Book Review: Make an Arduino Controlled Robot
A few years ago, making even the simplest of robots could be a serious challenge. The advent of microprocessor boards like the Arduino means that the task is now relatively easy. The Arduino is compatible with a wide variety of parts and sensors, offering a huge range of possibilities for budding robot designers to work with.
Michael Margolis’ book “Make an Arduino-Controlled Robot” is aimed at the hobbyist with a little programming experience, and takes them on a practical adventure through the basics of wheel based robotics. And a practical adventure is a good idea, because learning robotics is a fun process, but -unlike programming- it requires a certain amount of mechanical and electrical understanding. Thankfully, the book builds these skills by encouraging practice and experimentation rather than recitation of dry theory and maths.
The 11 chapters of the book lead the reader through the fundamentals of wheeled robot chassis, basic motors and shields, through classic line-following and light-avoidance robots, to the introduction of more advanced sensors and controllers, before finally ending with techniques for remote controlled robotics. The chapters are clearly written, well illustrated, and make an ideal project book for the beginner in wheeled robotics.
I can’t shake the feeling that this book would be an excellent gift for some of the younger readers, provided that it is combined with a set of robot parts and a suitable adult to help work through the projects with.
In short: A great book for the budding roboticist, that puts in plenty of information without bombarding the reader with dry theory.