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Robot Builder: The Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots

Book Description

Absolutely no experience needed! Learn robot building from the ground up, hands-on, in full color!

Love robots? Start building them. It’s way easier than you ever imagined!

John Baichtal has helped thousands of people get started with robotics. He knows what beginners need to know. He knows your questions. He knows where you might need extra help. Now, he’s brought together this practical knowledge in one incredibly easy tutorial.

Hundreds of full-color photos guide you through every step, every skill. You’ll start simple, as you build a working robot in the very first chapter. Then, you’ll grow your skills to expert-level: powering motors, configuring sensors, constructing a chassis, even programming low-cost Arduino microcontrollers.

You’ll learn hands-on, through real step-by-step projects…and go straight to the cutting-edge with in-depth sidebars. Wondering just how much you can really do? Baichtal shows you 30 incredible robots built by people just like you!

John Baichtal’s books about toys, tools, robots, and hobby electronics include Hack This: 24 Incredible Hackerspace Projects from the DIY Movement; Basic Robot Building With Lego Mindstorms NXT 2.0; Arduino for Beginners; MAKE: Lego and  Arduino Projects for MAKE (as coauthor); and the forthcoming Building Your Own Drones: The Beginner’s Guide to UAVs and ROVs. A founding member of the pioneering Twin Cities Maker hackerspace, he got his start writing for Wired’s legendary GeekDad blog, and for DIYer bible MAKE Magazine.

  • Make your robots move with motors and wheels

  • Build solar-powered robots that work without batteries

  • Control robots via Wi-Fi, radio, or even across the Internet

  • Program robots to respond to sensor inputs

  • Use your standard TV remote to control your robots

  • Create robots that detect intruders and shoot them with Nerf® darts

  • Grab and carry objects using claws and grippers

  • Build water-borne robots that float, submerge, and “swim”

