- Paperback: 132 pages
- Publisher: Hayden Book Co (1978)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0810456818
- ISBN-13: 978-0810456815
- Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,988,435 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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How to build a computer-controlled robot Paperback – 1978
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Top Customer Reviews
I bought it brand new in the early 1980s and used it as an instruction manual to make my own version of the author's robot.
Be warned that this book instructs you how to build the robot from scratch - unless you are comfortable cutting and drilling metal; soldering circuit boards; and working with computer interfaces, you may want to look elsewhere.
Computers have come a long way since the hex-keypad 6502 days; so the book is a bit dated now. But it still provides excellent clear instructions on how to make a robust, sturdy mobile platform with sensor feedback and is a fascinating look into the world of early computer programming. Compared to most modern hobby robots, this robot is a TANK. It is powered by a car battery and the D/A circuitry steps-up the signals through big transistors to the point where they can power heavy-duty relays. So everytime the robot does anything, relays click and thunk. The treaded wheels are about 5 inches in diameter and can run over anything. With the plain aluminum panels covering the body, 'Mike' looks like a combination of the DeLorean with RD-D2. Still one of the coolest looking robots I've ever seen.
Tod Loofbourrow built his robot and wrote this book when he was a precocious pre-teen. It ends with some of his ideas for further enhancements to 'Mike,' and I've often wondered whether or not he ever implemented any of them.
The robot design and technology are severely dated and probably only a good project for the vintage computer enthusiast. So if you think IBM or Apple invented the personal computer, then this book is not for you.
However, if you have a KIM-1, and are looking for a whopper of a project, this book is definitely for you!
I think now about that book, and wish to have a copy again simply for nostalgic reasons. In fact, I suspect I might just build that 70's-era robot (white, bubble-headed, cyclindrical -- weren't they all -- with an acronym for a name). Now that I know what Tod was talking/writing about and now that I can afford to.
And although my father wasn't around then to make it a father/son project, I have daughters of my own now. They may be a little young yet to help build it, but a robot in the home might just send them in the right direction to where they help me on the next one.