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Robot Builder's Bonanza, 4th Edition [Paperback]

Gordon McComb
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 23, 2011 0071750363 978-0071750363 4

The Bestselling Robotics Book--Now with New Projects and Online Tools!

"Amazing...should be required reading for any budding robot builder!" -GeekDad, Wired.com

Have fun while learning how to design, construct, and use small robots! This richly illustrated guide offers everything you need to know to construct sophisticated, fully autonomous robots that can be programmed from your computer. Fully updated with the latest technologies and techniques, Robot Builder's Bonanza, Fourth Edition includes step-by-step plans that take you from building basic motorized platforms to giving the machine a brain--and teaching it to walk, talk, and obey commands.

This robot builder's paradise is packed with more than 100 affordable projects, including 10 completely new robot designs. The projects are modular and can be combined to create a variety of highly intelligent and workable robots of all shapes and sizes. Mix and match the projects to develop your own unique creations. The only limit is your imagination!

Robot Builder's Bonanza, Fourth Edition covers:

  • Parts, materials, and tools
  • Building motorized wooden, plastic, and metal platforms
  • Rapid prototyping methods
  • Drafting bots with computer-aided design
  • Constructing high-tech robots from toys
  • Building bots from found parts
  • Power, motors, and locomotion
  • Robots with wheels, tracks, and legs
  • Constructing robotic arms and grippers
  • Robot electronics and circuit making
  • Computers and electronic control
  • Microcontrollers--Arduino, PICAXE, and the BASIC stamp
  • Remote control systems
  • Sensors, navigation, and visual feedback
  • Robot vision via proximity, light, and distance

New! FREE online content at:
www.robotoid.com

  • My First Robot tutorial lessons
  • Project parts finder
  • Animated, interactive learning tools
  • How-to videos, robot e-plans, bonus articles, links, and more

Plus, go to:
www.mhprofessional.com/rbb4 for:

  • Downloadable programs
  • RBB app notes
  • Bonus chapters

Make Great Stuff!
TAB, an imprint of McGraw-Hill Professional, is a leading publisher of DIY technology books for makers, hackers, and electronics hobbyists.


Frequently Bought Together

Robot Builder's Bonanza, 4th Edition + Robot Building for Beginners (Technology in Action)
Price for both: $39.77

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Gordon McComb has written more than 60 books and thousands of magazine articles—more than a million copies of his books are in print, in more than a dozen languages. Gordon has been called "The father of hobby robotics" by MAKE Magazine. For 13 years, he wrote a weekly syndicated newspaper column on computers, which reached several million readers worldwide. Gordon is still a regular contributor to SERVO Magazine, and most recently completed seven years as writer of their popular Robotics Resources column.

Product Details

  • Series: Robot Builder's Bonanza
  • Paperback: 736 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill/TAB Electronics; 4 edition (May 23, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071750363
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071750363
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,383 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gordon McComb has written more than 60 books and thousands of magazine articles--more than a million copies of his books are in print, in more than a dozen languages. He's has been called "The father of hobby robotics" by MAKE Magazine.

For 13 years, Gordon wrote a weekly syndicated newspaper column on computers, which reached several million readers worldwide. He's still a regular contributor to SERVO Magazine, and most recently completed seven years as writer of their popular Robotics Resources column.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Read and the Instructions Work June 27, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book accomplishes something rare: It's straight-forward for beginners and yet detail-rich for experts. I really liked the pace and depth.

The material is organized in a way that makes it easy to jump to a topic of interest, which makes it a useful reference book. With plenty of new information, it's worth a read from the beginning.

The thing that surprised me is that when I built one the projects (the Arduino robot), the instructions were actually complete and correct! (I didn't have to make the usual leaps or go through frustrating trials typical for most hardware/software/builder instructions.)

As a bonus, the jokes and personal asides are pretty entertaining. You can tell the author has really lived with his subject.

I highly recommend it.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The classic text on hobby robotics July 18, 2011
Format:Paperback
This book is considered the classic text on hobby robotics, and I bought the third edition after becoming interested in robot building five years ago. I read that version cover to cover, and occasionally flip through it as a reference today. The book contains useful reference information on machining materials (e.g. wood, metal, and plastics), basic electronics, drive train design, and sensors. There are also projects within the book which apply the reference information to build specific types of robots.

The fourth edition retains this great format with a number of improvements: There's a new companion web site which has printable templates for making servo brackets, encoder patterns, and downloadable program code. New chapters on using the Picaxe, the Arduino, and more projects using RC servos (e.g. a servo based walker and arm projects). This is great because RC servos are so easy to control with a microcontroller. There's still a chapter on using the classic Basic Stamp 2 which is quite popular due to its ease of use and great support.

