from: Absolute Beginner's Guide to Building Robots (Paperback)This is a tremendously fun and engaging book. It is immediately compelling and never loses its way as it ploughs through a plethora of topics, introducing all the basic skills and resources needed to genuinely construct one's own hobby robots.
The book begins with a fascinating history on the origins of robots leading through to robot kits available today (like Lego Mindstorms), as well as off-the-shelf robots (like Aibo).
The book culminates in three hands-on projects involving building a walking coat hanger, animating an old computer mouse, and then a walking CD rack with an embedded microcontroller for brains, programmable by Visual Basic. These projects are all slightly zany and even off-the-wall but demonstrate solid techniques and show just how robotics is limited only by one's imagination. Best of all, they use as few commercial parts as possible, preferring to recycle household junk.
This title is a delight to read; it is absorbing and highly entertaining. However, to my... Read more
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Great projects for a beginner,
This review is from: Absolute Beginner's Guide to Building Robots (Paperback)I have been fascinated with robots ever since I was a little kid. When I was young, I would go to the library and check out books about robots. Most of these books talked about movie robots and then told about the many different kinds of robots that could be purchased commerically at the time. I loved to read through those books and imagine what it would be like to have my own robot. Years later, I have gotten the robotics bug again and I have been interested in building my own simple robot. I bought this book and I loved the history section. It told about the history of actual robotics and how various roboticists have influenced each other's work. It also talks about different approaches to tackling different problems. After covering the theory and history of robotics, the book tells you exactly what tools you need and what you need to get started with building 3 simple robots. He even has sections on the electronic components and how to solder. This book is really written for... Read more
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The errata for the book is available here in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) format. You will need Adobe's Acrobat Reader to view these files. If you do not have the Acrobat Reader installed, you may go to Adobe Systems' web site to download this free reader.
Click on the links below to display the PDF file in a new window. Right-click on the link and select Save As if you want to download it to your hard drive.Errata for the book - 905 kb -- 0789729717errata.pdf
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