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JunkBots, Bugbots, and Bots on Wheels: Building Simple Robots With BEAM Technology 1st Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 078-3254040779
ISBN-10: 0072226013
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Create a cool robot from scratch--in just a few hours!

Ever wonder what to do with those discarded items in your junk drawer? Now you can use electronic parts from old Walkmans, spare remote controls, even paper clips to build your very own autonomous robots and gizmos. Get step-by-step instructions from the Junkbot masters for creating simple and fun self-guiding robots safely and easily using common and not-so-common objects from around the house--or within a quick shopping trip away. Using BEAM technology, ordinary tools, salvaged electronic bits, and the occasional dead toy, you'll be able to construct a solar-powered obstacle-avoiding device, engineer a mini-sumo-wrestling robot, build a motorized walking robot bug, and much more. So grab your screwdriver, raid that dumpster, and join the robot-building revolution!

  • Get an overview of basic electronics, robot construction methods, and learn the difference between "dead bug" and "live bug" electronics
  • Identify the essential tools you need for mechanical assembly and gain important safety tips
  • Find out why BEAM robotics is a growing alternative to traditional CPU-based robotics
  • Learn "dumpster diving" strategies for collecting prime robot construction material that's available no other way
  • Use a cell phone battery or solar panel from a calculator to create dual-power sources for your robot
  • Understand how to use soldering equipment and various support tools

About the Author

McGraw-Hill authors represent the leading experts in their fields and are dedicated to improving the lives, careers, and interests of readers worldwide

McGraw-Hill authors represent the leading experts in their fields and are dedicated to improving the lives, careers, and interests of readers worldwide
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Product Details

  • Series: Consumer
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 1 edition (October 18, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0072226013
  • ISBN-13: 978-0072226010
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.9 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #374,988 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is, by far, the best robotics how-to book I've ever read. I've been following the BEAM "movement" from its inception, and Dave Hrynkiw's work for years. This book makes the BEAM approach toward robotics accessible to everyone, from the complete newbie to the more experienced hobbyist.
I was amazed at how well the book was written (it's genuinely funny in spots), and how much attention to detail was evident in clear photos and well-done illustrations. This is a model for how such a book should be done.
There are seven projects in the book, from a simple solar-powered top to a rather sophisticated four-legged insect-like walker. Set-by-step instructions are given for each project, along with process photos and circuit diagrams.
One of the coolest things about BEAMbots is that they're often built from analog electronics scavenged from techno-junk (old solar calculators, Walkman, pagers, modems, etc.). Dave provides info on how to round up this junk and where to go for the parts you can't scrounge.
I think that making some of these little autonomous robo-critters and letting them scuttle and flail around in your office (seeking light, avoiding light, dodging obstacles) would be a great way of flexing your superior geek muscles. Make some of these babies and you'll be the envy of propellerheads everywhere!
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Format: Paperback
Great book for beginners in robotics OR electronics. This book focuses on the minimalist BEAM approach to robotics, as opposed to the full blown combat robots you see on TV. Starts with the real basics, everything from reading resistor color bands (BBROYGBVGW - Bad Boys etc...) to proper soldering techniques. Then it moves on to a series of step-by-step micro-bot builds, generously illustrated with photos and diagrams. If you can't find the parts around the house to build your bots, you can always take the author's dumpster diving tips to heart. I'd recommend this book for anybody who's not afraid of soldering and glue fumes.
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Format: Paperback
As a graphic designer by trade, I dabble in building robots. The BEAM philosophy for building robots is really quite amazing because the focus is on reuse of discarded electronics while striving to make your robots look as asthetically pleasing as possible. The strength of this work is that now everybody may build a robot easily and quickly.
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Format: Paperback
This book is very well done. The photos are phenomenal, the mechanical diagrams are very consice and exact and the subject matter is explained very well. The only reason I give it a 3-star rating is because all of the material is available on the internet for free - although I do like having the book on my shelf. I don't agree that the simple beam technolgy will stand the test of time because what they call a "nervous network" is actual just a simple analog sequence generator and cannot be programmed to allow the robot to do practical work. If you want to have some control over what your robot is going to do, then you need to get a book that explains the use of microcontrollers. Try a book by Myke Predko. Definitely buy this book though!!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mark Tilden's early robotics work revolves around his patented nervous networks. Tilden was building small, agile and light-weight, walking robots in the late 1980s to early 1990s with a handful of transistors and bits and pieces salvaged from broken and discarded electronics. As an educator, Mark has encouraged the hobbyist community to experiment with and even improve on his technology. Junkbots, Bugbots & Bots on Wheels is a "must have" starter book for all of the young Roboticists coming up through the ranks. This books does not delve deeply into the technology, but a how-to, hands-on book with step by step instructions that can be followed by school children with some guidance from adults. I highly recommend this book for those wanting to get started in building simple and inexpensive robots. These robots have no microprocessors and require no programming. Yet, with hard-wired intelligence, these robots can avoid obstacles, seek or avoid light and more. Currently, Tilden is working with Wowee designing commercial robotic toys for the masses.
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Format: Paperback
I am just investigating BEAM for some physical computing course work and was pleased by the straighforward nature of the examples and explanations of what it takes to make your own "bugbots".

Tilden is the father of this movement and Dave Hrynkiw injects a friendly warm tone to the writing that makes this easy to peruse.

I built the first bot yesterday and had a really great time with the process. I agree with previous posters that some of this is on the internet, but this book is moderately priced and worth having around.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Yet another potpourri review and standard "toy" projects but like many of its ilk
does not present framework of core concepts, upon which
the newbie can build and develop original devices.
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By Nalek on January 9, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dear Amazon Customers,

This book along with the book Insectronics were what got me into robotics. I won't reiterate what I said in that review so you won't be forced to re-read it but all I can say is it was incredibly easy to read and understand. The diagrams within were incredibly easy to understand and very helpful. I could not resist the urge to go ripping apart some old electronics for parts to build new little robot friends.

-Nalek
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