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Robot Building for Beginners [Paperback]

by David Cook
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)

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Robot Building for Beginners (Technology in Action) Robot Building for Beginners (Technology in Action) 4.6 out of 5 stars (33)
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Book Description

January 18, 2002 1893115445 978-1893115446 1

Learning robotics by yourself isnt easy, but it helps when the encouragement comes from an expert whos spent years in the field. Not only does author David Cook assist you in understanding the component parts of robot development, but he also presents valuable techniques that prepare you to make new discoveries on your own.

Cook begins with the anatomy of a homemade robot and gives you the best advice on how to proceed successfully. General sources for tools and parts are provided in a consolidated list, and specific parts are recommended throughout the book. Also, basic safety precautions and essential measuring and numbering systems are promoted throughout.

Specific tools and parts covered include digital multimeters, motors, wheels, resistors, LEDs, photoresistors, transistors, chips, gears, nut drivers, batteries, and more. Robot Building for Beginners is an inspiring book that provides an essential base of practical knowledge for anyone getting started in amateur robotics.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

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Product Details

  • Series: Technology in Action
  • Paperback: 600 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 1 edition (January 18, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1893115445
  • ISBN-13: 978-1893115446
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 7.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #861,759 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
103 of 105 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I just built my first robot!!! January 29, 2004
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm an Electrical Engineer at U.C. I bought this book so I could learn some "real world knowledge" about the physical world instead of just theory. I only asked for (and thankfully received) a multimeter, soldering iron, and a cordless dremel drill for Christmas. After reading this book, I now remember why I chose my major--making a robot is a blast!
Being strong on the theory, I didn't learn anything in that regard. On the flip side, David Cook described the basics in a way that anyone could understand. What I really wanted to learn was to be able to put my Christmas presents to use. He spent a chapter just on the multimeter! I loved it. Also, every part of the robot was described in detail. I now know the difference between choosing motors, batteries, transistors, comparitors, diodes, potentiometers, photo-resistors, ect.
When I brought my first creation into my Electromagnetics class yesterday, I of course was asked to give a demonstration. From reading this book (to be honest a total of 3 times), I described everything about it in clear/consise detail. The only part I failed was receiving extra credit. Yes I did try :D.
I couldn't imagine a better book for beginners. There is a website that describes the robot AND the few typos caught (nothing that mattered), ways he took this idea and added a couple more in a similar project, as well as detailing the post construction of robots he's made since then. Cook goes into detail for troubleshooting a potential screw up you may make (If 'X' is happening then you probably did 'Y'). Yes I made one too--thanks for asking.
There is one part I didn't like about the project though--using an M&M's Mini tube to hold the motors. Being so close to Valentine's day, the only selection they had were PINK ones!
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125 of 143 people found the following review helpful
I don't dislike this book, but I don't find it all that useful in terms of robotic design. It does have good coverage of very basic electronics for the beginner, with crystal clear photos to show you the ropes. Don't know how to use a multimeter or know what a resistor is? This book is for you. However, if you want to know how to control, say a servo, you only get a brief paragraph telling you what one is. The book seems to do a lot of that--telling you what something does, but not giving you enough information to do something with it.
For most of the book, you get a sense that the author simply looked through an electronics catalog, selected some key parts, and wrote a brief discription of what kinds there are, and what they do. Along the way, he shows how you can use those parts to make a simple robot.
This would be a good book to accompany another more applications-based book (or online site) on electronics (e.g. Radio Shack's Forrest Mimms Enginner's Notebooks, Practical Electronics for Inventors, etc.).
In terms of robotics, unforunately, you get one simple example and that's it. Very frustrating for those who want to make something more than a simple sandwhich box that follows a line. (It's a clever little design, nevertheless).
With all bad things said, I do think the book has positives. It has many helpful hints for selecting parts, tips for prototyping, and is writen in a friendly, easy-to-read style.
For those who know nothing at all about electronics and aren't too interested in robots, but more interested in basic electronics--5 stars. For those who have more than rudimentary knowledge of electronics and looking for a variety of robots projects--1 star.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-have! March 14, 2002
This is a terrific book. I read it as it was novel. It is written in such way that you can start from the first and go to the last page without being bored once. It is also beautifully divided so you can use it as a reference book.
David Cook did a great job while writing Robot Building for Beginners. It is perfect for an initiation to the robot building. I've read other interesting books but this one has something special: everything is entirely covered for a single project. Other books tend to present a lot of projects but can't seem to concentrate on giving complete information. Robot Building for Beginners does provide all the information you need. Each time I was wondering "well, how about that?", David Cook was answering my question the next paragraph.
There is a great amount of work in "what will a first-timer would be willing to learn after that". If you don't know anything or are willing to refresh your mind on electronics, the book is perfect. David Cook helps us getting to choose the right part, understanding what they do, how to correctly assemble the whole thing and so on. I just finish reading it and I'm ready to build my first robot knowing how to avoid the common pitfalls and how to keep my first project simple, but complete and working.
It's a perfect gift for someone who wants to build his/her first robot. Thanks to David Cook.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Find for Teaching Kids Electronics and Robotics February 21, 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have bought other robot building books in the past for my teenage son, yet I quickly got lost in each of them. Not sure how much he retained. Then I found this book. It's wonderful!

