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1. Control Systems Engineering
$116.00 $64.32
2. Applied Nonlinear Control
$98.00 $39.00
3. Computer Vision: A Modern Approach
$74.95 $56.08
4. MicroC OS II: The Real Time Kernel
$72.75 $57.13 list($79.95)
5. Nonlinear Control Systems : Analysis
$77.40 $69.95
6. Introduction to Robotics: Mechanics
$117.00 $49.99
7. Control System Design
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8. Robot Building for Beginners
$86.00
9. PID Controllers: Theory, Design,
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10. A Mathematical Introduction to
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11. Intermediate Robot Building
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12. Building Robots With Lego Mindstorms
$160.00 $114.71
13. Iterative Identification and Control
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14. Linear System Theory and Design
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15. Artificial Life II: Proceedings
$120.00 $75.00
16. Process Control Instrumentation
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17. IUTAM Symposium on Interaction
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18. Robot Builder's Bonanza (Tab Electronics)
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19. Programming and Customizing the
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20. SUMO BOT : Build Your Own Remote-Controlled

1. Control Systems Engineering
by Norman S.Nise
list price: $119.95
our price: $119.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471445770
Catlog: Book (2003-08-22)
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 25166
Average Customer Review: 4.83 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Emphasizing the practical application of control systems engineering, the new Fourth Edition shows how to analyze and design real-world feedback control systems. Readers learn how to create control systems that support today's advanced technology and apply the latest computer methods to the analysis and design of control systems.
* A methodology with clearly defined steps is presented for each type of design problem.
* Continuous design examples give a realistic view of each stage in the control systems design process.
* A complete tutorial on using MATLAB Version 5 in designing control systems prepares readers to use this important software tool.
... Read more

Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars very good book
I have the pleasure to be taking professor Nise's control systems engineering class at Cal Poly Pomona. I have to say that this is an excellent book for control systems. there is a lot of material that is covered by this book. the examples are well presented and they really help you when working on the problems at the end of each chapter. Another plus is the powerpoint slides and the matlab supplementary material included in the CD-ROM. there are nice tutorials on MATLAB and Simulink. this is a definite must have. Highly recommended

5-0 out of 5 stars Well presented and easy to understand
This book is excellent!!. It is well presented and easy to understand. It did not assume that the reader knows the basic and explains the essence that is needed to follow through the subject. Control System is a subject that I had problem grasping while doing my undergraduates because I was thrown with all the mathematical formulas and left to make sense out of them. In short I did not learn much from school. Control system was a dark side for me until I discovered this book. Now I understand more than before and I am read it like a story book. This book made me helped so much that I am compelled to write this review. I wish I had this book earlier. This is the kind of book that I have been searching for all this while

5-0 out of 5 stars The best book in the field.
This is the best book explaining Matlab in control engineering. With this book and "The Student Edition of Simulink" you can do any simulations in control engineering. A must.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best for Undergraduate level
As a contract engineer, I designed a brushless DC motor controller and my company needed a good reference for them to understand the control system. This was far better than all the books I read.
Most people deal with low order control systems and don't want the math to get in the way of understanding the concept. But control systems is a big topic and not typically well explained.
This book is first rate from begining to end; It derives clearly and consisely all math. Builds a good tool set of common place real world examples. And, explians concepts clearly with good illustration.
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5-0 out of 5 stars Control Systems Made Easy
This is the best book I have read on Control systems and It is for anyone who has been confused by other undergraduate Control System books. It explains everything in great detail. Every topic has been "thoroughly" dealt with and has simple to follow examples.

It does not cover State Space design and Digital Controls extensively, (offcourse you need another volume to cover these topics). However whatever is covered on these two topics is very clear and would be a good bouncing board for someone who wants to pursue control systems in depth.

Probably Mr. Norman would try to write a book or two on State-Space design and digital control systems in the near future ... EXCELLENT JOB MR. NORMAN S. NISE... :) ... Read more


2. Applied Nonlinear Control
by Jean-Jacques Slotine, Weiping Li
list price: $116.00
our price: $116.00
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Asin: 0130408905
Catlog: Book (1990-10-01)
Publisher: Pearson Education
Sales Rank: 181671
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars Practical approach to non-linear control
This is a good entry point for learning non-linear control. It is at the advanced undergraduate level, and does not require an advanced background. As an applied textbook, it provides tools for analyzing non-linear system. For a more rigourous theoretical development of non-linear control theory, try Nonlinear Control Design by Marino and Patrizio.

4-0 out of 5 stars easy and illustrated
This book is written in a simple way and makes the subject easy to understand.a very good book. this book is used as the textbook for my nonlinear control course. But still i have to find some supplementary materials fron Khalil's book as there is not much information concerning about the backstepping

4-0 out of 5 stars This is a well-constructed controls text.
As a graduate student, I've been exposed to several books on control theory and Applied Nonlinear Control may be my favorite. This book does a good job at presenting control solutions for a rich class of systems. I specifically enjoyed learning about sliding control and on-line parameter estimation for adaptive contol. At times the book is difficult to follow for it frequently refers to specific equations and theorems of previous sections, but that is unavoidable considering the nature of the topic.

4-0 out of 5 stars A good book on non-linear controls
As a student, I've found this book very useful in the areas of sliding control and linearization. It is easy to read and well written. ... Read more


3. Computer Vision: A Modern Approach
by David A. Forsyth, Jean Ponce
list price: $98.00
our price: $98.00
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Asin: 0130851981
Catlog: Book (2002-08-14)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 179574
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The accessible presentation of this book gives both a general view of the entire computer vision enterprise and also offers sufficient detail to be able to build useful applications. Users learn techniques that have proven to be useful by first-hand experience and a wide range of mathematical methods. A CD-ROM with every copy of the text contains source code for programming practice, color images, and illustrative movies.Comprehensive and up-to-date, this book includes essential topics that either reflect practical significance or are of theoretical importance. Topics are discussed in substantial and increasing depth. Application surveys describe numerous important application areas such as image based rendering and digital libraries. Many important algorithms broken down and illustrated in pseudo code.Appropriate for use by engineers as a comprehensive reference to the computer vision enterprise. ... Read more

Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Really a great book! How wonderful!
It is unfortunate, but the current computer vision research becomes inaccessible for the person who does not have solid mathematical and statistical foundations. This wonderful book shows comprehensive summary of the correct figures of this "frontier": very scattered, disperse, and generating thousands of practical ideas. There have never been such a book which explains the logics of so many valuable ideas from old to new in this broad area in self contained and accessible manner. This book really helps a lot to approach to the state of the art papers, such as PAMI, ICCV, and ICPR. This book is trully the shortest cut to those state of the art research activities. I appreciate these authors' endevours a lot!

1-0 out of 5 stars Very difficult to understand
The author has good mathematics, but not the abilities to explain something clearly to a student or a beginner. I need to buy another book.

1-0 out of 5 stars inaccessible and expensive paperweight
I have to heartily agree with the previous reviewer. This was the assigned text for my postgrad Computer Vision course also and I found it completely incomprehensible. From a practical perspective I don't see how any use can be made of this book.
In contrast Gonzalez&Wood's 'Digital Image Processing' was a joy to read.