  • Create “artbots” that paint or draw original artworks

  • Enable your robots to send text messages when they take specific actions

  • Discover today’s new generation of hobbyist-friendly robotics kits

  • Organize your ultimate robot-builder’s toolbox

  • Master simple safety routines that protect you whatever you’re building

  • Table of Contents

    1. About This eBook
    2. Title Page
    3. Copyright Page
    4. Contents at a Glance
    5. Table of Contents
    6. About the Author
    7. Dedication
    8. Acknowledgments
    9. We Want to Hear from You!
    10. Reader Services
    11. Introduction
      1. What’s in This Book?
        1. On the Web
    12. 1. You, Robot Builder
      1. What Are Robots?
        1. Myths About Robots
        2. Types of Robots
      2. Anatomy of a Robot
      3. Safety
      4. Build a Vibrobot
        1. Pizza Saver Vibrobot
        2. Computer Fan Buzzbot
      5. Summary
    13. 2. Robots of the World
      1. Watercolor Bot
      2. Sparki
      3. OpenROV
      4. Astro Droids
      5. Drink-Making Unit
      6. Mars Rover Replica
      7. MindCub3r
      8. Ball-Balancing Robot
      9. LEGO Turing Machine
      10. Sir Mix-a-Bot
      11. Arc-O-Matic
      12. Soft-Boiled Eggbot
      13. Legonardo
      14. Sisyphus
      15. Orbital Rendersphere
      16. Clash of the Fractions
      17. Lava Lamp Centrifuge
      18. Quakescape
      19. InMoov
      20. DIWire Bender
      21. Plant-Watering Robot
      22. Nerf Sentry Gun
      23. Yellow Drum Machine
      24. Pancake Bot
      25. Balloon Bot
      26. Piccolo: The Tiny CNC Bot
      27. Xylophone Bot
      28. Flyer-Distributing Robot
      29. Flowerbot
      30. CoolerBot
      31. Summary
    14. 3. Rolling Robots
      1. All About Motors
        1. Choosing a Motor
      2. Wheels
        1. Configuration
        2. Measurements
        3. Tires or Treads
      3. Project: DIY Wheels
        1. Parts List
        2. Step-by-Steps
      4. The Chassis
        1. Use a Pre-Made Chassis
        2. Make Your Own Chassis
        3. Use a Building Set
      5. Powering Your Robot
        1. Batteries
        2. Solar Panels
        3. House Current
      6. Project: Building a Rolling Robot
        1. Parts List
        2. Step-by-Steps
      7. Summary
    15. 4. Going Solar
      1. How Do Solar Panels Work?
      2. BEAM Robotics
      3. Three Hobbyist-Friendly Solar Cells
        1. Flexible Film
        2. Glass and Silicon
        3. Plastic and Silicon
      4. Prototyping Circuits
        1. How to Breadboard
        2. How to Solder
      5. Using Solar Power to Charge Batteries
      6. Project: DIY Solar Panel
        1. Parts List
        2. Step-by-Steps
      7. Project: Making a Solar Spinner
        1. Parts List
        2. Step-by-Steps
      8. Summary
    16. 5. Controlling Your Robot
      1. Autonomous
        1. Infrared
        2. Internet
        3. Radio Control
        4. Wireless
        5. Microcontroller/Microcomputer
      2. Motor Control Options
        1. Adafruit Motor Shield
        2. Schmalzhaus EasyDriver
        3. Makeblock Me Motor Driver
      3. Controlling a Robot with RC
        1. Transmitter
        2. Receiver
        3. Electronic Speed Controller
      4. Project: Use an Arduino Uno to Control a Robot
        1. Parts List
        2. Step-by-Steps
        3. Programming the Arduino
      5. Project Remix: Swapping Motor Boards
        1. Parts List
        2. Step-by-Steps
        3. Code
      6. Summary
    17. 6. Introduction to Programming
      1. What Is Programming?
        1. Delay
        2. For
        3. If/Else
        4. Loops and Interrupts
        5. Switch/Case
        6. Variables
        7. While Loops
      2. The Arduino IDE
      3. The Blink Sketch
      4. Finding Code Examples
      5. Adapting Example Code
      6. Simple Debugging Using the Serial Monitor
      7. Programming and Robotics Bookshelf
      8. Project: Adding an Ultrasonic Sensor to Your Robot
        1. Parts List
        2. Step-by-Steps
        3. Code
      9. Summary
    18. 7. Harnessing Infrared
      1. Uses for Infrared Signals
      2. Passive Versus Active IR
      3. IR Remote Controls
        1. Adafruit Mini Remote Control
        2. Sparkfun Infrared Remote Control
        3. Makeblock Infrared Receiver and Remote Controller
      4. Mini Project: Discover Your Remote’s IR Codes
        1. Parts List
        2. Step-by-Steps
        3. Code
      5. Project: Controlling a Robot with IR
