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This second book on Stiquito presents you with a unique opportunity to learn about the field of engineering, electronics, and robotics in an original way. This book provides you with the skills and equipment to build a very small robot, instructions on how to build electronic controls for your robot, and a robot kit.
The Stiquito robot is a small, inexpensive, six-legged robot that is unique not only by its cost but because its applications are limitless. This book is written at a level for High School and College students. It provides an engineering, electronics, and robotics curriculum, and presents experiments and projects that illustrate what they teach. It also illustrates Stiquito's uses in education by presenting lab exercises and describes the use of nitinol in classroom experiments. Stiquito has already successfully been used to teach in primary, secondary, high school, and college curricula. An accompanying teacher's manual that includes problem solutions, descriptions for teaching each chapter, science benchmarks, national standards, and additional experiments associated with each chapter will be available.
The Stiquito Online Supplement is on the web! This extra website, http://computer.org/books, has additional information not found in the book.
"...provides an introduction, equipment & assembly instructions, & summary/references for building a small, inexpensive, six-legged robot...includes a curriculum, experiments, & educational projects employing Stiquito."
Physical models have long been used by engineers to understand complex systems. They probably represent the oldest method of structural design. Physical models have the advantage in that they allow an engineer to study a device, structure, or system with little or no prior knowledge of its behavior. Full-scale models are sometimes built, but most often, they are scaled down anywhere from 1:4 to 1:48. Examples of studies made with physical models include:
1. Dispersion of pollutants throughout a lake
2. Behavior of waves within a harbor
3. Underwater performance of different submarine shapes
4. Performance of aircraft by using wind tunnels to simulate various flight conditions
Prototype models are used in addition to other modeling to prove that a design works, test the synthesis of a complex design, work out bugs, or make tougher design decisions when the models are not accurate enough. In prototyping the engineer attempts to build a fully functional device based on the initial designs, versus a physical model that is not to full size or is not fully functional.
A prototype for a complicated design need not include the entire design. Software can be tried out in a simulation of computer hardware or software. Electrical designs can be built by hand on breadboards or inexpensive wire wrapping tools. NASA built mechanical mock-ups of its shuttle and space station designs so that it could test how well the pieces fit together and turn up any ergonomic or manufacturing problems that would not show up on paper or in a computer simulation.
Prototyping pieces of a design so that a complex problem is broken into smaller, more manageable problems has many advantages.
Evaluating and Selecting a Preferred Solution
Engineers use several criteria to evaluate the value of a solution or design, depending on the nature of the problem. If the solution involves a product, great importance may be placed on safety, cost, reliability, and consumer acceptability.
Many designers use prototypes to test the operation of the design. The designer could then identify any weak areas of the design and attempt to improve upon them. No idea should be discarded solely based on one prototype or one test. Many great designs have been discarded prematurely and many working prototypes have failed to give acceptable products. Then again, many designs that were thought to be great were actually flawed. One only needs to look at the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger or the collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge for an example."," In both of these disasters, serious design flaws caused the destruction of the spacecraft and structure.
Indirect evaluation can also be used to evaluate a design. For example, scale models can be used to test aircraft design at a fraction of the cost of building a prototype.
In this example, computer simulations and mathematical models may not be accurate enough to allow an engineer to understand all the complexities of component interference or turbulence, but they still may be used to approximate the design of the first scale model for wind tunnel testing.
Preparing Reports, Plans, and Specifications
After selecting a design, it must be shared with those who must approve it, support it, and translate it into reality. This communication may take the form of an engineering report, or a set of plans and specifications. Engineers use plans and specifications to describe to a manufacturing division or to a contractor the details about a design so that it can be produced. Engineering drawings, written and oral communications, and scheduling and planning a design project are essential in implementing a design smoothly and efficiently. Some materials engineers use to support their design plans include engineering drawings, written communication, oral communication, and design project schedules.
Engineering Drawings-Engineers often create detailed technical drawings that show what the design looks like, what parts are necessary, how to assemble it, and how to operate it once constructed. These graphical specifications are probably the most important type of documentation used for engineering design problems. They communicate visually to the technical team what verbal communications cannot adequately convey. To be effective, these drawings must be drawn clearly and according to standards and conventions accepted by the team.
Written Communication-Memorandums, often called memos, are a brief and effective way to keep everyone involved aware of the design's progress. Memos can be distributed to one person or to a list of people within the organization who have an interest in the subject.
A technical report is a much longer and complete record of the design process. it should include everything that was done to solve the problem. As with any communication, the technical writing should be clear, direct, and readable by the intended audience. Many types of reports are written by engineers, but in general, they all include the following information:
• An Introduction to Robotics and Stiquito (James M. Conrad).
• Engineering Skills and the Design Process (James M. Conrad Allan R. Baker).
• Electricity Basics (James M. Conrad).
• Nitinol Basics (James M. Conrad Wayne Brown).
• Stiquito: A Small, Simple, Inexpensive Hexapod Robot (Jonathan W. Mills).
• A Manual Controller for the Stiquito Robot (Jonathan W. Mills).
• A PC-Based Controller for the Stiquito Robot (James M. Conrad).
• A Simple Circuit to Make Stiquito Walk on Its Own (James M. Conrad).
• The Future of Stiquito and Walking Robots (Jonathan W. Mills and James M. Conrad).
Appendix A: Author Biographies.
Appendix B: Sources of Materials for Stiquito.
Appendix C: Using Screws Instead of Crimps in Stiquito.
Posted January 5, 2000
Build your own robot for under $50! This book includes a robot kit! Stiquito is a small, simple, and inexpensive six-legged robot that has been used to teach science and technology in primary, secondary, and high school curricula. Stiquito has also been used as a research platform to study computational sensors, subsumption architectures, neural gait controllers, emergent behavior, cooperative behavior, and machine vision. This is the second Stiquito book published, although it covers more introductory topics that the first Stiquito book, 'Stiquito: Advanced Experiments with a Simple and Inexpensive Robot.' 'Stiquito for Beginners: An Introduction to Robotics' is intended for hobbyists, students, and teachers who want an introduction to the Stiquito robot, engineering, and electronics. This book consists of: introductions to engineering, electronics, and nitinol wire; building instructions for Stiquito; building instructions of PC and analog circuits to make the robot move; and examples of applications of Stiquito. The advanced Stiquito book is an excellent continuation of the beginner's book. It includes an examination of Stiquito and complex electronics circuits that make the robot walk. There is very little duplication between the two books, except for the assembly instructions of the robot. Please note that to build Stiquito you need hobby building skills (cutting fine metal wire, tying knots in the wire, crimping wire in aluminum tubing). Also note that, as of November 1999, Stiquito has been built by at least 12,000 people between the ages of 10 to, well, near 99!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.