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Robot Building for Beginners / Edition 1

Robot Building for Beginners / Edition 1

4.7 17
by David Cook

ISBN-10: 1893115445

ISBN-13: 9781893115446

Pub. Date: 01/16/2002

Publisher: Apress

Learning robotics by yourself isnt easy, but it helps when the encouragement comes from an expert whos spent years in the field. Not only does author David Cook assist you in understanding the component parts of robot development, but he also presents valuable techniques that prepare you to make new discoveries on your own.

Cook begins with


Learning robotics by yourself isnt easy, but it helps when the encouragement comes from an expert whos spent years in the field. Not only does author David Cook assist you in understanding the component parts of robot development, but he also presents valuable techniques that prepare you to make new discoveries on your own.

Cook begins with the anatomy of a homemade robot and gives you the best advice on how to proceed successfully. General sources for tools and parts are provided in a consolidated list, and specific parts are recommended throughout the book. Also, basic safety precautions and essential measuring and numbering systems are promoted throughout.

Specific tools and parts covered include digital multimeters, motors, wheels, resistors, LEDs, photoresistors, transistors, chips, gears, nut drivers, batteries, and more. Robot Building for Beginners is an inspiring book that provides an essential base of practical knowledge for anyone getting started in amateur robotics.

Product Details

Publication date:
Technology in Action Series
Edition description:
1st ed. 2002. Corr. 2nd printing
Product dimensions:
7.50(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.20(d)

Related Subjects

Table of Contents

Chapter 1Welcome Robot Inventor!1
Four Disciplines1
Anatomy of a Homemade Robot2
Building Up12
Onward and Upward15
Chapter 2Where to Obtain Tools and Parts17
Ordering Free Information17
Discovering Hidden Messages19
Saving Money21
Chapter 3Safety23
Benefiting from Age and Experience23
Following Instructions23
Donning Safety Glasses24
Wearing Other Safety Clothes25
Insuring Adequate Ventilation25
Storing Properly26
Washing Before Eating27
Avoiding Nasty Elements27
Steering Clear of Dangerous Robots35
Sizing Up Motors35
Lighting Up35
Staying Rested and Level-Headed36
Chapter 4Digital Multimeter37
Must-Have Features38
Nice-To-Have Features41
Optional Features46
AC Features51
Obtaining Hook Probe Adaptors52
Comparing Basic Multimeter Ads53
Proceeding Without a Meter62
Chapter 5Numbers and Units63
Choosing the Metric System63
Reducing Powers of a Thousand63
Abbreviating Units67
Too Little68
Base Subjects Covered73
Chapter 6Robot Line-Following75
Defining the Course Conditions76
Picking the Robot's Size80
Seeing Sandwich81
Building Up92
Chapter 7Nine-Volt Batteries95
Testing Battery Voltage96
9 V Battery Characteristics100
9 V Battery Recommendations101
Battery Brand Names106
Using 9 V Batteries In Robots107
Powering Forward109
Chapter 8Clips and Test Leads111
The Gators Are Hungry Tonight111
Obtaining Hook Clips112
Testing Jumpers114
Discovering Unintended Connections120
Plumbing with Jumpers121
Chapter 9Resistors123
Limiting Power With Resistors123
Obtaining a Resistor Variety Pack124
Understanding Size and Tolerance125
Cut It Out126
Resistance and Ohms128
Measuring Resistance128
Labeling and Storing132
Resisting the Temptation to Skip Ahead134
Chapter 10LEDs135
Learning About LED Attributes135
Extreme Close Up of an LED144
Identifying Multicolor LEDs145
Testing an LED148
Variety Pack152
Brightening Your Way153
Chapter 11Power Oh! Building and Testing a Power Indicator Circuit155
Introducing the Parts List155
Reading a Schematic156
Building the Power Indicator Circuit157
Understanding the Roles of Each Component159
Measuring the Power Indicator Circuit160
Measuring Current Flow165
Circuit Summary173
Chapter 12Solderless Prototyping175
Needing a Better Way175
Solderless Breadboards175
Solderless Breadboard Wire185
Making Your Own Jumper Wire190
Making the Connection197
Chapter 13Solderless Breadboard Setup199
Considering Power Sources199
Choosing a Power Switch202
Connecting Power Buses205
Installing a Power Indicator LED209
Demystifying the Robot's Power Switch212
Ready For More213
Chapter 14Variable Resistors215
Variable Brightness LED Circuit221
Brightness Balancing Circuit223
Cadmium-Sulfide Photoresistors225
Light-Controlled Circuit228
Balanced Brightness-Sensing Circuit229
Chapter 15Comparators239
Voltage Comparator239
Brightness Comparator Circuit244
Adding Headlights252
Appreciating a Simple Mind257
Chapter 16Transistor Switches259
Defining Negative Power259
Testing Bipolar Transistors with a Multimeter262
Bipolar Transistor Test Circuits269
Brightness Comparator Circuit with Transistors275
Summarizing PNP and NPN Transistors278
Chapter 17DC Motors279
How DC Motors Work279
Simple DC Motor Circuit289
Primary Characteristics of DC Motors292
DC Gearhead Motors311
Moving Forward319
Chapter 18Adding Gearhead Motors321
Selecting Gearhead Motors321
Adding Motors to the Brightness Comparator Circuit325
Completing the Electronics330
Chapter 19Wheels333
Anatomy of a Wheel333
Characteristics of Robot Wheels334
Wheel Choice for Sandwich344
Cleaning Tires350
Rolling Along352
Chapter 20Coupler353
Measuring and Cutting the Tubing358
LEGO Cross Axles364
Gluing the Coupler Together366
Adding a Setscrew to the Coupler370
Admiring the Coupler375
Chapter 21Soldering Equipment377
Solder Wire378
Soldering Iron381
Soldering Stand382
Soldering Sponge383
Helping-Hand Tool384
Desoldering Vacuum Tools385
Steps of a Typical Soldering Session387
Get Ready to Solder388
Chapter 22Soldering and Connecting389
Putting Together the Motors and Switches389
Soldering Experience419
Chapter 23The Motherboard421
The Line-Following Circuit421
Testing the Robot's Electronics437
Holding Your Breath442
Chapter 24Body Building443
Approaching Robot Bodies443
Transforming the Sandwich Container448
Ready to Roll477
Chapter 25Launching the Line-Follower479
Correcting and Tweaking479
The Maiden Voyage493
Potential Improvements495
Final Bow500
Chapter 26Encore503
Robot Components503
Everyday Challenges530
The Great Wide Open536
Chapter 27Appendix537
Magical Ohm's Law537
Things I've Accidentally Destroyed While Writing This Book540
Voltage's Real Name544

