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Build Your Own Robot! Paperback – March 15, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-1568811024 ISBN-10: 1568811020 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews

From Scientific American

Personal robots are about as advanced today as personal computers were on the eve of the first IBM PC in the early 1980s. They are still the domain of hobbyists who cobble them together from scratch or from kits (available through such vendors as robotstore.com), who join local clubs to swap code and stage contests, and whose labor of love is setting the stage for a technological revolution. There is even an analogy to the Apple II, a ready-made, almost mass-market product: the Cye robot. And two companies, Dyson and Eureka, are beta-testing the first potential killer app: automated vacuum cleaning. Lunt's former column from Nuts & Volts magazine-all five years of the column are reprinted in this volume-has been to robot hobbyists what Byte and Popular Electronics were to computer hobbyists. Along with Joseph Jones and Anita Flynn's Mobile Robots, his book serves as an essential guide for those who want to build their own blinking, buzzing, bumbling artificial pets.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: A K Peters/CRC Press; 1 edition (March 15, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568811020
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568811024
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 7.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,493,715 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Ww Leenen on November 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
Karl Lunt is a wel-known name in the field of robotics. For many years he has filled a column in the Nuts & Volts magazine, primairely around the 68hc11 and 68hc12 controler. He has a lot of experience in making robots and it really shows in his book: "Build your own Robot!". The book consists of a compilation of the columns he has written for the Nuts & Volts starting back in 1992. This is a very unusual approach for a book, and the author has some pitfalls to avoid.
First of all, the information presented in the book is somewhat unstructured. For example, the book doesn't start off with the basics : "the hc11a1 also provides four PWM channels that run with no software overhead, an asynchronous serial port (SCI), a synchronous serial port (SPI) and at least 24 i/o pins, most of them bidirectional" (Getting started,page 7). The reader who bought the book because he assumed to find a step-by-step guide on how to build robots may be scared off by this early technospeak. Secondly, a book has a different audience than the Nuts&Volt magazine has. Any author knows that he should write for a specific audience, with a certain technical background, with a certain state of mind. A book has more room for laying a good theoretical foundation, a column is more of a quick score. Thirdly, the use of language in a column is different compared to that of in a book. Columns should be 'fun to read', with off topic funnies to keep the narrow attentionspan in boundaries. In a thick book like this the use of such language seems often as irrelevant and irritating after a while. Example : "Each year, a few of us gather at the South Whidbey Park for three or four days of carcamping, eating, beach-strolling, and robot designing.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By E. Glenn Anaiscourt on June 29, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is a compilation of articles written in the 1990s for Nuts and Volts magazine by Seattle Robotics Society member Karl Lunt, an avid robot hobbyist. Karl's enthusiasm for and enjoyment of hobby robotics is evident throughout. Rather than a first book or an A-to-Z 'how-to' manual for those starting out in robotics, I think this book is more valuable as a 'companion guide' or reference to accompany a beginning book such as Gordon McComb's Robot Builder's Bonanza. A variety of ideas, sources, components, schematics and the like are sprinkled throughout the articles. The book provides not only technical information, but also a sense of the history of the hobby, and a feel for its people. Karl has pretty much standardized on Motorola MCUs and focuses on the 68hc11, which typically requires at least some assembly language programming. He is more comfortable writing about software and electronics than about the mechanical aspects of robotics design, though he discusses his collaboration with people who have strong mechanical skills. Ideally, a reader of this book should have an understanding of basic electronics, experience with computer programming, and some machine shop skills. Without some background in these areas, some of the reading will be slow going. For example, Karl assumes a knowledge of hexadecimal math, and bit manipulation with Boolean operators. The book goes into a fair amount of detail in describing the 68hc11, which I think provides a pretty decent introduction to MCUs in general.
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38 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on June 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
Beginning and advanced robotics builders will find Build Your Own Robot! a rare coverage of all the basics involved in building a robot, from hardware to the author's own code used to program robots. Build Your Own Robot! is as much for the hobbyist as for the student of engineering and promises to reach a wide audience with in-depth details, tips for building very different kinds of robots, and specifics on circuitry and how to avoid problems.
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34 of 45 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 1, 2000
Format: Paperback
A collection of Karl Lunt's articles from Nuts & Volts magazine. This book is not as much of a step by step guide as the title would imply. There is plenty here for the advanced robotics hobbyist as there is for the novice. A welcome addition to my robotics library.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Roger Wood on November 16, 2002
Format: Paperback
Beginning and advanced robotics builders will find Build Your Own Robot! a rare coverage of all the basics involved in building a robot, from hardware to the author's own code used to program robots. Build Your Own Robot! is as much for the hobbyist as for the student of engineering and promises to reach a wide audience with in-depth details, tips for building very different kinds of robots, and specifics on circuitry and how to avoid problems.
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