2-0 out of 5 stars Look for something else to learn Computer Vision
This book was very confusing even for a first year grad student like me...it is not a good book to learn Computer Vision from the beginning. I had to turn to other texts to better understand the material. I was highly disappointed that my professor chose this text for first year grad class in Computer Vision. Unfortunately, I cannot recommend this book. There are other books out there that are so much better to learn Computer Vision.

1-0 out of 5 stars don't buy this book
this book sucks! terms are often inconsistent and expressions always unclear. Many simple concepts are written in very complicated ways. Perhaps this is because the author want this book to look more "academic". Don't buy this book unless you are already an expert in this area ... Read more


4. MicroC OS II: The Real Time Kernel (With CD-ROM)
by Jean J. Labrosse
list price: $74.95
our price: $74.95
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Asin: 1578201039
Catlog: Book (2002-06-15)
Publisher: CMP Books
Sales Rank: 29672
Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"If you currently do not use an RTOS, read this book to gain a deep understanding of what these powerful tools can do for your code. If you're looking at commercial products, read the book to understand some of the trade-offs and gain an appreciation for what happens when in an OS."- Jack Ganssle, consultant, teacher, and writer

· Use this complete, portable, ROMable, scalable, preemptive RTOS in your own product · Meets the requirements of safety-critical systems

MicroC/OS-II is a highly portable, ROMable, scalable, preemptive real-time, multitasking kernel (RTOS) for microprocessors and microcontrollers with performance comparable to - and in some cases exceeding - commercially available kernels. Written in ANSI C for maximum portability, MicroC/OS-II has been ported to more than 40 different processor architectures ranging from 8- to 64-bit CPUs. Since 1992, MicroC/OS has been used by thousands of developers worldwide in applications ranging from cameras to avionics. Certifiable for use in safety-critical systems, this RTOS has been proven to be robust, reliable, and safe enough for you to use in your own applications. This book describes the design and implementation of MicroC/OS-II and teaches you the fundamentals of a multitasking real-time system. You'll learn about kernel structure, scheduling, context switching, task and time management, intertask communications and synchronization, dynamic memory allocation, and much more. The description of the code in this book has been completely rewritten to make it easier to follow. The presentation of system services has been significantly expanded from one to six chapters, two of which address new services: mutual exclusion semaphores (mutexes) and event flags. The porting guide has been completely revised and includes tips on how to test a port. Finally, appendix materials have been added to include coding conventions and quick reference charts.

The companion CD-ROM contains all of the source code for MicroC/OS-II and ports for the Intel 80x86 processor running in real mode and for the large model. Within just a few minutes, you'll be able to test some of the features of MicroC/OS-II on your Windows-based PC. ... Read more

Reviews (20)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Book and a Great RTOS
There is no equivalent to this book. The knowledge offered here, along with the complete source code for the ┬ÁC/OS real-time operating system is everything you need to know to understand preemptive priority-based multitasking. Whether you just want to learn what goes on behind the scenes in your commercial RTOS or you're looking for a small, inexpensive RTOS with source code, this is the book for you.

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding!
Jean LaBrosse is one of those people who has that uncanny knack for taking a complicated issue and making it seem simple. His MicroC/OS is a wonderful example. The book does much more than simply present usable source code (though it does that also). It explains _WHY_ the code is the way it is.

MicroC/OS II is very much in today's spirit of open-source software. It is rapidly becoming, for real-time embedded systems, what Linux represents for desktops. I also agree with another reader, who points out that the OS is not just a good OS for real-time systems, but a good, _RELIABLE_, OS in general. If only we could get Microsoft to follow LaBrosse's KISS approaches.

3-0 out of 5 stars Writing style is often confusing
I have a general background in computer science and am trying to learn about embedded systems from this book. My main objection is that the writing needs to be edited to improve clarity. For example on page 61, the author states "Generally, the first message inserted in the queue is the first message extracted from the queue (FIFO). In addition, to extract messages in a FIFO fashion, uC/OS-II allows a task to get messages Last-In-First-Out (LIFO)." The second sentence is ambiguous. Does it mean "In addition to the ability to extract messages in a FIFO fashion, ..." or "In addition, in order to extract messages in a FIFO fashion, ..."? On the next page the author states "Interrupts allow a microprocessor to process events when they occur, which prevents the microprocessor from continuously polling (looking at) an event to see if it has occurred." In this sentence, "prevents the microprocessor from" should be changed to "removes the need for the microprocessor to be". The average reader already knows enough about LIFOs, FIFOs, and interrupts to interpret these sentences correctly, but in many other cases the lack of clarity is a serious impediment to understanding. The book also contains various errors. For example, the path name of a .xls file, given on pages 370 and 403, is incorrect.

4-0 out of 5 stars Only if you intend to use uCOSII
If you want to implement uCOSII, then yes this book is the reference manual. It is not very nice looking and is made of thick paper but the content is good.
If you only want to learn the different aspects of writing and debugging code for embedded systems, I highy recommand "An Embedded Software Primer" by D.E. Simon. If you have Simon's, you don't need uCOSII.

3-0 out of 5 stars A Starter's Book
If you are just starting to learn RTOS this book may have some value. If you have played with RTOS for a few years this book may not have much value to you. The concept is very lean and I completed reading it in about 3 hours... ... Read more


5. Nonlinear Control Systems : Analysis and Design
by Horacio J.Marquez
list price: $79.95
our price: $72.75
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Asin: 0471427993
Catlog: Book (2003-04-18)
Publisher: Wiley-Interscience
Sales Rank: 695260
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Book Description

Provides complete coverage of both the Lyapunov and Input-Output stability theories, ina readable, concise manner.
* Supplies an introduction to the popular backstepping approach to nonlinear control design
* Gives a thorough discussion of the concept of input-to-state stability
* Includes a discussion of the fundamentals of feedback linearization and related results.
* Details complete coverage of the fundamentals of dissipative system's theory and its application in the so-called L2gain control prooblem, for the first time in an introductory level textbook.
* Contains a thorough discussion of nonlinear observers, a very important problem, not commonly encountered in textbooksat this level.
... Read more


6. Introduction to Robotics: Mechanics and Control (3rd Edition)
by John J. Craig
list price: $77.40
our price: $77.40
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Asin: 0201543613
Catlog: Book (2003-10-12)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 162391
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Now in its third edition, Introduction to Robotics by John J. Craig provides readers with real-world practicality with underlying theory presented. With one half of the material from traditional mechanical engineering material, one fourth control theoretical material, and one fourth computer science, the book covers rigid-body transformations, forward and inverse positional kinematics, velocities and Jacobians of linkages, dynamics, linear control, non-linear control, force control methodologies, mechanical design aspects and programming of robots. For engineers.

... Read more

Reviews (3)

3-0 out of 5 stars Great book for beginners!
Yes...it is a good book! No doubts about that. For the basics that is. There will be a limit if you would like to pursue more on this topic.

All in all, the chapters are well presented and the assigments welldocumented.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great introduction to robotics.
As the title says, it's an introduction.And a good one at that.The basics are covered with just the right amount of detail to be useful.The book also provides good references for more advanced work.

