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Robot Building for Beginners, 2nd Edition (Technology in Action) 2nd Edition

48 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1430227489
ISBN-10: 1430227486
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Frequently Bought Together

Robot Building for Beginners, 2nd Edition (Technology in Action) + Robotics: DISCOVER THE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY OF THE FUTURE with 20 PROJECTS (Build It Yourself) + OWI  14-in-1 Solar Robot
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

David Cook is an engineering manager at Motorola. He has 20 years of experience as a software developer, creating everything from award-winning computer games to mobile background-check applications for police. Self-taught in electronics and basic mechanics, David explains his years of robot experiences to the average backyard scientist in a comfortable and helpful manner, without scholarly intimidation. David hosts the popular robot site RobotRoom.com.

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Product Details

  • Series: Technology in Action
  • Paperback: 516 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 2nd edition (January 19, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1430227486
  • ISBN-13: 978-1430227489
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1.1 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #169,408 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

102 of 103 people found the following review helpful By J. Thurmond on March 1, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I looked around quite a bit trying to find a robot building book that would take my 14 yr old through the process in a way he could understand. David Cook delivered perfectly. Every other book I looked at seemed either too childish, or alternately, assumed a solid background in electronics. Robot Building for Beginners, like Baby Bear's porridge, is just right!

I studied philosophy in college, so can offer my son no help in building robots. I've seen this book described as a swimming pool that's 5'x5' but 25' deep. That's pretty apt. I like the extensive chapter on components - what they are, how they work - neither my son nor I knew a resistor from a diode before. Also an entire chapter on safety was great from the concerned parent perspective.

The book is long, but covers a lot of ground with very little fluff. In 10 days my son had read up to the chapter where you start building your robot - he had absorbed a ton of information, built a few basic circuits and tested/troubleshot them with a multimeter. Now he's just waiting impatiently for me to set him up with the necessary components to start building (actually he's started scavenging components from dead/unused electronics he comes across; and I'm starting to fear for my DVD player).

I don't think you'll find a better starting point for a novice.
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44 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Tim Koren on August 6, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While the book seems to be thorough and well-written, the majority of it is written with a robotics project (The "Sandwich Robot") in mind. If you bought the book in 2010 or 2011, it seems that you would have been able to purchase the $50 kit from [...] follow along in the book but the kit is sold out now. I've attempted to contact the author (David Cook) to inquire about future availability but have not received a response, so I'm going to assume that the kit will not be made available again in the future. It's a little disappointing that he cares so little about supporting his books that he will not even send a quick email to confirm that the kit will no longer be made/offered.

I think the book would have rated fairly high if the required equipment was available, but the lack of it forces me to drop the rating to a 2.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Ira Laefsky VINE VOICE on February 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
David Cook, an engineering manager at Motorola with 20 years of experience in software development, has written the ultimate beginner's book on the construction and troubleshooting of robots and all types of electronic construction. It is designed for the absolute beginner to practical electronic and basic mechanical construction by someone who like myself received an overly theoretical education. It can certainly also be mastered by interested high school student or teenage enthusiast. All phases of electronic construction and troubleshooting as well as a variety of mechanical and shop techniques are described and exquisitely illustrated by high-quality (black and white) photographs. While the book culminates and supplies all necessary information to construct a simple but fully autonomous line-following robot, I believe that the successfully achieved important objective of the book is to develop the range of electronic and mechanical skills necessary for further advancement in any robotic project and almost any electronic construction endeavor. To many books in this exciting and rapidly expanding field either provide step by step details of the construction of particular projects, or are largely theoretical in content.

By contrast, this clear and well illustrated beginners guide develops the skills and basic theoretical understanding of electronic construction and mechanics to achieve initial success and grow in knowledge with any robotic project and in a variety of hobbyist electronics. I would recommend it to any aspiring beginner in robotics and electronic construction as the basis mastering an exciting hobby or practical engineering pursuit.

--Ira Laefsky
MSE/MBA IT Consultant
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By John C. Wilkinson Jr. on July 11, 2011
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To me robot kits leave me feeling disappointed and turned off. I mean u buy a kit, assemble it, learn next to nothing, and then the robot just does one thing and u quickly tire of it. These 2 books (especially the 2nd one) turn robotics into an open-ended hobby and a continuous source of education and experimentation. With kits, they do nothing until you are done and then only do one thing. But the way David Cook presents it, you learn all the time, you test little pieces and watch and learn how the parts work and how to make changes in the design. These 2 books are the best robotics books I have ever bought!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By RF on June 12, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
So my son asks "Can we build a robot this summer"? Not having a background in electronics I was a bit hesitant to say "Of course, why not", however, I figured it might be fun if I could find a good source to work from. After researching a bit I found many positive reviews for this book and ordered it. I will say that the initial cost for equipment (if you don't already have it) will set you back a bit however, the book walks you through piece by piece on what to buy, where to buy it, what its for, how to use it, etc...

If you are interested in learning from the ground level and/or have a kid who shows up wanting to build a robot, I would recommend this book as a good starting point.
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Robot Building for Beginners, 2nd Edition (Technology in Action)
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