The Best How To Guides For Building Your Own Robot


One of man’s best pursuits is creating and building things, as evidenced by the countless buildings, edifices and structures the world over, from the ancient to the ultra-new. To make these things move is doubly gratifying to the creator-builder, hence the fascination with robotics. For the robotics enthusiasts, below are some books you might want to read to help you create your dream robot.

Robot Building for Beginners, David Cook. This and its companion book Intermediate Robot Building detail the basic and higher knowledge a robot-builder must know to produce one, including the errors many neophyte builders fall into. The first book also contains instructions on how to construct Sandwich, a line-following elementary minibot, and the second has the schematics of Roundabout, a room-exploring robot. Both are good beginner robots.

Robot Builders’ Bonanza, Gordon McComb and Mike Predko. May well be an amateur robot-builder’s reference. It includes plans and guides to build 11 robots, plus important information about Robotix, Mindstorms, and Lego Technic for you to attempt to build robots that see, talk, walk and maybe feel. The Fourth Edition has plans for over 100 projects to keep you busy for sometime.

Robot Builder’s Cookbook, Owen Bishop. This introduces PIC microcontrollers in building robots, and includes explanations on the design mechanics and its electronics. It presents five complete projects from designs, codes, and instructions. Diagrams will guide you through all the intricacies of building a scooter, robot toy and androids.

The Robotics Primer, Maja J. Mataric. Appropriate for robot enthusiasts in the university and pre-university levels, as the book explains the most basic concepts from perception or movement to the sophisticated topics such as shape-shifts, humanoids and space robotics. There are details on locomotion, origins, sensors, representation, navigation and much more. The book is not a simple discussion of robotics but a veritable manual useful for robotics hobbyists and ‘fanatics’ of higher learning.

Programming Robot Controllers, Mike Predko. The book is for people serious in developing or creating robot controllers, as the title indicates. Starting with the basics to generate better understanding, the book proceeds to detail how to interface PIC microcontrollers and other sub-systems to build more sophisticated robots. The various sensor types are discussed as well as the different software in C language, plus examples and codes you can use to develop your robots. A must-have for robot developers.

PIC Robotics, John Iovine. If you are averse to theories and want to directly build robotic experiments to concretize the propositions, this book is for you. It contains six robotic projects including a two-legged robot, a six-leg robot and a voice-commanded robot with the lists and necessary step-by-step instructions to make them work, and discusses the use of CCD cameras.

Arduino Robotics, John-David Warren, Josh Adams, Harold Molle. The book discusses the basics of Arduino, types of robotic motors, control methods, failsafe measures, and their uses in your robots. Also includes several projects including a DIY Segway copy, a GPS-based robot, lawn mower and a combat robot. Truly a book on robotic you won’t put down for a long time.

The above list is not the definitive one for robotics, but the books will help you understand robotics and its principles much more. If you are a robot enthusiast and wants to build them, you can’t go wrong with having the books in the list.

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This was a guest post by Ying from RNA Automation – suppliers of robotic and automated machinery to help in the manufacturing process.

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