4-0 out of 5 stars All the basics
It teaches you all you need to know to begin with Robotics. It's a bit old-fashioned though. ... Read more


7. Control System Design
by Graham C. Goodwin, Stefan F. Graebe, Mario E. Salgado
list price: $117.00
our price: $117.00
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Asin: 0139586539
Catlog: Book (2000-09-26)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 525586
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8. Robot Building for Beginners
by David Cook
list price: $29.95
our price: $19.77
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Asin: 1893115445
Catlog: Book (2002-01-18)
Publisher: Apress
Sales Rank: 16142
Average Customer Review: 4.61 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Learning robotics by yourself isn't easy, but it helps when the encouragement comes from an expert who's spent years in the field. Not only does Author David Cook assist you in understanding the component parts of robot development, but he also presents valuable techniques that prepare you to achieve new discoveries on your own.

Cook begins with the anatomy of a homemade robot and gives you the best advice on how to proceed successfully. General sources for tools and parts are provided in a consolidated list, and specific parts are recommended throughout the book. Also, basic safety precautions and essential measuring and numbering systems are promoted throughout.

Specific tools and parts covered include digital multimeters, motors, wheels, resistors, LEDs, photoresistors, transistors, chips, gears, nut drivers, batteries, and more. Robot Building for Beginners is an inspiring book that provides an essential base of practical knowledge for anyone getting started in amateur robotics.

... Read more

Reviews (23)

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome book for begining "robotists"
I would give Mr. Cook's book 6 stars if I could. It blew me away. It provides excellent diagrams, pictures, and ideas, as well as manufacturers and part numbers for all of the neccessary components. It assumes no background whatsoever in electronics or robotics.

Electronics have always piqued my interest, though I have never really been able to get into them. Some of the books I have bought previously have been absurdly complicated, requiring backgrounds in fields such as linear calculus. I have a head for numbers, but being only a high school freshmen taking Geometry can be limiting.

Robot Building for Beginners really brings the art of constructing autonomous creations down to the basic, hands on level. It starts with the basics, down to what one's workspace should include, etc. You won't find any cryptic series of equations, graphs, or complex diagrams in this book. All of the electrical components are explained on a "what-they-do and how-to-use-them" basis.

For instance, I picked up another book, Teach Yourself Electricity and Electronics, and attempted to teach myself about simple things like how a circuit works, and what resistors do. The book immediatly overwhelmed me with so-and-so's laws, this rule of physics, this logarithmic equation, etc.

Mr. Cook's book , on the other hand, explained resistors simply, essentially saying that they were devices to limit the amount of current to a place in the circuit, because too much current simply fries your components. No fancy equations, no graphs, just simple - like it is.

It is for all of the above reasons that I highly recomend this book to anyone who's ever considered dabbeling in electronics (for robots or not).

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book for the Beginning to Intermediate robot builder
I wish I would have had this book when I started out! The author has made a large complex subject very easy to digest with a variety of chapters on each possible subject.

As the title implies, this is a book intended for "Beginners". You won't find advanced path-finding algorithms nor will you find advanced distance sensor building. It's about _beginning_ robotics. But that doesn't keep some serious electronics theory from getting put into the book. There is plenty of in depth explanations of transistors, comparators, LEDs and other useful components for the robot builder. I learned several useful "rules of thumb" about choosing resistors that I didn't know before opening this book.

I particularly like the concept of this book being an instruction manual for building a robot. If you are a beginner, you can have a reasonably "intelligent" line following robot built by the end of the book that uses many of the mechanical, electrical and logical concepts introduced in each chapter.

Unlike several other books out there, the author isn't selling you a kit at the end of the book, which I liked. Mr. Cook also gives you the source for each part he uses and its respective part number. This is immensely helpful if you would like to build the robot in the book since you can easily obtain each part needed.

In sum, this book is a great value and a great text for the robotics community! Thank you David Cook!

5-0 out of 5 stars Robot Building for Beginners
Robot Building for Beginners - What a great beginners book!
When I ordered this book I wasn't too sure about what I was going to get but I did know that the author's web site www.robotroom.com is a robot builders paradise, so what the heck. What a great book!!!!! This book covers so much material based on early electronic theory, concepts, components, and breadboard configurations that you feel like you are sitting in an electronics class just soaking it all up! His text is broken into major sections covering electronic basics, equipment you will need to use, then he talks about the major components that will be used in the sandwich project "A line following robot". He lets you build each section of the robot in modules on an electric breadboard, which is great because you can see the circuit work, plus learn how the circuit functions, and make modifications to the circuit while not having to solder or unsolder components. He steps you through each section of the line following robot building each modules in order till you have the whole robot circuitry on the breadboard for testing. Later he shows you have to make the final robot product and put everything together soldered on a single circuit board. There is truly so much information here that the readers get way more than he pays for. It is easy to understand and humorous at the same time. He even covers calculations concerning voltage drops, load drops within the circuit, and power consumption. By the end of this book you will have completed the building of a real, authentic line following robot and have the knowledge to go onto bigger and better robot projects. After this book I recommend buying the Intermediate Robot builder book!! This is another great book from David Cook!

5-0 out of 5 stars The definitive beginner's book!
As a beginner and someone who has gone through several "beginner" robot building books, I cannot recommend this book enough. Not only does the book give step by step instructions on building a line-following robot, but it will also explain what each part does, why it was picked, where to get it, etc. This will be extremely useful later, when building your own robots. Other books will either assume you know something you don't, or give you step-by-step instructions without the rationale behind them. If you have to get only one book, then Robot Building for Beginners is the one (a cliche, but true nonetheless).

5-0 out of 5 stars He wrote a 2nd Book!!!
I've been sitting around here waiting to see my review show up that I just wrote (no luck yet) and went back to David Cook's website to look at his other robots again. MY WISH CAME TRUE--HE WROTE ANOTHER BOOK! For those of you returning to look at this book's reviews again, check out the web site: (...) I really am excited. To those of you who haven't made the sandwhich yet, you can check this project out on that site too. ... Read more


9. PID Controllers: Theory, Design, and Tuning
by Karl J. Astrom, Tore Hagglund
list price: $86.00
our price: $86.00
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Asin: 1556175167
Catlog: Book (1995-01-01)
Publisher: International Society for Measurement and Con
Sales Rank: 243520
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This book provides users and manufacturers of PID controllers, as well as educators, with a better understanding of PID control. This second edition takes stock of new developments in digital PID controllers. Modeling methods, implementation details, and problem-solving techniques are presented to help you improve loop performance and product quality.

The book examines the auto-tuning and adaptation features of several commercial controllers and it discusses measures for dealing with specific challenges such as reset windup, long process dead times, and oscillatory systems. Design methods and tuning rules that consider factors such as load disturbances, measurement noise, model uncertainty, and set point response are also recommended. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Good Reference
Most industrial controllers are PI or PID controllers, and few textbooks or accademic Journal articles address them. I've been working in industrial process control for over twenty years and this book is one of the best one's I've found on PI/PID control. The presentation is practical rather than theoretical (some might miss not having more math). The first four chapters summarize when PI/PID control is useful and present several of the traditional tuning methods. Chapter 5 presents new tuning algorithms that are easy to apply in practice and usually result in better control that older methods (like the atrocious Ziegler-Nichols). Chapter 6 gets side-tracked discussing commercial products that will rapidly be out of date. Chapter 7 returns to practical applications and simple examples - I was amused to see boiler drum level control discussed in one page when we've spent so much time on this problem! The one thing missing from the book is control of nonlinear systems - even the simple example of level control with a fixed stroke-time valve is omitted - but aside from this shortcoming, it is a most useful book.

