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Arduino Robotics (Technology in Action) 2011th Edition

43 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1430231837
ISBN-10: 1430231831
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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.

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Product Details

  • Series: Technology in Action
  • Paperback: 628 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 2011 edition (July 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1430231831
  • ISBN-13: 978-1430231837
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,094 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 -, 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

39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By E. Berta on 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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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Chas Venter on 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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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Ira Laefsky VINE VOICE on July 27, 2011
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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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Clinton Keith on 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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jeanne Boyarsky on December 11, 2011
Format: Paperback
"Arduino Robotics" is meant for an advanced audience. While the first three chapters do provided a review/intro to electronics, arduino and hardware, there is too much to absorb if you weren't at least familiar with it at one point.

For building advanced projects, it is very good. There are detailed instructions, a parts list, schematic and picture of the board. I like that there was an emphasis on safety. I also like how they explained in detail how to physically build things.

Normally, I criticize a book for having pages of code in a row. In this case, the code was commented so it wasn't bad. And in chapter 11, where the code was even more involved, the author did break it up with additional explanation.

This book was written by three authors and it is one of the books that you can tell was assembled that way. For example on page 28, I found the long comments hard to follow because they wrap lines while later in the book that problem goes away. Some code examples have a background to highlight being code and others do not. In one place there are 5 levels of if statements (presumably to avoid the && operator) and in others the code is written "normally." The authors do write in first person so "I" changes identify but makes it easier to connect with the project creator.

Overall, I was happy with the book. The written by committee wasn't too distracting. And the projects/review area great.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing this review on behalf of CodeRanch.
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