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Arduino Robotics [Paperback]

by John-David Warren, Josh Adams, Harald Molle
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 13, 2011 1430231831 978-1430231837 1

This book will show you how to use your Arduino to control a variety of different robots, while providing step-by-step instructions on the entire robot building process. You'll learn Arduino basics as well as the characteristics of different types of motors used in robotics. You also discover controller methods and failsafe methods, and learn how to apply them to your project. The book starts with basic robots and moves into more complex projects, including a GPS-enabled robot, a robotic lawn mower, a fighting bot, and even a DIY Segway-clone.

  • Introduction to the Arduino and other components needed for robotics 
  • Learn how to build motor controllers
  • Build bots from simple line-following and bump-sensor bots to more complex robots that can mow your lawn, do battle, or even take you for a ride

Please note: the print version of this title is black & white; the eBook is full color.

What you’ll learn

  • Basics of motor-control
  • Basics of PCB design and fabrication
  • R/C control and decoding
  • Autonomous sensor guidance
  • Frame building from various materials
  • Instructions for a variety of robot designs

Who this book is for

Electronics and robotics hobbyists and DIY builders.

Table of Contents

  1. The Basics
  2. Arduino for Robotics
  3. Let’s Get Moving
  4. Linus the Line-Bot
  5. Wally the Wall-Bot
  6. Making PCBs
  7. The Bug-Bot
  8. Explorer-Bot
  9. RoboBoat
  10. Lawn-Bot 400
  11. The Seg-Bot
  12. The Battle-Bot
  13. Alternate Control

Frequently Bought Together

Arduino Robotics + Programming Arduino Getting Started with Sketches
Price for both: $30.37

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

JD is an electronics hobbyist, builder, and relentless tinkerer. As a child, he took apart everything he owned to figure out how it worked. Since then he has built many different projects ranging from anelectric fishing pole to a remote-controlled lawn mower, which was featured on the cover of MAKE magazine in April 2010. Having worked as a builder doing carpentry, plumbing, and electrical work for�8 years, his knowledge is founded in real world experience rather than textbook recitation.

In addition to building robots and remote controlled toys, he enjoys automating everyday tasks, blinking LEDs, designing and etching PCBs, and lots of random things in between. Much of his time has been spent researching, building, and testing various motor-controllers to make his bots move. As a self-proclaimed �poor man's roboticist,� he will always try to find the cheapest way to do something � usually by building it himself.

JD graduated from the University of Alabama in Birmingham with a degree in Business Management. He currently lives in Birmingham, Alabama with his beautiful wife Melissa and their growing flock of animals.



Josh Adams is a developer and architect with over nine years of professional experience building production-quality software and managing projects. Josh is Isotope Eleven's lead architect, and is responsible for overseeing architectural decisions and translating customer requirements into working software. Josh graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) with Bachelor of Science degrees in both Mathematics and Philosophy. When he's not working, Josh enjoys spending time with his family.

Harald Molle has been a computer engineer since 1984. He started his career by becoming a researcher at a university in the Southwest of Germany before cofounding an embedded systems company. Harald is also an expert SCUBA diver, a passion he is trying to combine with his work by developing a GPS-controlled robot to survey lakes. � He is happily married to Jacqueline who knows that an interest in robotics requires substantial amounts of time. And he owns a cat.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 628 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 1 edition (July 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1430231831
  • ISBN-13: 978-1430231837
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.3 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #68,383 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

JD Warren is a maker at heart and has been since he can remember. As a child he took apart everything he got his hands on and has since been putting things back together. His recent interest in electronics was propelled by the popular Arduino microcontroller platform that makes it easy for someone with very little or no programming experience to easily get started creating awesome electronics/art/robotics with a very small learning curve.

He currently lives in Birmingham, Alabama with his wife and 2 cats. By day, he works as a software developer for Isotope11, drinking Dr. Pepper and writing Ruby - by night, he builds robots and writes about them.

His website - prototyperobotics.com, is there to supply a location for updates and information about current projects and his recent book "Arduino Robotics." He is happy to answer any questions at: johndavid400 at gmail dot com.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read September 22, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It was an interesting read. The three hobbyists go through the robotic designs that they made on the cheap using old scavenged parts. They did an amazing job simplifying concepts to the point anybody with a high school education can understand them. Most of the book is devoted not to the Arduino but to the mechanical engineering parts of making a robot on the cheap. Diverse topics like cutting polystyrene and making homemade PCB's take up most of the book with the Arduino part mostly being a brief description of what the code does. I would recommend the book, but there are things that might annoy some people. It doesn't have much of an in-depth look at the Arudino itself. For their more complicated robots where non-library custom code is needed you will see comments like "If you want to understand this, you must read the Data Sheet of atmega168." These guys seem to own a hardware store of tools and have a warehouse of parts lying around. The use of old scavenged parts is cool, but it does mean you shouldn't expect to be able to reproduce anything exactly like these guys did and expect acquiring parts/tools to be a challenge in and of itself. Also keep in mind that this is a hobbyist book and many of the techniques discussed would fail most design for manufacturability and reliability criterion. It will give you ideas on going about making your own hobby robots on the cheap but don't expect your pooling solder connections to withstand the test of time or be easy to debug when things don't work the first time.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Arduino Robotics August 18, 2011
Format:Paperback
This is a cracker of a book and an essential cornerstone for anyone who has recently started tinkering with robotics, or is thinking of doing so. It goes way beyond the title to cover a multitude of disciplines required to undertake and complete the projects in the book, and in the process imparts valuable knowledge to the reader.