5-0 out of 5 stars It is a good reference for engineering students.
This book is quite good reference for engineering students to do their design project about control system. ... Read more


10. A Mathematical Introduction to Robotic Manipulation
by Richard M. Murray, Zexiang Li, S. Shankar Sastry
list price: $149.95
our price: $125.96
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Asin: 0849379814
Catlog: Book (1994-03-22)
Publisher: CRC Press
Sales Rank: 216654
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Book Description

A Mathematical Introduction to Robotic Manipulation presents a mathematical formulation of the kinematics, dynamics, and control of robot manipulators. It uses an elegant set of mathematical tools that emphasizes the geometry of robot motion and allows a large class of robotic manipulation problems to be analyzed within a unified framework. The foundation of the book is a derivation of robot kinematics using the product of the exponentials formula. The authors explore the kinematics of open-chain manipulators and multifingered robot hands, present an analysis of the dynamics and control of robot systems, discuss the specification and control of internal forces and internal motions, and address the implications of the nonholonomic nature of rolling contact are addressed, as well. The wealth of information, numerous examples, and exercises make A Mathematical Introduction to Robotic Manipulation valuable as both a reference for robotics researchers and a text for students in advanced robotics courses. ... Read more


11. Intermediate Robot Building
by David Cook
list price: $34.99
our price: $23.09
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1590593731
Catlog: Book (2004-04-01)
Publisher: Apress
Sales Rank: 40199
Average Customer Review: 4.83 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"This book provides far more detail on the hardware aspects of robot building than any other I have seen to date and is worth picking up."

— R. Steven Rainwater, Reviewer, Robots.net (Read the whole review here.)

For readers of Robot Building for Beginners (Apress, 2002), welcome to the next level! Intermediate Robot Building offers the kind of real-world knowledge that only an experienced robot builder can offer&emdash;the kind of knowledge beginners usually have to learn through mistakes. In this book, you'll learn the value of a robot heartbeat and the purpose of the wavy lines in photocells. You'll find out what electronic part you should sand. You'll discover how a well-placed switch can help a robot avoid obstacles better than a pair of feelers. And you'll avoid mistakes that can cause a capacitor to explode.

Want a robot that can explore rooms, follow lines, or battle opponents in mini-sumo? This book presents step-by-step instructions and circuit and part descriptions so that you can build the robot featured in the book or apply the modules to your own robot designs.

Finally, you'll find the complete schematics for Roundabout, a room explorer that requires no programming and uses only off-the-shelf electronics. With Roundabout, you'll use many of the same techniques used by professional robotics engineers&emdash;and you'll experience many of the same challenges and joys they feel when a robot "comes to life."

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Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars A course in analog electronics
Very cool narrative aimed straight at the hardcore tinkerer. For the restless kid inside you, that really digged hands on experience, and who perhaps is left neglected by all this software/web browsing.

There are sections of the book that could have been written in the 1970s and 1980s. Like chapters 9 and 10, Driving Miss Motor and Driving Mister Motor. The descriptions of the discrete components and putting them together on a breadboard in something like an npn or pnp motor driver circuit seem so much from that period. Nothing wrong about this, I might add. Much of the progress in electronics has been at ever decreasing dimensions of logic circuitry. But at the macroscopic level, where you might have to supply enough power to move a robot, for instance, much of the lessons of then are still state of the art.

Cook provides here a grand tour of many tasks you might need to perform to make a nifty robot. Quite aside from whic, it also gives you a good exposure to analog electronics and electromechanical design.

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing book
I just finished putting my two cents in for David Cook's first book. Both his books are so great that I wanted to review this one as well (I have never felt like I had to review a book before). I have really nothing to add to Nick Cherney's review of "Intermediate Robot Building (see below). He is right on the money. But I did want to give it my 5 stars. So here they are.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book is a Staple for any Robot Enthusiast's bookshelf
This book is a Staple for any Robot Enthusiast's bookshelf

David Cook does it again! His first book Robot Building for Beginners has become my bible for the fundamentals of building robots. When searching college websites, I've even seen classes created around it (if you don't believe me do a google search). Needless to say, I've had extremely high expectations and anticipations for his next work. Put it this way. I received his book at 10:30am this morning in the mail at work. I started reading it during lunch and then asked my boss for the rest of the day off so I could finish it. I AM STOKED!

This book takes you by the hand and gives you step-by-step- instructions as well as part and circuit descriptions to build modules for the robot "Roundabout." I always read a robot book first before I start building-I like to know what I'm in for. Most books will give some description and direction, but David Cook leaves nothing unanswered. I believe it's pointless to assemble some parts by following directions and have no clue the electronics/mechanics behind it. The whole point is to eventually have the knowledge to build your own. At this level, you will not find a better book. I'm speaking as an owner of 19 robot books. Most books didn't warrant the project for me. After a read (or at least about 3 reads in my case for complete retention), you will be able to explain your parts, how they work together, as well as the reasons behind the choices to include that particular part, as apposed to another, in the first place. I'm ordering my parts for the robot tomorrow, but after my first reading I can already explain about 60% of everything about this robot. Now if only I could remember that much in my night classes...

Well, that's my raving review of the book. Please see my review below for what you'll get when you buy the book. And since I didn't want to leave anything out...

5-0 out of 5 stars Back Cover // Table of Contents
Since there is no description what-so-ever about this book, let me copy the back cover and table of contents. This way I won't leave something out and run off on a tangent and run out of room for this review. I hope you appreciate my soon-to-be cramped fingers...

Back Cover:
"For readers of 'Robot Building for Beginners', welcome to the next level. Intermediate Robot Building offers the kind of real-world knowledge that only an experienced robot builder can offer-the kind of knowledge beginners usually have to learn through mistakes. In this book, you'll learn the value of a rovot heartbeat and the purpose of the wavy lines in photocells. You'll find out what electronic part you should sand. You'll discover how a well-placed switch can help a robot avoid obstacles better than a pair of feelers. And you'll avoid mistakes that can cause a capacitor to explode.
Want a robot that can explore rooms, follow lines, or battle opponents in mini-sumo? This book presents step-by-step instructions and circuit and part descriptions so that you can build the robot featured in this book or apply the modules to your own robot designs.
Finally, you'll find the complete schematics for Roundabout, a room explorer that requires no programming and uses only off-the-shelf electronics. With Roundabout, you'll use many of the same techniques used by professional robotics engineers-and you'll experience many of the same challenges and joys they feel when a robot 'comes to life.'
Experience the next level of challenges with Intermediate Robot Building."

