Customer Reviews: Intermediate Robot Building (Technology in Action)
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on September 28, 2015
Good resource for info
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Good product
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on March 17, 2014
This book was well received by my 12 year old grandson AND his dad! They both were totally absorbed after my grandson opened this birthday present and planning a project.
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on September 15, 2013
Good intro books to electronics and robot related electronics, for those future brilliant minds. I would recommend this. to anyone with interest in this subject and needed a place to start.
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on August 4, 2013
This takes some reading and not for the short attention span crowd. As much as anything it gives a good basis from which to further develop your own path.
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on May 13, 2011
David Cook's second book is an excellent sequel to the first. Like the
first, this is a hobbyist book aimed at those interested in table top
robotics. It documents his exploration in robotics using easy to get
parts for most hobbyists, and does good job of explaining the basic
theory to the layperson. A basic understanding of electronics and
mechanics is useful to take away as much as possible from the book,
but with just the skills learned in the first book, it is easy to copy
his simple designs.

By no means is this an advanced book. Those with some background in
electronics or computer science may find the book a bit lacking on the
theory behind the designs, but it hits it's target demographic quite
well. Anyone who has built a small robot or is familiar with circuits
will have no trouble following even the more advanced topics in this

He includes a brief overview of the basic parts of any robot. The
first section includes several examples on the mechanical construction
of a robot. Many of the examples include mechanical parts custom
fabricated on a mechanical mill, though sources for similar parts are
included. He then discusses power supply and isolation concepts. A
large part of the book discusses various approaches of brushed DC
motor driving using NPN transistors or MOSFETs, and is probably one of
the more valuable sections. There is a short section on sensor design
but the examples presented in detail are somewhat sparse. Finally, a
section on interfacing a controller (purpose built or programmable) to
the hardware is gone over. This section is by far the most lacking, as
this book is more focused on the hardware implementation.

Overall, the book presents a good guide to getting a simple tabletop
robot up and running, but doesn't discuss much of the more advanced
topics a budding roboticist might find useful. This is by no means a
software book, but by the time you're done with the examples in this
book, you'll have a good platform for mobile robot programming.
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on November 1, 2010
This book and Cook's beginning book are a couple of books I find very useful. Check out his robot room ([...]) for a glimpse into his style.
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VINE VOICEon August 9, 2010
David Cook, builds advanced skills in autonomous robot construction in an excellently designed text following on (but not necessarily depending upon) his excellent "Robot Building for Beginners". This outstanding tutorial assumes some basic skills in robot construction, and then describes and exquisitely illustrates the development of Machining, Mechanical, Electronic, and Microcontroller Modules around a "Roundabout Robot" Project. Mr. Cook builds out independently the skills used in each phase or area of robot construction around a suggested unified project. The Robot Constructor Hobbyist can rely on standard pre-planned modules for those aspects of robot construction that are of lessor interest while choosing to advance his/her skills in particular areas that are described in detail for the "Roundabouts" construction, gaining Machine Shop Skills, Electronic Design and Construction toolsets, or advanced skills in developing the Microcontroller "Brains" of a Robot. While I could just admire and learn from his explicit instructions and high-quality gray-scale photographs of Machining Practice, I do feel qualified to comment on his "Brains" and Microcontroller module entitled "If I Only Had A Brain". In this section he proceeds lightly with the details of Physical Computing and Basic Microcontroller skills that can easily be gathered from other books and online references, he provides an excellent guide to choosing between discrete Digital Logic chips and Microcontrollers, excellent heuristics in choosing a controller or Microcomputer chip, and advanced means of troubleshooting and making failsafe the Microcontroller Brain of a Robot using Watchdog Timers and Heartbeat Displays. I know of no other Hobbyist or "Professional" Robotics book that provides this level of understanding of the Intermediate and Advanced Use of Microcontrollers and Microcomputers.

This book is the Ultimate Skill Builder for the Robotics Hobbyist who wishes to advance beyond the simplest robot projects.
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on June 11, 2010
Initially I was very enthusiastic about the second edition of Intermediate Robot Building, but over the last few months I have become a bit disappointed. Yes, it does contain lots of great information on milling machines, motor drivers, the use of micro-controllers, and great information about the use of obstruction, edge, and proximity detecting sensors, all of which I am interested in learning, and yes it is very well written. But I have placed the project on an increasingly permanent hold.

Prior to the release of the second edition, I had begun to accumulate the parts for the Roundabout Robot, using the parts list published on Mr. Cook's website. I have accumulated nearly all the parts, fabricated a chassis and drive components controlled by my "Sandwich" robot's modular brain. So I am disappointed that the circuit boards needed for the Roundabout robot were not returned to the market with the release of the new edition.

I am hopeful that Mr. Cook will either resume supplying the circuit board to S___________s, or will license some other commercial entity to produce it, but unless that happens, I probably will not ever complete the project. True, I can have a board etched from the artwork on the Robot Room website, but with alternatives such as the BOE-BOT and the Arduino Serb readily available, this becomes an expensive and unnecessary hurdle for robot builders who want to move beyond the Sandwich project toward programmable, re-purpose-able robots.
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