The author Gordon McComb is active in online forums and if you stick with the hobby long enough, you might virtually bump into him. You'll find he's as helpful and friendly in such encounters as he comes across in this book.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Robot Builders Bonanza August 3, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As in the previous editions Gordon McComb does an excellent job of explaining principles of tool use, basic building mechanics and programming. The many examples and projects make this an excellent handbook for any robotics enthusiast. The 2nd edition had some good examples and projects for the Lego RCX and the 3rd edition had a nice section on the Parrelax BASIC II microcontroller. This edition covers Arduino, PICAXE, and the BASIC stamp.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Bible for Robot Builders June 28, 2011
By RoboJRR
Format:Paperback
I remember as a child in the mid 80's continually checking out and renewing the first edition of Robot Builder's Bonanza from my local public library. I ended up using the book so much, that I had to buy it from the Library because the pages were so worn. I loved that book and still do.

I have the 2nd edition of the book which was a great update in the late 90's. This 4th edition I also own now and it is an awesome update to the series. If you have an interest in robotics, want to know how to get started building your own robot or helping your kids learn about robotics this is the book for you!

It is so hard to give wide coverage to the subject of how to build a robot, but Robot Builder's Bonanza from the 1st edition to this 4th edition has always done an outstanding job of covering the subject in way that makes it easy to learn what you need to know to start working on your own robotic ideas. The book walks you through how to use tools. How to understand electronics. How to build and prototype circuits. How to control motors and servos. How to build and interface sensors. How to use microcontrollers. How to construct robot bodys and frames. You name it and this book walks you through it in a common sense way that will make learning fun and won't leave you scratching your head wondering what the book is trying to tell you.

Robot Builder's Bonanaza has often been called "The Robot Builder's Bible" by those in the hobby of building robots and its no wonder. The book is like having a small encyclopedia of books on the subject of robotics. It is a very good investment and a wonderful book to add to your collection!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
This book has a little something for everyone. I had read through the 3rd edition, but what I really like is not flooding the text with information that will just be glanced over. That material is available through the online component. The interfacing with Arduino information is also a nice addition in response to the massive amount of data available on this platform. If you were just going to purchase one book for your jumpstart into hobby robotics, this would be the one. It bring you up from "this is a diode, this is a resistor"....etc... to a crash course on fundamentals of C programming to get you warmed up on programming microcontrollers.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great reference material and starter content November 27, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Provides great starter content across many subjects. Enables the reader to understand basic terms in order to continue research more broadly into specific areas of robot design and construction. I have enjoyed reading sections even when already familiar with the that specific topic.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Robot building for dummies? No but a great starter! November 26, 2011
Format:Paperback
Daunting concept but this book provides the launching pad! From reasonably priced starters to complex and challenging projects, ideal for teachers and parents looking for a challenge to share with their kids!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book on buliding robots!!
This is a fantastic beginners book on building robots it got everything you need to start for most part. Highly Recommend!!
Published 25 days ago by Jeffrey N. Giampetro
5.0 out of 5 stars Great beginner book
My kids enjoyed reading it and it got them interested in robotics. What more can you ask for! This is the second book I got for them and it should have been the first. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Gil
5.0 out of 5 stars Packed with useful information
As a life-long electronics experimenter, I found this book to be packed with useful information for anyone involved in robotics. Read more
Published 3 months ago by pjc
5.0 out of 5 stars A good book
This book is a comprehensive one full of usefull and practical technical details and applications. Nice and good work and Thanks!
Published 4 months ago by Tom Tran
5.0 out of 5 stars Excelent book
I really liked the book. It went over most of the things that you would need to build any simple robot. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Jeffrey Jibson
5.0 out of 5 stars VERY GOOD BOOK
BOUGHT THIS FOR A SEVEN YEAR OLD GRANDSON WHOES PLAN IS TO HAVE A ROBOT STORE, YOU TELL HIM WHAT YOU WANT THE ROBOT TO DO AND HE WILL BUILD IT FOR YOU. Read more
Published 7 months ago by grer59
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is very helpful for the beginner robot builder.
This book is very informative and is a big help if you are just beginning in robot building. Very good price and a good addition to a robot builders library.
Published 7 months ago by fellowhawk
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book
Lots of great tips, ideas and projects. As someone who started building robots recently, I learned a lot from this and also got lots of ideas for my next projects.
Published 9 months ago by Devin' Kevin
4.0 out of 5 stars A must for first time builders
This book is a step by step guide for the first time robot builder. I use it my classroom to give the newbies or not-so-mechanically inventive students a reference. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Leon T. Gibson
4.0 out of 5 stars great book for both beginners and experienced
I just finished speed reading the book. I am experienced software designer. I learnt a lot. I am ready for my first robot. Note the book still ignores the pi. Read more
Published 9 months ago by The Wizard
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