Table of Contents:
Ch 1: Assembling a Modular Robot
*Building Modules
*Getting comfortable with machining
*Putting it all together
*Applying parts and techniques to other robots
Ch 2: Comparing Two Types of Homemade Motor Couples and Common Errors to Avoid
*Comparing two homeade coupler technologies
*Identifying desired results in coupler drill holes along with common errors + effects
*Getting ready to make a solid-rod coupler
Ch 3: Making a Fixture and Drilling Solid Rods for a Coupler
*Gathering Tools and Parts
*Preparing lengths of solid rod for the couplers
*Making a coupler fixture
*Getting the money shot
*Drilling the motor-shaft and Lego axle coupler holes
*Examining the coupler so far
Ch 4: Finishing the Solid-Rod Motor Coupler
*Installing the coupler setscrew
*Adding the Lego Axle
Ch 5: Building a Motor Inside a Wheel
*Encountering danger: bent shafts ahead
*Making a hub-adapter coupler
Ch 6: Understanding the Standards and Setup for Electronic Experiments
*Reading schematics
*Using solderless breadboards
*Understanding oscilloscope traces
*Riding the bandwagon of modern electronics
Ch 7: Creating a Linear Voltage-Regulated Power Supply
*Understanding Voltage Regulators
*Understanding Linear Voltage-Regulated Power Supplies
*Heading into Optimizations
Ch 8: Making Robot Power Supply Improvements
*Bulking up the input and output capacitors
*Adding voodoo capacitors
*Sprinkling with bypass/decoupling capacitors
*Preventing damage from short circuits or overcurrent
*Preventing damage from overvoltage in a regulated circuit
*Putting it all together for a robust robot power supply
Ch 9: Driving Miss Motor
*Why a motor driver
*Demonstrating the four modes of a motor
*Driving simply with a single transistor
*Putting the NPN and PNP motor drivers together
*The classic bipolar H-Bridge
*Interfacing with the high side
*Mastering motor control
Ch 10: Driving Mister Motor
*Driving motors with MOSFETs
*Driving motors with Chips
*Evaluating motor drivers
Ch 11: Creating an Infrared Modulated Obstacle, Opponent, and Wall Detector
*Detecting Modulated infrared with a popular module, or, another reason to hog the remote control
*Expanding the detection circuit to include an LED indicator
*Completing the reflector detector circuit
Ch 12: Fine-Tuning the Reflector Detector
*Tuning in 38 kHz
*Limitations of the reflector detector
*Getting ready for a practical robot application
Ch 13: Roundabout Robot!
*Examining Roundabout
*Roundabout's Circuitry
*Building Roundabout's Body
*Summarizing Roundabout
Ch 14: Test Driving Roundabout
*Preparing for the test drive
*Preparing the robot and correcting minor glitches
*Evaluating Roundabout's performance
*Getting Stuck
Ch 15: If I only Had a Brain
*Considering the Motorola KX8 Microcontroller as an example
*Comparing a microcontroller to a logic chip
*Programming a microcontroller
*Exploring common microcontroller features
*Choosing a microcontroller
*Graduating your robot
Ch 16: Building Roundabout's Daughterboard
*Converting to a two-story configuration
*Intercepting signals: meeting the new boss
*Expanding functionality
*Upgrading a robot
Ch 17: Adding the Floor Sensor Module
*Sensing brightness with photoresistors
*Sensing brightness with a photodiode IC
*Following a line
*Competing in Robot Sumo!!!
*Expanding Possibilities
Ch 18: Cooking Up Some Robot Stew
*Making Music
*Scaling Up
*Mounting Motors
*Roaming the Solar Terrain
*Standing in a Robot's Shoes for awhile

5-0 out of 5 stars Lots of pictures; lots of examples
I just got the book and it's as good as I hoped! The pictures are plentiful and crisp. There's a wide range of subjects covered (drilling, motor mounts, circuits, behavior experiments). This review would be longer, but as I said, I just got the book and I've got to get back to reading. ... Read more


12. Building Robots With Lego Mindstorms : The Ultimate Tool for Mindstorms Maniacs
by Mario Ferrari, Giulio Ferrari, Ralph Hempel
list price: $29.95
our price: $19.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1928994679
Catlog: Book (2001-12-15)
Publisher: Syngress
Sales Rank: 2827
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This book is about building robots using Lego bricks and components. In the first section of the book (Part I) we will discuss why you might find an interest in robotics as a hobby, and why Lego is an ideal system to have a fast start and great results. If you're reading this book you probably own a Mindstorms set, so you already have an interest in robotics, and for this reason we kept this part very short. Nevertheless you might find there some thoughts about what robotics can give to you and your family, besides a lot of fun. And how it can change your perception of the environment that's around you.

The second section (Part II) is about how to build a robot. Here we provide a setof tools you need to explore the world of robotics. Some basic knowledge about mechanics, motors, sensors, pneumatics, navigation, and many tips and tricks. We will compare different standard architectures, discuss solutions to common recurring problems, learn how to organize complex projects in terms of subsystems.

In the third section (Part III) we start to face the tough question, the one we actually would try to answer with this book: "I got a Mindstorms kit, I have learnt how to use it, what do I build now?". Here we will show you a large survey of possible ideas, but do not expect to find complete models to copy step by step.

8-Page Full Color Insert

The 8-page, full color insert will contain detailed photography of the most impressive robots that readers will be able to build after reading the book. The photos will also detail the more complex electrical and construction challenges. ... Read more

Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars The perfect gift (for yourself!)
I've been a LEGO hobbyist for years, and I'm very excited that my teenage son is now more into it than even I am. I bought this book for him as a Christmas gift, but I had to give it to him early after I saw the incredibly cool robots on the front. We've now both read the book cover to cover (not a small task considering the book is almost 600 pages) and the ideas and information we got from the book could keep us busy for years. The great thing about this book is that it does not just give you step by step instructions on how to build a handful of robots, it teaches you how to build ANY robot that YOU can dream up. A big thanks to the authors for such a great gift!

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Resource
I am not ashamed to admit that I am 28-going-on-29 and I absolutely love this book. It is very well written and highly detailed. As a Mehanical Engineer with 6+ years work experience I was certain that this book wouldn't live up to the expectations that the first few pages that I read in the book store led me to develop. Was I wrong!! This book's simplified expanation of engineering concepts is unmatched. From Lego block geometry to gearing setup and programming. This book has it all if you'd like to go beyond the few missions that the mindstorm kit comes with. Don't be mistaken this book has no step-by-step instructions for building robots. It only introduces "snippet" to get your creative "juices" flowing. My understanding of Legos and their use has been greatly enhanced. To make things even better, the authors includes useful information on other Lego parts that are not included with mindstorm that are very important, i.e. light sensors, hydraulics, etc. If you are looking for a reference book to help you build better Lego creations, this book is it!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Building Robots with Lego MindStorms
This book strikes me as an ideal text for an advanced course in robotics Lego style. I am impressed with the depth the authors explored each segment of the MindStorms experience. The reader will find a variety of explanations for each segment ranging from simple to rather complex. This allows the reader to choose the level of complexity that is most comfortable.

The early chapters deal with several rudimentary characteristics of the MindStorms system. Many of these are part of the joy of discovery that plays a huge roll in the experience of this set. I believe that this book should be used after one has experienced all that the Constructopedia has to offer. The thrill of learning through experience is too great to give in to reading the solutions beforehand.

