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Programming Robot Controllers [Paperback]

Myke Predko
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)


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Book Description

August 16, 2002 0071408517 978-0071408516 1
Learning to program robot controllers just got a lot easier! In this innovative addition to the "Robot DNA" series, author Myke Predko demonstrates how robot controllers are programmed using the versatile Microchip PICmicro Microcontroller. The focus of the book is on the least understood aspect of robot design; integrating multiple sensors and peripherals software that will work cooperatively and allow for a simple high-level control application. To explain the concepts presented in the book, Myke uses off-the-shelf parts and a "C" programming language compiler that is included on the CD-ROM.Written in a clear, easy-to-understand style, "Programming Robot Controllers" thoroughly explores: how different sensors, outputs, and peripherals can be wired to a microcontroller to work cooperatively and create a high-level control program; the various subsystem functions the controller will have to perform; the basic theory behind output devices, input devices/sensors, and motor control - and how to integrate these devices; how the different interfaces are actually implemented in a microcontroller; how to transport the sample interface and control application codes presented in the book to other microcontrollers; the amazing software development capabilities of MPLAB and PICC Lite C programming language compiler (both included on the CD-ROM); and the Microchip PICmicro PIC16F627, which can be erased and reprogrammed with simple hardware. If you're an amateur robotics hobbyist ready to enjoy the challenge - and rewards - of programming, there's no better coach than Myke Predko. It provides everything you need to program your robot controller: Microcontrollers in Robots; Software Development; The Microchip PICmicro Microcontroller; Microcontroller Connections; Designing the Robot System; and Advanced Programming. The CD-ROM contains: PICMicro Instruction Set Reference; Selected PICMicro MCU datasheets; Microchip MPLAB software and documentation; "El Cheapo" programmer software and building instructions; PICC-Lite Compiler Software and documentation; Source code for sample applications; and, HTML links.


Editorial Reviews

Review

Often overlooked at the initial design stage is how the robot will be controlled. Predko addresses everything the enthusiast needs to fill in the gaps. However, some prior programming and electronic knowledge is assumed. The CD-ROM includes HTML links and source code for sample applications. (Library Journal 2002-11-01)

From the Back Cover

LEARNING TO PROGRAM ROBOT CONTROLLERS JUST GOT A LOT EASIER!

In this innovative addition to the ROBOT DNA SERIES, author Myke Predko demonstrates how robot controllers are programmed using the versatile Microchip PICmicro Microcontroller. The focus of the book is on the least understood aspect of robot design; integrating multiple sensors and peripherals software that will work cooperatively and allow for a simple high-level control application. To explain the concepts presented in the book, Myke uses off-the-shelf parts and a “C” programming language compiler that is included on the CD-ROM.

Written in a clear, easy-to-understand style, Programming Robot Controllers thoroughly explores:
* How different sensors, outputs, and peripherals can be wired to a microcontroller to work cooperatively and create a high-level control program
* The various subsystem functions the controller will have to perform
* The basic theory behind output devices, input devices/sensors, and motor control--and how to integrate these devices
* How the different interfaces are actually implemented in a microcontroller
* How to transport the sample interface and control application codes presented in the book to other microcontrollers
* The amazing software development capabilities of MPLAB and PICC Lite C programming language compiler (both included on the CD-ROM)
* The Microchip PICmicro PIC16F627 which can be erased and reprogrammed with simple hardware

If you're an amateur robotics hobbyist ready to enjoy the challenge--and rewards--of programming, there's no better coach than Myke Predko.

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO PROGRAM YOUR ROBOT CONTROLLER
* Microcontrollers in Robots
* Software Development
* The Microchip PICmicro Microcontroller
* Microcontroller Connections
* Designing the Robot System
* Advanced Programming
* Going Forward

CD-ROM CONTAINING:
* PICMicro Instruction Set Reference
* Selected PICMicro MCU datasheets
* Microchip MPLAB software and documentation
* “El Cheapo” programmer software and building instructions
* PICC-Lite Compiler Software and documentation
* Source code for sample applications
* HTML links


Product Details

  • Series: Robot DNA
  • Paperback: 456 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill/TAB Electronics; 1 edition (August 16, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071408517
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071408516
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #616,554 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not relevent to robotics!! August 29, 2004
Format:Paperback
This guy should stick to writing about microcontrollers because there isn't much about robotics in this book!! For example: by the time you get to page 170 the project is how to flash an LED - dear god help me - I buy a book about robotics and he's got 170 pages of filler leading up to what? To flash an LED??? The C code is junior at best - obfuscated spaghetti code and his patronizing egotistical comments drive us crazy. And again, I just love all of the author written drivel reviews with 5 stars - predkos cramped writting style is recognizable anywhere. BTW by the time you get to page 358 he talks about neural nets and the only single line of code he has to offer as an example is this: Outputs = f(Inputs); you gotta be kidding me!!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for interfacing sensors November 6, 2002
Format:Paperback
Myke focuses on interfacing sensors to PIC's. His focus lies primarily on the PIC16F627/84. This book has been instrumental in helping me quickly interface my robots sensors, and specially test them quickly. I am a software programmer so it made my life easier. The CD which accompanies it contains the book's code examples, a great interactive interface, PIC tools (compilers, etc.), documentation, and more. I am impressed with Myke's work so far. Thanks Myke.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Robotics...Really? March 2, 2005
Format:Paperback
Much of the book has little to actually do with building a robot. Or even interfacing a controller into a system. Much of the book takes you through using a LCD. Little is done with inputs from sensors or controlling motors. Although it is a good tool to learn C for the PIC. It's not the best for using with robotics.
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A depressing book October 25, 2004
By Mazen
Format:Paperback
When I first heared about the book, I was like whoa , it has everything I've been trying to learn.I had a background on programming PIC's using assembly ,so I liked the idea of learning C for PIC's and building a robot...But honestly,this book made me sick and frustrated from robotics because i wasted lot of money on this book and the other two books in this series (ROBOT DNA series)

Chapter 1"Microcontrollers in Robotics" : This chapter is the worst.It has random information that's useless for both beginners and experts like block diagrams from pic16f84 datasheet and long paragraphs on types and shapes of batteries.

