Build Your Own All-Terrain Robot / Edition 1

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Remotely operated robots are becoming increasingly popular because they allow the operators to explore areas that may not normally be easily accessible. The use of video-controlled technology has sparked a growing public interest not just in hobbyists, but also in the areas of research, space, archeology, deep-sea exploration, and even the military.

Significant changes in the technology marketplace have made the creation of an all-terrain, video controlled robot accessible to even the amateur robotic hobbyist.

There are many robotics project books currently on the market, but most are targeted to hobbyists, and are strictly for indoor use. This book has the ideal mix of “brains and brawn,” making it appealing to hobbyists and interested professionals alike.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780071437417
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/30/2004
  • Series: Tab Robotics Ser.
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 298
  • Sales rank: 1,346,370
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Meet the Author

Brad Graham is an inventor, robotics hobbyist, and founder and host of the Web site, which receives approximately 2500 hits a week. He is also the co-author of Atomic Zombie's Bicycle Builder's Bonanza, perhaps the most creative bicycle-building guide ever written. A computer and network professional with Freedom 2000 Complete Technical Services, which he co-founded with partner Kathy McGowan in 2000, Mr. Graham specializes in computer network setup and maintenance, custom programming, data storage and recovery, and security services.

Kathy McGowan provides logistical and marketing support for many robotics, bicycle, computer, and publishing projects through Freedom 2000 and She also manages the daily administrative operations of both companies and provides personal computer training, sales, and technical services. Additionally, Ms. McGowan is co-author of Atomic Zombie's Bicycle Builder's Bonanza.

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Table of Contents

Preface ix
Acknowledgments xi
Chapter 1 An Introduction to Video-Controlled Robots 1
Meet the ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) 2
Examples of ROVs in the Real World 14
Chapter 2 An Overview of the Technologies Used in This Book 27
Electric Motors 28
Motor-Speed Controllers 31
Remote Control Transmitters and Receivers 34
Audio and Video Transmitters 38
CCD Video Cameras 39
Chapter 3 Choosing the Right Parts for the Job 43
Planning Your Overall Design 44
Finding Suitable Wheels 49
DC Motors and Gear Boxes 51
Choosing Adequate Batteries 55
Steering and Drive Train Considerations 60
Chapter 4 Planning and Building the Frame 69
Everything Has a Place 70
Mounting the Wheels 81
Adding a Battery Compartment 93
Installing the Motors 101
Transmission and Gear Ratios 108
Housing the Electronics 116
Chapter 5 Remote Control Operations 125
Basic Hobby RC Fundamentals 126
Decoding Hobby Receiver Signals 130
Other RC Possibilities 134
Chapter 6 Motor-Speed Control 141
Basic RC Fundamentals 142
Pulse-Width Modulation Motor Control 153
Shaft Encoder Basics 163
Chapter 7 Video Cameras and Transmitters 171
Video-Camera Basics 172
Video-Transmitter Basics 178
Getting Longer Range 182
Chapter 8 Camera Control and Lighting 187
Pan and Tilt Using Servo Motors 188
Movable Head with Lights and Camera 191
Using Night Vision 217
Chapter 9 Safety and Obstacle Avoidance 223
The Basic Bump Switch 224
Ultrasonic Sensors 226
Adding a Kill Switch 228
Chapter 10 All-Weather Body Design 233
Planning Your Cover Design 234
Using Wood and Fiberglass 237
Making a Cover From Sheet Metal 255
Chapter 11 Houston, We Have a Problem 273
Common Problems and Solutions 274
Ideas for Your Next Project 278
Chapter 12 Sources for Parts and Information 283
Where to Find Parts 284
Internet Sources 289
Index 293
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2005


    This book has all you need to build a robot that can handle the REAL world. Great info on motors, frames, remote control and video. Shows the complete build of 2 outdoor bots every step of the way. These are the kinds of bots that can search for mines, or perform military tasks - cool stuff! Not for geeks only interested in table top lego bots, but great for 'Big Toy' geeks like me! Ray

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2004

    Big promises, little outcome

    This book is for the builder out there who already knows how to assemble a robot. The book just gives suggestions on robot design, along with a few do's and don'ts. If you don't already know how to assemble a functioning robot, don't buy this book. The saving grace of this book is that VB code is included for the servos and such. Other than that, you're on your own.

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