I have always envied the individual who is about to open their first MindStorms Robot Invention System. They are about to experience a trip into the future. This trip will last as long as imagination will allow. The efforts of Mario and Giulio Ferrari will continue to ignite curiosity and inspire the reader to venture further armed with the ideas and information contained in the chapters of this book.

I am pleased to have this fact filled book at my side to continue to learn more about this system. Mario and Giulio have done an outstanding job assembling 575 pages packed with new ideas to build, program and enjoy your MindStorms creations.

Bob Fay

5-0 out of 5 stars Nice
This the comprehensive source which will prepare programmers for a solid, fun and creative future. My kids are also turned on by really cool robots, which I must add, are amusing by adult standards

5-0 out of 5 stars Incredible
For anyone who enjoys mechanics or robots, physics, or simply loves the art of Lego building, the latest series from Syngress is sure to please the most devote fans, and newcomers. Excellent! ... Read more


13. Iterative Identification and Control
list price: $160.00
our price: $160.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1852335092
Catlog: Book (2002-06-20)
Publisher: Springer-Verlag Telos
Sales Rank: 537469
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Book Description

An exposition of the interplay between the modelling of dynamic systems and the design of feedback controllers based on these models is the main goal of this book. The combination of both subjects into a cohesive development allows the consistent treatment of both problems to yield powerful new tools for the improvement of system performance. Central among the themes of this work is the observation that operation of a system in feedback with a controller exposes the areas in which the model fit is constraining the controller performance achieved. The book presents new techniques for the understanding of the iterative improvement of performance through the successive fitting of models using closed-loop data and the design of high-performance controllers using these models. The subject matter includes: New approaches to understanding how to affect the fit of dynamical models to physical processes through the choice of experiments, data pre-filtering and model structure; connections between robust control design methods and their dependency on the quality of model fit; experimental design in which data collected in operation under feedback can reveal areas that limit the performance achieved; iterative approaches to link these model-fitting and control design phases in a cogent manner so as to achieve improved performance overall. The authors of individual chapters are some of the most renowned and authoritative figures in the fields of system identification and control design. ... Read more


14. Linear System Theory and Design (Oxford Series in Electrical and Computer Engineering)
by Chi-Tsong Chen
list price: $117.00
our price: $117.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0195117778
Catlog: Book (1998-08-01)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 304946
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This text is an extensive revision of the author's highly successful text, Linear Systems Theory and Design. In the third edition, the author is revising his formerly more theoretical approach to the topic of linear systems, choosing instead a more general approach that will appeal to a wider audience. A key feature of the revision is the incorporation of MATLAB throughout the text, with an emphasis on the ideas behind the computation and the interpretation of the results. All theorems or results are developed in a logical way so that the reader gains an intuitive understanding of the theorems, contrasting existing texts in which the theorems are simply listed without explanation. The revised text will also begin with the time-invariant case and extend through the subject of time-variant case, although this section may be omitted upon the instructor's discretion. The result is a user-friendly approach to linear systems, striking a balance between theory and applications.

This new edition is geared for classroom use and engineering applications; therefore many topics in the original edition have been deleted, including strict system equivalence, deterministic identification, computational issues, some multivariable canonical forms, and decoupling by state feedback. It is intended for use in senior/first-year graduate courses on linear systems and multivariable system design in electrical, mechanical, chemical, and aeronautical engineering departments. The mathematical background assumed is a working knowledge of linear algebra and the Laplace transform and an elementary knowledge of differential equations. Because linear system theory is such a vast field, in the text, discussion has been limited to the conventional approaches of state space equations and the polynomial fractional method of transfer matrices. The text is appropriate for undergraduate students of linear systems and multivariable system design. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Book
Up to this time,there are no 5 stars books in Linear Systems. However, this book is one of the best 4 stars books available for the subject. Through the book, the author sometimes assumes that you know or understand some topic, formula,...etc. without mentioning it. However,you can do it, but it may take you some time to figure out what it is. If you are good enough in linear algebra you will have no problems to handle the book up to the last page. Chapter 2 & 3 are the most important chapters in the book because they prepare you for the rest of the book. MATLAB is being used in a nice and helpful way to visualize some concepts and applications of the linear control theory. I recommend this book as a textbook for an introductory linear systems course and also for self teaching purposes.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Good, the Bad, and the Insufficent
My overall impression with this book is: satisfactory. Though there are a more errors then desired, and a few that are pretty confusing, the majority of the book is accurate and very instructive. I would recommend this book as a reference for introductory treatment of Linear System Theory and DI just completed this book in the beginning of March. Having a Controls background I found this book both helpful and instructive, yet lacking in sufficient detailed explanation on some tough topics. Chapter 2: 'Mathematical Descriptions of Systems' was very helpful with the detailed definitions and easy examples. Chapter 3: 'Linear Algebra' is a chapter that could use expanding. Some of the topics addressed in this section are speedily discussed and rapidly completed. The first edition of this book was chided for it length. This edition must be chided for it brevity. However, when lack of explanation abounds, examples and homework problems can make up for deficient instruction. Chapters 4 through 6 are easy to follow and through in their treatment. Chapter 7, however, is another chapter where too much explanation was removed. The examples are hard to follow in this chapter, and there are a few very confusing mistakes. Chapters 8 and 9 are very well written, though confused at times. However, they yield a sufficient knowledge of the addressed topics.

My overall impression with this book is: satisfactory. Though there are a more errors then desired, and a few that are pretty confusing, the majority of the book is accurate and very instructive. I would recommend this book as a reference for introductory treatment of Linear System Theory and Design.esign. ... Read more


15. Artificial Life II: Proceedings of the Workshop on Artificial Life Held February, 1990 in Santa Fe, New Mexico (Santa Fe Institute Studies in the Sc)
by N.M.) Artificial Life Workshop 1990 Santa Fe, Christopher G. Langton
list price: $70.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0201525712
Catlog: Book (1991-10-01)
Publisher: Westview Press
Sales Rank: 866002
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16. Process Control Instrumentation Technology
by Curtis D. Johnson
list price: $120.00
our price: $120.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0130602485
Catlog: Book (2002-08-15)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 474849
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This manual is designed to provide users with an understanding and appreciation of some of the theoretical concepts behind control system elements and operations, without the need of advanced math and theory. It also presents some of the practical details of how elements of a control system are designed and operated, such as would be gained from on-the-job experience. This middle ground of knowledge enables users to design the elements of a control system from a practical, working perspective, and comprehend how these elements affect overall system operation and tuning.The guidebook provides an introduction to process control, and covers analog and digital signal conditioning, thermal, mechanical and optical sensors, final control, discrete-state process control, controller principles, analog controllers, digital control and control loop characteristics.For those working in measurement and instrumentation and with PLCs. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

1-0 out of 5 stars Same material in 1988 edition!
For those of us looking for new up-to-date technical information in the process field we will have to go elsewhere. This book contains the same basic information as in the first edition. While it has some good material for learning beginning theoretical process control at the technical level it is a waste of money if you are interested in modern technology.

4-0 out of 5 stars A good book for beinners but take a look at your course req
This was one of the first books i read on process control.Whether or not you should buy the book would depend on what your course demands.

