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Robot Building for Beginners 1st Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1893115446
ISBN-10: 1893115445
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Editorial Reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: Technology in Action Series
  • Paperback: 600 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 1 edition (January 18, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1893115445
  • ISBN-13: 978-1893115446
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #568,489 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Nicholas Cherney on 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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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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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