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Build Your Own Humanoid Robots: 6 Amazing and Affordable Projects (TAB Robotics) Paperback – 1 Apr 2004

2.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 211 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education TAB (1 April 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071422749
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071422741
  • Product Dimensions: 18.5 x 1.3 x 23.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,226,010 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

From the Back Cover


This unique guide to sophisticated robotics projects brings humanoid robot construction home to the hobbyist. Written by a well-known figure in the robotics community, Build Your Own Humanoid Robots provides step-by-step directions for 6 exciting projects, each costing less than $300. Together, they form the essential ingredients for making your own humanoid robot.

Build Your Own Humanoid Robots & Amazing and Affordable Projects
Serious enough to interest robot professionals, the plans inside offer serious fun to hobbyists. They give you the power to breathe life into a mechanical being with amazingly human qualities, and feature all the instructions you need for programming the inexpensive chips that give your humanoid brains and sensitivity.

6 Astounding Projects:
* Robotic Arm, Wrist, and Hand. Build a versatile robotic arm system to give your humanoid the ability to manipulate objects/ A PIC microcontroller provides motor control and feedback.

* Personal Computer Interface. Learn how to interface the robot arm or any other robotics project to a personal computer for complete control and feedback.

* Visual Basic Control Software. Develop flexible bidirectional communications software to control the robot arm or other projects from your personal computer.

* Voice Recognition Control. Make your robotic arm and walking robot obey your spoken commands with this completely embedded control system that can also be used for many other applications.

* Expressive, Speaking Face. Enable your robot to show happiness, surprise, excitement, anger, and more, as it speaks any words you transmit electronically.

* Bipedal Walking Robot. It's your own amazing small scale, fully autonomous robot! Learn about sensors, analog-to-digital converters, DC motor control, microcontrollers, feedback, and control systems.

Also included is the background information regarding construction materials, test equipment, printed circuit board fabrication, microcontrollers, and programming and design considerations needed to create the humanoid robot projects.