The beauty of the book lies in its lucidity which shows the authors understanding of all the sensors and instruments...the book stresses on the principles of working of all the instruments. i understood every single transducer I learnt about in the book.Another plus point of the book is that it is self-sufficient, in that you dont have to take another book while reading this one.It starts off by discussing all that you need to know about OP-Amp circuits for process control and even digital electronics.

My course in Process Control demanded a very high degree of detail in most of the process control mechnanisms and transducers so i didnt find everything I needed in this book.But it covered my syllabus to the greatest extent of all the books and explained it in a beautiful manner. ... Read more


17. IUTAM Symposium on Interaction between Dynamics and Control in Advanced Mechanical Systems (Solid Mechanics and Its Applications)
list price: $299.00
our price: $299.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0792344294
Catlog: Book (1997-03-31)
Publisher: Springer
Sales Rank: 704170
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Book Description

This volume contains 51 contributions presented at the IUTAMSymposium on Interaction between Dynamics and Control in AdvancedMechanical Systems. The Symposium brought together scientists active in various fields ofboth dynamics and control, and stimulated the interaction of the twowith respect to advanced engineering applications. The paperspresented address a wide variety of applications ranging from vehiclesystems to mechatronic systems. Furthermore, the relevance of morefundamental areas such as control of chaos and optimal control isilluminated. This volume presents a valuable collection of papers andpromotes further theoretical and applied investigations with respectto the interaction of dynamics and control. The volume will be of assistance to scientists and engineers workingin the fields of dynamics and control. ... Read more


18. Robot Builder's Bonanza (Tab Electronics)
by GordonMcComb
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0071362967
Catlog: Book (2000-09-21)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill/TAB Electronics
Sales Rank: 17035
Average Customer Review: 4.28 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A major revision of the bestselling "bible" of amateur robotics building--packed with the latest in servo motor technology, microcontrolled robots, remote control, Lego Mindstorms Kits, and other commercial kits.

Gives electronics hobbyists fully illustrated plans for 11 complete Robots, as well as all-new coverage of Robotix-based Robots, Lego Technic-based Robots, Functionoids with Lego Mindstorms, and Location and Motorized Systems with Servo Motors.

Features a pictures and parts list that accompany all projects, and material on using the BASIC Stamp and other microcontrollers. ... Read more

Reviews (25)

5-0 out of 5 stars Simply The Best Beginners Book on Robotics.....
If your one of those who thought that the idea of building your own robot was just too daunting a task, there is good news. Gordon McComb has recreated what has long been one of the most popular books for the do-it your-selfer robotics enthusiast. The Robot Builder's Bonanza brings back some tried and true building concepts along with a fresh update of new technology. This is all packaged in a progressive step-by-step approach to helping the reader build upon previous lessons as he follows along with the projects. McComb is no amateur at helping turn the techno arcane babble of science into easy to understand concepts that can be grasped by the average person. He is also the notable author of Gadgeteer's Goldmine, (Tab/McGraw-Hill) and Lasers, Ray Guns, and Light Cannons, (Tab/McGraw-Hill), both still in publication.

You won't be making any R2D2s here. What you will find is a building blocks approach to constructing your own basic metal or plastic pal. Successive chapters will show you about robot building fundamentals using commonly available materials. Locomotion engineering on how to use motors, wheels and gears. Constructing robotic arms and hands. Sensor design on how to detect objects and navigate. Sound capabilities that will give your robot a voice or teach it to obey your commands. Remote control of your robot using wired and wireless technology. Programing micro devices for controlling your robot. This and much more is detailed in a no noncense clearly understood writing style. The book is profusely illustrated and diagrammed to help the reader with every project and example. I found the chapters on the Basic Stamp by Parallax,Inc., BasicX, and OOPic micro controllers to be worth the price of the book alone. Gordon quickly points out the features and benefits of all these devices in comparison and loads up a dash of practical application with each.

This second edition will certainly act as an inspirational guide to all hobbyists whether your considering the next robot ready for combat, or the next best fire fighting bot. The Robot Builder's Bonanza consists of 720 pages including a complete indexed resource guide that I can highly recommend to anyone who is even the least bit curious about the subject.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Classic in the making!
Gordon has outdone himself with this new edition of RBB. This is probabaly one of the most encompassing books on robotics ever. In these 750 pages, he has managed to include an in-depth coverage of almost all aspects of robotics including electonics, mechanical construction, programming, interfacing to all types of sensors, the use of the most popular motors, and very many of the microcontrollers available for robot brains. This book brings so much information together in one volume, that it makes the job of a potential robot builder vastly easier. For the newcommer to the field, there is much food for thought here. He covers much of the basics needed to get started and pulls together such a wealth of information that would otherwise take a lot of work to find (such as how to use hobby servos, how to modify them for continuous rotation, how to hack cheap Polaroid camera to use the sonar module for range measurements, etc.). If you can't find it here, you probably don't need it! For the more experienced builders, this should be a valuable reference and save you from having to search through a half dozen books to find some details of a particular sensor, construction technique, or microcontroller. Did I mention the price? This is an incredible buy! There is a lot of work and research invested in this book and anyone with a serious interest in robotics would be a fool not to own it. Look over the table of contents to get a sample of the breadth of coverage. The appendices also have a lot of useful resources such as additional books, sources for parts and Internet links. There should be a lot more little robot critters out there with the publication of this great book!

5-0 out of 5 stars A 'must' for any serious robot builder's reference shelf
This updated second edition of Gordeon McCombs' Robot Builder's Bonanza includes plenty of new plans and step-by-step instructions for building a robot, from a minibot and roverbot to a pepbot and Lego lightbots. New to this edition are insights on LEGO-based robots, fixed and mobile Servo motor systems, infrared, laser and other sensory equipment, and more. Robot Builder's Bonanza is a 'must' for any serious robot builder's reference shelf.

3-0 out of 5 stars A source of energy - not solutions!
By profession I'm a Software Engineer
(This is about the second edition)
I borrowed this book at the local library -I'm glad that I didn't buy it!

I was told that my last review suck! I agreed (too much stress) and rewrote...

Generally this book is about reusing/rearranging junk for your robot projects (this may seem like a good idea). The book covers a lot of topics - too fast in most cases and offers you only "1" solution to a problem that if you sat down and think would solve in a completely different manner.
Chapter 40: "Sound output and input" the author simply forgets that he has a uC at his disposal and combines some 555 timer IC's for a siren - indeed software is a more obvious solution.
His final output stage is a lm386 from National that can deliver approx. 0,5w. (this not even a driver stage!)

I occasionally find the components required exotic - this may however be a local problem.
Overall I'm glad that I read this book it is completely stuffed with interesting ideas - I just almost never agree with the given solution.
I was dying to read the chapter on IR communication but it only made use of an ordinary remote control. - The book's program was ONLY about the receiver. Who wants to control their robot with their tv-remote controller.
Of course you want to design your own transmitter! No theory is given so again 'your solution'. I put my tv-remote on a scope and synthesised it using an Atmel uC.

This is what dislike about the book - the lack of theory. It contains tons of ideas but you must learn about it elsewhere.
(Oh my Good, he uses BASIC!)