A little background: I have a college degree in science- health science. My electronics education is pretty much limited to the Physical Science I took in 9th grade- and I remember my Dad helping me struggle through that! However, I have two sons who are interested in learning robotics. There were no classes or organizations nearby, so we decided to start our own group so the boys could learn with a group of friends. Needless to say, I had to teach it! Over the past year, I've tried several different books/curriculum- including Lego Mindstorms material. I quickly got bogged down in each of these due to my limited background on the subject. I bought this book on a whim as a Christmas present for my oldest son, and was amazed the moment I opened it. After reading each chapter, I truly understand the concepts Mr. Cook is presenting. Our Robotics group decided to use this for our Spring "semester", and we are working through this a few chapters each week. The kids are really learning, and I even have a couple of kids as young as 10y/o who are reading the chapters and enjoying it! We decided to buy the kits that go with the books from Solarbotics to simplify things somewhat due to our group size, but we are loving it! I already have the next book- Intermediate Robot Building- ordered for my son to start when we finish this one.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun and Informative, but Kindle eBook Sucks
I really thought this book was fun. Geared for teens, young teens, and adults who are unfamiliar with electronically controlled devices and/or beginning robotics. Read more
Published on March 13, 2011 by Jenn in Genoa
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything you need to know
Our son loves robots, and this is awesome. From where to find your parts to how to put them together, with pictures and extra ideas, we can hardly wait to get started.
Published on January 12, 2011 by Deidra
4.0 out of 5 stars Robot Building
I was surprised when my 11 year old started reading the book and liked it. It may not be everyone's cup of tea, but if you have a budding mad scientist interested in robots, I... Read more
Published on December 15, 2009 by Monica Gerlach
4.0 out of 5 stars Create a simple robot and lay down the foundations for future ones
I am providing this feedback in the hope of guiding potential buyer's expectations about the goals of this book. After going through this book you will have:

1. Read more
Published on September 6, 2009 by Nikolaos Abatzis
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for more than just robots!
I have been using First Robotics, VEX, and BotBall bots for quite a while now. Someone gave me this book for Christmas and I have to say that it is an amazing primer for anyone... Read more
Published on January 2, 2009 by B
5.0 out of 5 stars Excelent
I had a lot of fun and learned a lot following this book and the quest of getting parts and building a robot.
Published on September 20, 2008 by Martin Gonzalez
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
This book covers the fundamental in robotics. I highly recommends this book to anyone trying to learn robotics at an amateur level.
Published on September 8, 2008 by J. Medrano
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Practical Advice
I went to school for Electrical Engineer. Unfortunately, most of the education is theoretical and made for cubical dwellers. Read more
Published on April 26, 2008 by W. Mackenzie
5.0 out of 5 stars book is great
this book will seriously tell you how to build a robot they should submit this to building robots and replace the other one because it is really easy to understand what he is... Read more
Published on February 6, 2008 by Christopher A. Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
This is an excellent book for a beginner. I'm a software engineer, didn't have any knowledge about robotics prior to this book, and yesterday I finished building my first robot -... Read more
Published on August 1, 2007 by Sigal D.
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