The authors have used a solid foundation to describe the basic electric and electronic theory in a simple and straight forward way, making the book both easy to read and understand. The electronics world has many pitfalls where duplicate terminology abounds and the authors have clearly described these situations which certainly would help a novice understand the ambiguity created when terms like negative, ground, sink, VSS and cathode all refer to the same thing. The visual depiction of both electronic component symbols and actual components makes this book an invaluable reference.

The versatility of the Arduino becomes evident when the reader sees how easily the Arduino interfaces with each of the projects. The Arduino is programmed via an Integrated Development Environment using code sketches which describe the operational steps the Arduino will execute at the robotic level. The basic variables, functions and procedures of the coding language are described along with sketch examples.

A refreshing aspect to this book is how the authors have used parts from obsolete or broken equipment for the robotic sensors and drive mechanisms as opposed to sourcing expensive, new parts and components for the construction of the projects.

The hands-on nature of the bot projects show numerous photographs of the bots during their construction, providing the reader with a lot more than just a plain old diagram or blueprint.

A worthy book.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
If all this excellent book did was to provide careful, graduated instruction in robotics and the necessary Arduino skills to complete the
transition from a line-following or wall hugging robot to advanced projects like a workhorse lawnbot and a do-it yourself Segway-clone it would be worth many times the cover price. But, with practical well-illustrated instruction it also provides the physical computing enthusiast with the background they need in sensors and actuators (like accelerometers, H-Bridge Motor Controllers and Arduino Interfacing of DC Servo and Stepper Motors) to complete many advanced projects of all kinds with the Arduino and a variety of embedded processors. Addtional Hackerspace skills such as use of a Dremel Tool, PCB layout with Eagle Cad and homebrew PCB construction round out the skills to complete a wide variety of Electronic and Mechatronic projects.

So, whether your aim is to build personal robotic projects in the Hackerspace, or in K-12 STEM Education and you wish to use the Open Source
easy to implement Arduino Platform, or you need a range of hardware, software and workshop skills to complete your own dream project this book is an excellent and necessary part of your library.

--Ira Laefsky, MSE/MBA
Technology Researcher, Consultant & Hackerspace Participant at Philly's Hive 76
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars broad, not deep and flawed January 12, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book covers a broad range of topics and dives deep in some odd specific areas. It provides a good background in general areas and then focused on some very specific robotic projects. It's very light on Arduino detail and heavy on fabrication (mechanical and electrical).

Editing seems sloppy. I was unimpressed with the organization of the book and the table of contents are incorrectly aligned with the text.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent coverage of basic robotics & electronics April 24, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Although I'm a seasoned electronics hobbyist, it was quite helpful to go over basic electronic principles. Chapter 6, making your own PC boards is worth the price of the book alone. After nearly 30 years of trying different DIY techniques, it inspire me to try once again, and this time, Success!! (If your serious about DIY PC boards, go to [...] (outside link) for supplies and additional info). The bulk of the book takes you from simple motor control through video, remote control, and complex sensor feedback. If you want to get started in robotics, get this book and an Arduino UNO board. That supplier shipped the board like in 2 days.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Arduino Robotics
I am very satisfied with my purchase. I would recommend this to my friends. I will be ordering more books through Amazon in the future.
Published 21 days ago by CHARLES T REFFNER
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than expected
This book contained much more than expected. It gave more than just a run down of how to do everything. It offered schematics, real life examples, and a break down of the why.
Published 1 month ago by Jessica L. Shepherd
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent book on arduino robotics
excellent book on Arduino robotics, fun easy to follow, easy to read. lots of references, well written, topical and up to date, which is rare in the technical book biz these... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Perry W. Chamberlain
5.0 out of 5 stars Bot book
If you love robotics like I do,This is the book you need.It covers all of the basic stuff you need to build your dream bot. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Larry A. Amati
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
I have skimmed through the book a few times and have added it to my list of books to read.
Published 4 months ago by Mark1968
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
Great book for beginning to advanced arduino robotics. Has lots of greats projects that are very fun. I would highly recommend this book.
Published 4 months ago by zanek
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read.
Informative and well laid out, stimulates one to advance in Arduino. Excellent value for money and good addition to Arduino "Library"
Published 6 months ago by John R. Dale
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent framework for your own creations
I appreciate the philosophy of Arduino Robotics in explaining how to make your own robots from scratch. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Neil G. Matthews
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceeded my expectations.
I wasn't sure what to expect, but I really enjoyed this book. All the projects were great to read about, and the style and approach of the authors was fantastic. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Devin' Kevin
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book on robotics and electronics in general
If you're just starting out with robotics or electronics in general, pick up this book. It's the best primer on the subject out there.
Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
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