Cover image for Robot building for dummies
Robot building for dummies
Arrick, Roger.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Hoboken, NJ : Wiley, [2003]

Physical Description:
xviii, 359 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TJ211.15 .A77 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Discover what robots can do and how they work

Find out how to build your own robot and program it to perform tasks

Ready to enter the robot world? This book is your passport! It walks you through building your very own little metal assistant from a kit, dressing it up, giving it a brain, programming it to do things, even making it talk. Along the way, you'll gather some tidbits about robot history, enthusiasts' groups, and more.

The Dummies Way
* Explanations in plain English
* "Get in, get out" information
* Icons and other navigational aids
* Tear-out cheat sheet
* Top ten lists
* A dash of humor and fun

Author Notes

Roger Arrick is president and founder of Arrick Robotics, a maker of PC-based motion control systems for a variety of scientific applications. Robot building is his hobby and his passion.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
About This Bookp. 1
Conventions Used in This Bookp. 1
What You're Not to Readp. 2
Foolish Assumptionsp. 2
How This Book Is Organizedp. 3
Icons Used in This Bookp. 5
Where to Go from Herep. 6
Part I Getting Started with Roboticsp. 7
Chapter 1 So, You Want to Build a Robot?p. 9
The Robotics Revolutionp. 10
Robot Usesp. 12
Chapter 2 Plotting a Pathp. 15
Starting with a Kitp. 15
Selecting a Robot Kitp. 16
Moving Up to Robot Construction Setsp. 24
Building a Robot from Scratchp. 25
Economics and Time Considerationsp. 28
Chapter 3 Building Your First Robotp. 31
Robot Kit to the Rescuep. 31
On Your Mark, Get Setp. 32
Let the Building Beginp. 36
Testing and Troubleshootingp. 38
Soccer Jr. in Actionp. 40
Learning Your Robot Chopsp. 42
Baby Robot Stepsp. 48
Part II Programmable Robot Prepp. 49
Chapter 4 Setting Up Your Robot Workshopp. 51
Creating an Ideal Work Areap. 51
Getting Organizedp. 53
Tool Timep. 54
How to Solderp. 62
Anti-Static Considerations: Can't Touch This!p. 66
A Robot Libraryp. 68
Chapter 5 The Nuts and Bolts of Robot Buildingp. 71
Pieces and Partsp. 71
What's It All Made Of?p. 72
Nuts and Boltsp. 74
Motors for Locomotionp. 75
Making Sense of Sensorsp. 82
Electronics Primerp. 83
Power to the Robotsp. 94
Chapter 6 A Programming Primerp. 99
Software and Computersp. 99
Anatomy of a Programp. 102
Useful Code Snippetsp. 105
Useful Subroutinesp. 107
Okay, I Programmed ... Now What?p. 110
Part III Building a Programmable Robotp. 111
Chapter 7 Preparing to Build a Programmable Robotp. 113
Robot Components Overviewp. 114
Assembly Process Overviewp. 117
Organizing and Prepping the Partsp. 118
To Paint or Not to Paint?p. 120
Chapter 8 From Whiskers to Wheelsp. 123
Starting with Whiskersp. 123
Attaching the Drive Motorp. 125
Dealing with Wheelsp. 126
Chapter 9 If I Only Had a Brainp. 133
Adding the Controllerp. 133
Finishing Touchesp. 138
Turning A Robot Onp. 139
Chapter 10 Introducing Your Robot to Your Computerp. 141
Working with the Basic Stamp Editorp. 141
Running the Built-In Programsp. 146
Troubleshootingp. 150
Part IV Augmenting Your Programmable Robotp. 155
Chapter 11 Expanding Your Robot's Universep. 157
Adding Rear Whiskersp. 157
Adding an Expansion Boardp. 165
Building a Motorized Headp. 172
Accessorizingp. 177
Chapter 12 Making Your Robot See the Lightp. 185
Making Sense of Light Sensorsp. 185
Pulling Together the Light-Sensing Hardwarep. 187
Writing the Software That Interprets the Hardwarep. 195
Putting Your Sensor to Work: Real-World Applicationsp. 198
More Light Sensor Ideasp. 205
Chapter 13 Some Like It Hotp. 209
Sensational Temperature Sensorsp. 209
Building the Temperature-Sensor Systemp. 212
The Brains of the Beast: The Softwarep. 218
Turning Up the Heat: Real-World Applicationsp. 222
Chapter 14 Halt! Who Goes There?p. 233
Detecting Motion: An Overviewp. 233
Building the Motion-Detector Systemp. 235
The Brains of the Beast: The Softwarep. 244
Real-World Applicationsp. 247
Chapter 15 Yakety-Yak: Adding Speech to Your Robotp. 251
Straight Talk about Speech Technologyp. 252
Building a Speech Systemp. 255
Creating Sound Softwarep. 263
Building Your Robot's Vocabularyp. 268
Putting Speech to Workp. 268
Talking about Robotsp. 270
Chapter 16 I See Youp. 271
All about Video Systemsp. 271
Pretestingp. 281
Mounting a Board Camerap. 282
Creating a Tethered Video Systemp. 289
Creating a Wireless Video Systemp. 294
Wireless Data Linksp. 297
Camera Positioningp. 298
Applications Using the Video Systemp. 302
A Robot's Visionp. 304
Chapter 17 Controlling Your Robot from Afarp. 305
All about Remote Controlp. 305
The Lowdown on RC Systemsp. 307
Purchasing an RC Systemp. 311
Installing an RC Systemp. 312
Half and Half: RC and Autonomous Behaviorp. 322
Part V The Part of Tensp. 327
Chapter 18 Ten Excellent Parts Suppliersp. 329
Tower Hobbiesp. 329
Supercircuitsp. 330
Mouser Electronicsp. 330
Parallaxp. 331
McMaster-Carrp. 332
Stock Drive Productsp. 332
Radio Shackp. 333
80/20p. 334
Edmund Scientificp. 334
Parts Suppliers a la Cartep. 335
Chapter 19 Ten Safety Pointersp. 339
Cut Away from Your Bodyp. 339
Avoid the Pinch Pointsp. 339
Slipping Is Badp. 340
Soldering Pitfallsp. 340
Hot Glue Folliesp. 340
Super Glue on Youp. 341
Dancing around the Drillp. 341
AC Stands for Are You Crazy!p. 341
Discharging Capacitorsp. 342
Clipping Nippersp. 342
Indexp. 343