CSC 297 Robot Construction: Books
Classic Books for Robot Constructors
- "I Robot" by Isaac Asimov, Gnome Press, 1950.
Science Fiction. Famous collection of nine connected short stories,
in which the celebrated "Three Laws of Robotics" make their
- "The Cyberiad - Fables for the Cybernetic Age"
by Stanislaw Lem (Polish 1965), English translation by Michael Kandel,
published by Secker and Warburg UK, 1975,
and Harcourt and Brace USA, 1985.
A pair of (robotic) robot makers go galivanting about the galaxy stirring
up all sorts of trouble with their creations. Maybe some lessons here...
- "Robotic Explorations: A hands-on Introduction to Engineering"
by Fred G. Martin, Prentice-Hall, 2001.
Developed out of the MIT robot design course which pioneered Lego robots.
Well-written, understandable, and
practical introduction to a lot of the basic issues that arise when
building your first bot from scratch.
- "Introduction to Robotics, Mechanics and Control" by John J. Craig,
First Edition published 1986, Third Edition 2004, Addison Wesley.
An oldie, but a goodie. Classic presentation of fundamentals of
robot kinematics, dynamics, and control. Anything technical and mathematical
you want to know about hard robot modeling is probably in here.
Doesn't cover applications of learning, but it's hard to beat
closed-form solutions when they apply.
- "Introductory Techniques for 3D Computer Vision"
by Emanuele Trucco and Alessandro Verri,
Readable, and not over-long introduction to basic machine vision and image
- "Computer Vision: A modern Approach"
by David Forsyth and Jean Ponce,
More advanced presentation of some important techniques in
Very well written in a way that promotes understanding
of the practical issues.
- "Linear Algebra and Its Applications" by Gilbert Strang,
First Edition published 1976, Fourth Edition 2005, Academic Press.
In my opinion still the best introduction to linear algebra ever written
in terms of conveying what is going on both intuitively through applications,
and rigorously. Why might you need it? Because you run into linear systems
in robotics every time you turn around.
- "CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics" issued every couple of
years by the CRC (Chemical Rubber Corporation) Press.
An invaluable compendium of measured values from the resistance of copper
wire to the thermal conductivity of building materials to the magnetic
properties of transformer steels, to the refractive indices of glasses,
to the solubilities of inorganic compounds to the limits for human
exposure to air contaminants...
You want a number, this is a good place to look.
Good browsing too. It's a bit humbling to see the range of physical properties
we have been busy measuring over the last century, and realize that most of
them are, in fact, needed to support some
piece of our technological infrastructure.
- "Machinery's Handbook" Industrial Press, every few years.
The classic guide to everything you need to know in a machine shop.
Properties of metals. Feeds and speeds. Thread specifications.
All about Gears. Wires. Plastics.
Load limits of bolts. Standards, standards, and more standards.
You gotta have this book if you're gonna seriously make things.
Getting Started and How-to Guides
Online for Robot Constructors
How to Use a Milling Machine, American Machine Tools Co.
Quite a lot of information here, including some about milling machines
we don't have access to, but you can probably learn quite a lot reading
through this. I did.
Standard Operating Procedures for Manual Milling Machines,
UC Riverside Machine Shop.
Another, slightly shorter intro.
How to Use a Lathe, American Machine Tools Co.
Again, a lot of information, but probably has the answer to any metal
lathe question you might have, and a lot of ones you didn't think of
but maybe should have.
RepRap on stepper motors
Understandable intro to practical use of stepper motors.
RepRap is an interesting project BTW.
Arduino Home Page
Official Arduino boards and software downloads,
but also all sorts of useful tutorials, discussions, and blogs
relevant to embedded control and robotics.
Learning to Program the Arduino, Linux Journal.
Brief Arduino tutorial.
Arduino Microcontroller Guide, W. Durfee, University of Minnesota.
Written for Minnesota's Mechanical Engineering 2011 course,
this is an extended tutorial guide to the Arduino.
PIC: Getting Started, Mark Hennessy.
Tutorial on PIC microcontrollers.
Quite a lot of useful information here.
Raspberry Pi Home
A step up from the Arduino, a complete, credit-card sized computer,
designed for hobby/educational embedded computing.
Blogs, tutorials, help forums.
Texas Instruments answer to the Raspberry Pi, an open-source,
community-supported, hardware standard for embedded computing.
Plenty of good stuff here.
Get Started with BeagleBone, Make Magazine.
Brief intro to BeagleBone with some hints.
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