Build Your Own Humanoid Robots: 6 Amazing and Affordable Projects (TAB Robotics) Paperback – 1 Apr 2004
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From the Back Cover
GREAT 'DROIDS, INDEED!
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.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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.
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.
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.