Chapter 2 "Software Development" : When I started to read the book,I was like chapter 1 is bad because it might be just an introduction or something ...but guess what, the whole book is like chapter 1!!! random information on everything,the author attempts to discuss the following topics in this chapter:
source files,object files,libraries,linkers,hex files,assemblers,compilers,interpreters,simulators and emulators!!(ie. topics that you would need tons of books to understand them)

Chapter 3 The Microchip PICmicro Microcontroller: This chapter is nothing but copy/paste of pic's datasheets plus more random information about different topics ...oh yeah and a circuit of a programmer that you can get from the internet for free.

Chapter 4 : this chapter has some circuits and code that you can easily find in google, like how to interface the pic with LCD using two wires..etc ...
Chapter 5 and 6 : more long and useless articles on hard topics.

I think that Myke was trying to include everything he knows about in this book...so we ended up with a book that's impossible to understand by hobbyists and beginners,and useless for experts and engineers..for example, if i want to learn about interpreters,compilers ,batteries, i wouldn't buy a robotics or a PICmicro book!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book May 11, 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book has been a real help with my PIC based robot project. While I had microcontroller background, I had no experience with PIC's. The books focus is small robots using the PIC16F627 programmed in C. There are no assembly code examples, but the C code is well written and serves as a good model for translation to assembly. I have found that much of the content is scalable to my larger project (and a different PIC processor). There is no substitute for data sheets and app notes for essential knowledge about the PIC family, but this book provides a valuable jump start. I particularly found the discussion of software development tools (for PIC) to be useful. There are lots of useful PIC interface examples in chapter 4 (Microcontroller Connections). I liked the appendices (a little bit of everything) and found few errors in the book - an important feature for me. If I find too many technical errors, I will toss an otherwise useful book (good editing, whoever did it). I also found the author to be helpful in answering questions via email. Thanks, Myke.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fair, lacks on GOOD ROBOT APPLICATIONS. December 5, 2004
Format:Paperback
Hello, i had this book for quite some time now.

The title is very good, you buy it expeting to have a good sense of what controller programming for robots (the title) should be only to find your self with a lot of unnecessary (in my opinion) "stuff".

In his introduction there is a part named "Prerequisites for this book", let me comment on that because í think it's very important.

"Programming Robot Controllers was written for robot developers with some experience in developing robots. I will not be going into detail explaing basic programming, electronics, or PC operation, but you will have to be familiar with these areas of study".

He's right, his code is written in C, so if you are still to learn Basic or C, you should go elsewhere.

The code provided in his book is somehow simple and very understandable (again, you need to have some programming background).

Chapter 1, chapter 2 and most of chapter 3 are a good reference of what a µicrochip PIC is, what is a compiler, and information regarding the latters subjects.

The end of chapter 3 is a good, quick lesson on how to build an inexpensive programmer "El Chepo" (El barato, this i like since i'm from México).

Chapter 4 is about how the microcontroller works, conneting it to the world.

In this chapter he gives situation-code examples, very simple codes that you can get better explained (on Karl Williams books, or Gordon McComB's master piece) elsewhere.

The one approach of programming that i really like was the one about odometry (chapter 4, page 307-313). Here he explains the problem with turns on robots and how you should compensate for them.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Book came in condition. Husband read the book and recommened it for a gift for someone who wanted to start building roborts.
Published 4 months ago by kathleen M. Martin
3.0 out of 5 stars programming robor controllers
To my way of thinking, there was a lot of informatiom, and references to Data sheets, with little more actual information that a first year student in electronics should know. Read more
Published on April 24, 2010 by John Pyle
5.0 out of 5 stars OK guys, let's get some perspective here.
Myke Predko is one of my favorite authors. There are a lot of beginners baffled and confused with the information presented, because his books are not written for the... Read more
Published on March 4, 2006 by A Reviewer
1.0 out of 5 stars no help at all
I have worked in electronic for 15 yrs, and still couldn't understand what he tried to explain about PIC. but he wrote a lot of books about PIC...
Published on February 22, 2005 by reader
5.0 out of 5 stars On my SEcond Copy
The first two books in the "Robot DNA" series are rehashes of well worn subjects but Predko's book is a really good treatment on a subject that hasn't been looked at... Read more
Published on May 18, 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Love the projects
this book is very helpful and easy to understand
Published on April 9, 2004 by "joshnath"
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
This book is well written with lots of practical projects. The included software is a real bonus and gets you programming PICs right away. Another excellent book by Predko!!
Published on September 17, 2003 by Frank Kennedy
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book; Great example~!
Excellent book, I would dare say that this is certainly better than his previous books on Pic. As bculver13 says he focuses mainly on the PIC16F627/84. Read more
Published on April 19, 2003 by "war3xpert"
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Topic From this Discussion
Why does Myke Predko get so many insulting reviews???
Myke Predko gets bad reviews for his book "Programming Robot Controllers" because the projects/programs in this book simply do NOT work without a lot of debugging effort. The REALLY bad thing about this book is none of the sample code in the book will compile with the PIC C LITE... Read More
Feb 18, 2007 by Scott L. Hansen |  See all 3 posts
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