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How to build a computer-controlled robot Paperback


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Product Details

  • 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: #2,033,798 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sam Morgan on January 22, 2007
Format: Paperback
This was the second book ever written about the then-new field of experimental hobby robots.

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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John Pyle on February 2, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book in the late 1970s, and it was lost in a fire. I replaced it with Amazon because even 40+ years ago when written, it still has good information today. I built the "robot", but with joystick control and working "bumper" switches. I could not afford the computer at the time, but it did give me some valuable insite into machine language. Still a good reference today.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 10, 2001
Format: Paperback
Sorry, my formative teen years were spent in the 70's and this book was right there in the center of my daydreaming about robot projects and such. I had neither the know-how nor the resources to build my own robot at that time, but here I am, almost 30 years later, working for Apple computer and programming microcontrollers and building robots in my spare time.
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.
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By J. Garza on July 12, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is basically a big project for your KIM-1 microcomputer board from the 70's. Hayden published many good books during the microcomputer revolution, and this is one 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!
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