About the Author

Karl Williams is an independent robotics researcher, electronics guru, and software developer. He is the author of the popular robotics guide Insectronics: Build Your Own Six Legged Walking Robot and the follow-up Amphibionics: Build Your Own Biologically Inspired Robots, both from TAB/McGraw-Hill. A resident of Ontario, Canada, he has written for the magazines Nuts and Volts, SERVO, and Conformity. Winner of an IBM award for his design of a computer-controlled robotic arm, he hosts a robotics and electronics Website. He is with AGFA HealthCare Informatics, a leading medical imaging software company.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book states that each project can be built for less than $300 and living in the uk I accept there will be some differences, however what they dont state is the amount of money you need to spend on the sophisticated tools just to start one project. The book also expects you to have a good understanding of electronics as the first thing they want you to do is create your own pcb board which is incredibly complicated and requires many extra purchases! I think realistically your looking at £1000 just to get the first project done as well as a good level of understanding in electronics, programming, machining, just a word of warning to anyone thinking this is affordable and simple to follow.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars 20 reviews
40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Robot Start to Finish 30 Sept. 2005
By Mathmatics - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First off I'd like to say that this is a great book if you want to learn how to build a robot from start to finish. I personally waited till I was done building the robotic arm to write this review. The book was easy to read, and understand, and took me through the process with ease. It lists everything you need, and even tells you where some parts can be ordered, although I wish it could of listed more specs, and suppliers. I'm not sure if I would recommend this book to the clueless begginer because there were a couple of technical erros I found, but worked through. One of the errors was in the PCB artwork which caused an LED not to light in the test program. The book also says you can build it for under $300. I think I spent about $500. That's not including the pic programmer, software, Visual Basic, and tools. Which even though most of that isn't needed, you wouldn't really be learning much if you didn't have it. If you at least have the tools, I would say that with the software, and everything else that you should have for the project, it would cost in the neighborhood of $1,300. On the plus side you'll be able to build your next project for under $300 once you have the proper materials. Nobody said it would be cheap, so make sure you're serious. I'm already designing my own project with the knowledge I gained from building the arm.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous resource - Great robotics book!! 4 May 2004
By Stephen Carter - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is actually a very well written and researched book!! It starts off with the fundamentals of PIC microcontrollers and how to program them. The first project is a great robot arm design. Like his other two books, the mechanical drawings and illustrations are beautiful and easy to follow. The arm includes a wrist and a human type of hand\gripper. After the mechanical portion of the arm is completed, an interface board is built. This interface board connects to your personal computer. Once again, all of the printed circuit board designs are presented making construction easy. The next chapter delves into writing visual basic software to control the arm - this was very valuable information for me and I'm sure many other roboticist who want to know how to program the PC to control robots or other devices. This chapter alone is worth the price of the book! The next chapter is all about speech recognition and builing a circuit board with a head-set to control the robot arm with spoken commands. This is the real thing and the system works quite well. The next chapter shows you how to build a humanoid head that displays emotions through facial expressions. This chapter has some interesting info about the science of facial mnemonics. I would probably never build the head but this project takes advantage of the interface board and software developed in the previous chapters.
Then final project is a bipedal (two legs) walking robot. The design of this robot is amazing!! Williams does a great job with the mechanical design again - just like the robots in Amphibionics and Insectronics. The robot incorporates a pic microcontroller with analog-to-digital converters that are used to monitor the sensors on the legs so that a stable walking algorithm can be programmed. Once the robot is programmed to be able to walk, an infrared sensor is used so that the robot can avoid obstacles. This robot can walk forward, reverse, turn right and turn left. The printed circuit board artwork and all the software is included in the text. I learned a lot by builing this robot and it is VERY cool to show this one off. This robot can actually do a lot of things and the fact that it actually walks on two legs is amazing.
Just a note about the last posting by Stanley J Morris - building robots is going to cost you money - nothing is free and that includes the software compiler written by a company that the author is not affiliated with in any way - he does not profit from it.
At the same time - all of the software that is developed in the book - including the awesome VB Control software package - can be downloaded for free from the authors web site.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Really Great Book - Thanks!! 1 Jun. 2004
By David Pullen - Published on
Format: Paperback
In response to the last review I have to say that all of the files listed in the book actually ARE available on the authors website - just follow the links that are listed for the book support!! Go to the thinkbotics website and see for yourself.
You can download all the files without any problems. Don't be confused about the PicBasic Pro compiler and Visual Basic - you do have to buy those packages from software companies (microengineering labs \ Microsoft) but getting the compiler makes PIC microcontroller programming painless and the author would be liable if he put it on his website for free.

Be aware that building robots is going to cost you more money than the price of the book.
PLEASE NOTE: You don't even need the compiler or Visual basic if you are building the robots as they are described in the book because the book lists the hex files needed to program the microcontrollers. The visual basic application that is built in chapter 6 (which completely explains how to do it) is also available for free on the authors website - Yep it is actually there. The great thing about this book is that it stands alone because all of the programs and the hex files are listed in the book so that you don't actually need to access the authors website at all - the book is complete on its own!!
This is another great book by Williams - the diagrams, pictures and descriptions are very well done.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An amazing book for robotic beginners. 18 Mar. 2006
By Rudy Gazali - Published on
Format: Paperback
The most interesting part of this book is on its pratical topics. A lots of briliant ideas can be learned from this book, especially for those who would like to build up their first robotic project from scratch.

Things that need to be improved are on the materials used for the projects in this book. Less heavy duty tools required would be nice. The discussions should be more focussing on robotic sensors and control parts.

Great Collection!!!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Decent building material... 8 July 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The first couple of chapters have pretty decent information on where to find and how to use certain tools and raw materials for building robots, but most of the components that I've since gone online to research are not available. This book is seriously out of date and shows its age once you've gone past those first few chapters into Visual Basic 6.

That being said, the information regarding working with aluminum and printing your own circuits is really interesting and beneficial. But if you are looking at this book expecting a direct how-to manual for building the humanoid robot, you will be sorely disappointed by the lack of available circuitry components necessary to complete the projects.
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