5-0 out of 5 stars A great update to a classic book.
I remember reading the first edition of the book and feeling disappointed, because this book showed you the various robot products that you could by, it really wasn't a tutorial that showed you how to complete a single robot from step one to finish. In many respects the second edition is written in much the same vain as the first edition. It's better to get this book if your an intermediate robot builder.

There are some many reasons why this is a good robot book, so here are three of them. First it gets you thinking and about building robots motivated me by the descriptions, second it tells you which kits or products are on the market, and finally
there are snippets of essential circuit board schematics. ... Read more


19. Programming and Customizing the OOPic Microcontroller : The Official OOPic Handbook (TAB Robotics)
by DennisClark
list price: $39.95
our price: $26.37
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0071420843
Catlog: Book (2003-06-20)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill/TAB Electronics
Sales Rank: 86291
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (6)

2-0 out of 5 stars Writing is too casual
I've used the OOpic some and It's a great MCU. I have some reservations about the writing in this book however. The author constantly makes references that aren't explained, remarks on illustrations but doesn't make it clear on the photo what is being referred too, and generally talks about each subject, but doesn't necessarily always make a clear point.

It's a handy book for the reference, but all that material is free online, so the price of the book weighs heavily on the balance of the material which in this reader's mind, is vague in areas that need specifics, and specific in areas that are free to the public anyway.

I look forward to the second version though just the same. I feel guilty attacking the style of a clearly experienced engineer, but engineers in general know that they are a breed apart. The rest of us Laymen need more help. And if the second version enlists the eyes of a Layman, It will expose those areas that are "muddy" and make it a better book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Denis Clark
This book is very well written. Denis spent alot of time and thought on this book. As you read through every chapter you cant help but want to put the book down and GO program. Denis is also a very reachable ( through oopic chat ) and very nice guy. I have enjoyed this book and will keep it on my reference shelf for a very long time

5-0 out of 5 stars essential reference for the OOPic
Let me start by saying that I am the tech rep for the oopic micro controllers.
Many of the questions that I am asked can be answered with this book. It is written with the basic user in mind and is laid out so that you can find the answers to you questions quickly and easily. If you plan on doing any oopic microcontroller-programming then I would say that this book is required reading. It will be useful in the design, programming and hardware connection phase.

Tony Brenke
OOPic Technical Support
Savage Innovations

5-0 out of 5 stars Exelent Book!!
Anyone with an OOPic micro controller NEEDS this book! Crammed with essential information and code examples written in both VBasic & C, the easy to follow material more than covers the many questions one has after working with the OOPic web site alone. Finally shedding light on a once vague but rapidly growing topic. This book also has how-to information, references, and valuable tools to further help the user along.

5-0 out of 5 stars The essential reference for using the OOPic
This book is a very useful guide to building and programming with the Savage Innovations' OOPic family of microcontrollers. The book is well-written, comprehensive, and filled with graphics and tables. The writing style conveys the material in a straightforward and engaging manner that makes the subject easy to understand for both beginners and pro's.
The OOPic -Object-Oriented Programmable integrated circuit- is a revolutionary member of the microcontroller family with novel features and ease of use. However, until now documentation has been limited to a handful of web pages, making the OOPic one of the best-kept secrets in electronics. This book- Programming and Customizing the OOPic- changes that for the better.
Whether you are a robot hobbyist or professional engineer this book is an essential reference that will save you a lot of development time. ... Read more


20. SUMO BOT : Build Your Own Remote-Controlled Programmable Sumo-Bot
by MykePredko, BenWirz
list price: $99.95
our price: $69.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0071411933
Catlog: Book (2002-11-04)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill/TAB Electronics
Sales Rank: 38584
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

BUILD A POWERFUL SUMO-BOT DESIGNED TO WITHSTAND METAL-AGAINST-METAL COMPETITION!

This NEXT GENERATION robot from McGraw-Hill features:
* The power of the Parallax BASIC Stamp 2 controller
* A tracked drive for maneuverability over all types of terrain
* "Flipping ability" to put the competition on its back
* A steel frame that encourages customization
* Mechanical features designed to withstand the shock of combat
* AA battery powered for longer operation

MORE POWER!MORE SOPHISTICATION!MORE FUN!

Here's a fun and affordable way for hobbyists to take their robot building skills to the next level and if they wish, be part of the hottest new craze in amateur robotics: Sumo competition.

Great for ages 14+, the kit comes complete with:
* Pre-assembled PCB
* Multi-function, duel channel remote control
* Robot hardware including collision-sensing infra-red LED and receivers
* CD-ROM with programming instructions and file chapters of robot building tips and tricks
* A built-in Parallax BASIC Stamp 2 and prototyping area allowing hobbyists to create their own robot application without having to purchase additional Parallax products

Powered by four AA batteries (not included) and featuring a built-in infra-red remote control, the Sumo-Bot is pre-programmed with the following behavior "built in" to jumpstart custom applications.


* Random Movement--The robot moves about randomly, reversing direction when an obstacle is in its way
* Photovore--Seeks out light
* Photophobe--Avoids light
* Maze Solver--Follows a wall

Developed by the creators of the popular BUILD YOUR OWN ROBOT KIT. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars great bot!!!!
This is a great bot. I recommend it for everyone. Easy to put together and lots of fun.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Bot
A great, fun, and easy bot to build. Good customer service.

I would recommend it for everyone.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Hobby Robot You Can Buy!
I have had the original build your own robot kit for a year now and I thought it was pretty good. The concept and price was great, but there were a few rough edges in the original execution. The original wheels [were poor] (and for some reason say "FORD" on them) and it got pretty expensive buying the BS2 to go with it. Using an "acorn nut" as a front "caster" was pretty innovative, unfortunately it didn't work that well on rough surfaces.

The good points about the robot were the remote control and how easily a BS2 could be added to the robot so that I could write my own programs and try them out. Even with the [poor] wheels and "caster" it was probably the best experimenter's robot out there. The information on the CD-ROM was great, although I wish it was available on paper (costs a lot to print out all the information).

Myke seemed to have learned from the first robot and the Sumo Bot is fantastic. It now has a very solid sheet metal chassis (with a front scoop), it runs by 4 "AA" batteries and has a caterpiller bulldozer like track that allows it to run over just about any surface. The robot is really built like a bulldozer, it will last a long time.

Best of all, the optional pieces from the original kit, the BS2 and AppMod are built into the robot. All you have to do is put the CD-ROM into your PC, download the programs and BS2 programming software, conenct the robot to the PC using a serial cable and you can start writing your own programs or adding your own hardware.

This review probably reads like a sales pitch, but I've had my Sumo Bot for a week now and I LOVE IT! It's very robust, easy to use and program and best of all, it's fun.

Brad

5-0 out of 5 stars The best hobby robot out there!
I bought the first robot for my teenage nephew and he LOVED it (after being highly disappointed with others that are out there), so I have been super anxious to get him this robot. He loves this one even more--he has been going through all of the robot building tips and tricks on the CD-ROM and learning a lot more about robotics. He especially likes the tracks on this one and how the robot can maneuver over more stuff. He's looking forward to his friends (or maybe uncles) getting this robot for Christmas so they can start some Sumo competitions! HIGHLY recommended! ... Read more


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