        1. Parts List
        2. Step-by-Steps
        3. Code
      6. Project: Dart Sentry
        1. Parts List
        2. Step-by-Steps
        3. Code
        4. Operating the Dart Sentry
      7. Summary
    19. 8. Building Sets
      1. Uses for Building Sets
        1. Enclosures
        2. Gantries
        3. Chassis
        4. Hardware Mounts
        5. Furniture
      2. Examples of Building Sets
        1. Vex Robotics Design System (Vexrobotics.com)
        2. LEGO Mindstorms and Technic Sets (Mindstorms.com)
        3. Actobotics Building System (Servocity.com)
        4. Makeblock (Makeblock.cc)
        5. MicroRax (Microrax.com)
        6. MakerBeam (Makerbeam.eu)
        7. Tamiya (Tamiyausa.com)
      3. Choosing a Building Set
        1. Material
        2. Beams
        3. Motor Mounts
        4. Connector Plates
        5. Electronics
        6. Gears
        7. Wheels and Tank Treads
      4. Customizing Building Sets
        1. Combining Building Sets
        2. Creating New Parts
      5. Chassis Designs
        1. LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Chassis
        2. Step-by-Steps
        3. Makeblock Chassis
        4. Parts List
        5. Step-by-Steps
        6. Actobotics Chassis
        7. Parts List
        8. Step-by-Steps
      6. Summary
    20. 9. Robot-Builder’s Toolbox
      1. Choose Your Toolbox
      2. Size
      3. Construction
        1. Metal
        2. Plastic
        3. Cloth
      4. Subdividers
        1. Trays
        2. Compartments
      5. Belly
      6. Handle
      7. Four Toolboxes
        1. Pelican 1460 Mobile Tool Chest
        2. Stack-On 39-Bin Drawer Cabinet
        3. Husky 41-inch 13-Drawer Tool Cabinet
        4. Craftsman 21-inch Toolbox
      8. Tools
        1. Drivers and Wrenches
        2. Electronics
        3. Soldering
        4. Measurements
        5. Writing and Drawing Tools
        6. CNC Tools
        7. Woodworking Tools
        8. Attaching
        9. Cutting
        10. Cables
      9. Introduction to CNC Tools
        1. Laser Cutter 101
        2. Anatomy
        3. Using the Laser Cutter
      10. CNC Router 101
        1. Anatomy
        2. Using the CNC Router
      11. 3D Printer 101
        1. Anatomy
        2. Using the 3D Printer
      12. Summary
    21. 10. Manipulators
      1. Types of Manipulators
        1. Universal Gripper
        2. Scoop
        3. Tentacle
        4. Pneumatic
        5. Pincer
        6. Humanoid Hand
        7. Electromagnet
        8. Claw
        9. Winch
        10. Pen
      2. Commercial Manipulator Options
        1. Makeblock Strong Robot Gripper
        2. VEX Claw
        3. uFactory uArm
        4. Dagu Robotic Claw, MK II
      3. Project: LEGO Pincer
        1. Parts List
        2. Step-by-Steps
      4. Project: Laser-Cut Pincers
        1. Parts List
        2. Step-by-Steps
      5. Project: Coffee Grounds Gripper
        1. Parts List
        2. Step-By-Steps
      6. Summary
    22. 11. Water Robots
      1. Anatomy of a Water Robot
        1. Flotation
        2. Power
        3. Steering
        4. Propulsion
        5. Control
        6. Stabilization
      2. Submersibles
      3. Moisture
        1. Waterproof Enclosures
      4. Project: Floating Fanbot
        1. Parts List
        2. Step-by-Steps
        3. Code
      5. Summary
    23. 12. Art Bots
      1. Types of Art Bots
        1. V-plotter
        2. Vibration
        3. Plotter
        4. Eggbot
        5. Sand Plotter
        6. Car-Based
        7. Paint Pendulum
        8. Dot Matrix
      2. Converting an Image to G-Code
        1. Converting a Line Drawing into G-Code
      3. Project: Rolling ‘Riter
        1. Parts List
        2. Step-by-Steps
        3. Code
      4. Summary
    24. Glossary
    25. Index
    26. 13. Web-Interacting Robots
      1. Types of Web-Interacting Robots
        1. Sniffers
        2. Autotweeters
        3. Telepresence
        4. Interactive Robots
        5. Home Automation
        6. Sensor Nets
      2. Hardware
        1. Arduino Ethernet Shield
        2. Adafruit CC3000 Breakout
        3. Arduino Wi-Fi Shield
        4. Roving Networks WiFly
      3. Microcomputers: Non-Arduino Solutions
        1. BeagleBone Black (beaglebone.org)
        2. Raspberry Pi (raspberrypi.org)
        3. pcDuino (pcduino.com)
        4. Arduino Yún (arduino.cc/en/main/ArduinoBoardYun)
      4. Dart Texter
        1. Parts List
        2. Step-by-Steps
        3. Code
      5. Summary
    27. Code Snippets