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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
If you want to get into robotics, but you want to do it gently, with projects you can actually complete in a few hours, check out Dave Johnson’s Robot Invasion.
Johnson starts with a simple overview of robotics and the four components of most robots: the base, or body; the processor; the sensors that tell the robot about its environment, and the actuators, which allow it to respond. He also introduces advances like artificial muscles and neural networks that are moving robotics incrementally toward Spielberg’s A.I., Asimov’s I, Robot, or your fantasy of choice.
Next, Johnson walks you through seven simple robot projects, each touching on a different area of robotics, gradually building your skills and confidence. You’ll start with an easy LEGO Mindstorms (2.0) robot that can navigate an obstacle course, find a small block, and push it to a specified goal.
Using an old-fashioned Erector Set, you’ll build a robot that can change directions when it collides with your furniture (or you). There’s a Mars Pathfindertype robot that can respond to your directions; a remote-controlled “videobot,” and even a search-and-recovery robot. In short, there’s more than enough robotics here to get you completely hooked. Bill Camarda
Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks For Dummies®, Second Edition.