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Robot Building for Beginners 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best robotics book I ever got! It tells you ALL of the basics for robot building! -BUY NOW-
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a terrific book. I read it as it was novel. It is written in such way that you can start from the first and go to the last page without being bored once. It is also beautifully divided so you can use it as a reference book. David Cook did a great job while writing Robot Building for Beginners. It is perfect for an initiation to the robot building. I've read other interesting books but this one has something special: everything is entirely covered for a single project. Other books tend to present a lot of projects but can't seem to concentrate on giving complete information. Robot Building for Beginners does provide all the information you need. Each time I was wondering 'well, how about that?', David Cook was answering my question the next paragraph. There is a great amount of work in 'what will a first-timer would be willing to learn after that'. If you don¿t know anything or are willing to refresh your mind on electronics, the book is perfect. David Cook helps us getting to choose the right part, understanding what they do, how to correctly assemble the whole thing and so on. I just finish reading it and I'm ready to build my first robot knowing how to avoid the common pitfalls and how to keep my first project simple, but complete and working. It¿s a perfect gift for someone who wants to build his/her first robot. Thanks to David Cook.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Before I started to read this book I wouldn't beleive I can build my own robot. But now it is about to finish and it will be a great experience after completion of all works. I am very happy to have this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book is very well written, illustrated and includes detailed product information and design techniques which I find very beneficial.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A worthy investment for the first-time robot builder.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Excellent book! Easy to read and easy to understand. Explains everything you need to build a robot. From the tools to the components -- everything is explained in plain english. There is no guessing as to what size resistor or whats the difference between the red fled and clear fled -- which should I use. All explained out for you. I've been fooling around with electronics off and on for awhile but still was shady on a few things -- this book helped clear it all up for me. It has made me fall back in love with electronics and robots again! Easy to read! Easy to understand! Easy to build! Fantastic Book! Buy it already!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Excellent book for anyone looking for an entry into robot building. I am getting my parts together and hope to have my own little 'Sandwich' Robot like the one created in this book. It will be my first robot. This book is easy to understand and the author explains technical details of various components masterfully. This book is VERY easy to understand and a great way to explore robot building without getting frustrated.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Dave Cook has a winner! There are many 'how to' books about building robots. Dave's cook gives the reader a project from the beginning to the end. Other robot building bookscover several projects at a time, not really giving you the details needed to complete a working bot. The electronic section of the book is great and easy to understand. The lesson on how to buy and select parts is an example how this book is trutly a 'how to' book for beginners. This is a must book for robot hobbyist, that will be on the workbench rather than on the bookshelf. Thanks Dave. Steve Cristelli scristelli@aol.com
Guest More than 1 year ago
The author, David Cook, naturally steps inexperienced readers through the robot building process. A lot of books unsuccessfully assume you already know something about electronics, or expect you to go buy a different book to learn how. Instead, this book alone informs the reader about each step and part necessary, from electronics, to mechanics, to aesthetics, through testing. Another thing I like about the book is that it encourages readers to make their own robot from scratch out of commonly available parts. Unlike the low-quality kits (from which you learn nothing) being hoisted upon budding scientists, the robot presented in this book really becomes the reader¿s creation. A practical and useful feature of the book is that each circuit is first shown as a schematic (or wiring diagram) and then a labeled photograph on a solderless breadboard. It makes it simple for me to reproduce the circuit on my board by counting the holes or comparing locations to the photographs in the book. A terrific book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Robot Building for Beginners fills a vital gap between LEGO MindStorms and microcontroller-based robots. Many of the robots in other books are so complicated that they¿re too overwhelming to get started or too lame to bother. This book has excellent, easy-to-follow instructions with lots of photographs. +++++
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the robot book I¿ve been waiting for. A lot of other books were way over my head, but this one provides lots of simple steps to get going. The m&ms tube and Ziploc container crack me up.