Build a robot

Hi all,

sorry to bother here, but I was not able to find coherent information about what books to buy to build a robot.

I have really poor notions of electronics and robotics so at the moment I'm looking for a good theory book (better a couple) with step by step information to build my first robot.

I extrapolated this list from a longer one:

  1. JunkBots, Bugbots, and Bots on Wheels: Building Simple Robots With BEAM Technology by David Hrynkiw, Mark Tilden;
  2. Robot Building for Beginners by David Cook;
  3. Robot Builder's Sourcebook : Over 2,500 Sources for Robot Parts by Gordon McComb
  4. 123 Robotics Experiments for the Evil Genius (TAB Robotics) by Myke Predko
  5. Programming Robot Controllers by Myke Predko
  6. Robot Builder's Bonanza (Tab Electronics) by Gordon McComb

If I had to buy blind without suggestions I'd choose, as a start, one two and four.

Could you, expert, please advise me.. add your personal thought, or just say 'buy all of them'.

Thank you in advance,

best regards.

-- Marco.

Reply to
Loading thread data ...

I would say numbers 2 and 6 are definitely the best of this group. You will get a lot from both of these books. Also you might want to pick up the classic "Mobile Robots: Inspiration to Implementation", 2nd Ed. , ISBN: 1568810970, by Jones, et al.

Best Wishes,




-- Jerry Petrey - Senior Principal Systems Engineer

-- Navigation (GPS/INS), Guidance, & Control

-- Raytheon Missile Systems - Member Team Ada & Team Forth

-- NOTE: please remove in email address to reply


Reply to
Jerry Petrey

Here is a book you can download for free that will walk you through building a robot step-by-step.

It is got the parallax series of products, but you can learn a TON from it even without buying any parallax products.

formatting link

This also looks like a good resource

formatting link
Let us know how you are doing, and if we can help in any way.

Reply to
Alan Kilian

(6) is very good and worth getting. I cannot comment on the rest.

Regards Sergio Masci

formatting link
- optimising PIC compiler

Reply to
Sergio Masci

I'm a bit biased ("Hi, I wrote Junkbots..."), so take it for what it's worth.

We wrote Junkbots for fairly quick gratification, and getting a few successful projects under your belt is pretty important to getting confidence up.

"Robot Building for Beginners" is painfully detailed, and is very good for a raw beginner if you have the patience to read (and it's a pretty easy read).

I'm in awe of #3 (Sourcebook). It's got a huge wealth of resources. Very good reference.

I'm not as thrilled with "cookbook" style books where modules are the thrust of the book, but that's just my opinion. As for programming a robot, it'll all depend on what you'll eventually want to use, as there's a good number of books on Basic Stamps, Pics, HC11's, etc. Pick the style you want, then the book.

Hope that helps, Dave

Reply to
Dave Hrynkiw

When I first started in robotics, I used the 1st on the list. It's pretty good for beginners, and although it focuses on robots without the use of processsors, I found this is a good foundation for moving onto bigger things. It may help you avoid taking the "easy" (tongue-in-cheek) way out of solving some of the obstacles you'll encounter along the way. Just don't neglect to use the best resource available of all... the internet. I've learned more from web site hopping, and reading these posts (along with follow-up research) than I ever did from a book. The advantage the internet as over a book is this, once a book is printed, it becomes immediately outdated (especially in this field). The web is alive, and continuously being updated. You'll find something new every day.

- Anthony

"Marco" wrote in message news:40f49f29$1@nntp....

Reply to
Anthony Martin, III

Reply to
Anthony Martin, III

You've already gotten several responses regarding the books, and I won't comment there further except (and to note that I wrote several) that books are like food: no one type is suitable for everyone. See if your library has copies of these, or thumb through them at a good bookstore. There are now enough robotics books on the market to satisfy most any learning style.

I realize you're in Italy, at least as your e-mail address suggests, but I would also recommend getting copies of both Nuts & Volts and SERVO magazines. They are published monthly in the United States, and are available internationally. SERVO is specifically geared toward

-- Gordon Author: Constructing Robot Bases, Robot Builder's Sourcebook, Robot Builder's Bonanza

Marco wrote:

Reply to
Gordon McComb


first I'd like to thank you all for the answers; it is really great to receive so many answers and among all of them to find a couple written by the authors of some of the books I mentioned.

Based on those answers I chose what books to buy, but now I have to wait a week because I had to order them at Amazon website. In the meanwhile I'd like (quoting Dave Hrynkiw) to "pick the style" I want.

It could be useful to have some references for websites, forum, FAQ, blog, etc.. But most of all I think I'm going to need your suggestions and those will surely lead me to the right (first) decision.

Speaking of my preferences I think I really lack them. I remember willing to control an arm robot with my Commodore when I was around eight; nowadays I'm more focused on walking or simpler mobile robot.

I'm interested in biology and I thought BEAM robots could be interesting but at the moment I'd prefer to invest my time in a robot with a processor.

Speaking of programming I'm confident with C and OO languages but I have not more than some notions of assembler. Are there anywhere tables with differences in execution time, processing, etc.. between different way of interfacing with a *robot*?

Hope I'm not bothering you too much with lame questions.

Best regards.

-- Marco Leone.

Reply to

Take a look at our member's robots, pick some styles you like, and contact one of the members of the club.

Every one of them is completely smitten by their robots, and once you get them going, they'll talk you ear off about it. (Or, in this case, type your eyeballs off!)

formatting link
If anyone gets up, down, left or right to Minnesota, please let me know and we'll get together. The next Twin Cities Robotics Group meeting is TOMORROW!

Reply to
Alan Kilian

Thank you for the information, I've found lot of interesting things in the tcrobots website and I'm going to need a lot of free-hours to investigate all of them.


-- Marco Leone.

Reply to

Personally, if I had to pick two books, I would say go for 2 and 6.

David Cook's book covers a lot of the basics right off the bat and leads you through the design and construction of a simple line-following robot.

Gordon McComb's RBB book is definetly an essential text (I'm sure many out there will agree) taking you through pretty much everything you need to know to build robot's of varying complexities and breaks up much of the content into smaller projects or modules that could be peiced together to form a very impressive bot.

These are the two books I started out with and I'm still learning from them.

P.S. The first choice isn't too bad either. It deals strictly with BEAM robots, which are quite different from the traditional design. BEAM is also a nice place to start, but if you are looking to have your bot do something a little more useful, or if you wish to be able to program it's behaviour, you may want to try books 2 and 6 first. (plus the robots featured in the junkbots book are all available online)

Marco wrote in news:40f49f29$1@nntp.:

Reply to

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.