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Book Review: Robot Builders Bonanza

Kevin Ross

Summary: Two thumbs up. Buy this book!


(If you plan to order, the link above will help support the Seattle Robotics Society)

ISBN: 0-07-136296-7

I just finished working my way through the latest edition of the Robot Builders Bonanza, by Gordon McComb. This is actually the second edition of this book. The first edition was written in 1988, and for years was one of the staples of the robot builders library.

The Second Edition is a very healthy update to the original, and makes it well worth your while to purchase, read, and use as a reference book. The Second Edition has been updated to show most of the latest technologies that robot builders have been using. Gordon has done a very good job at organizing a wide variety of current information into 750 book. Even if you have the first edition, you should really get the second.

New technologies covered in the book include the LEGO RCX controller, the OOPIC controller, as well as the BASIC Stamp. He also goes through much of the basics of building robots, such as electronics, motors and motor control. There are plenty of diagrams, schematics, and details on the basics of building robots. There is even quite a bit of source code, and instructions on where to find and buy supplies for the projects outlined in the book. There are experiments with range finding, sound, ultrasonics, infrared, and a host of other popular technologies.

It is fairly rare that we get good reading and reference materials that support the types of projects that we build. This book is a big hit.