This week’s selection is “Robotics: Everything You Need to Know About Robotics from Beginner to Expert” by Peter Mckinnon.
Robotics is a discipline that is intertwined with 3D printing in a most direct way. Since the advent of portable processing units, it’s been possible to combine controller, software and mechanical elements to create robots of many types. It’s the mechanical part that relates most tightly with 3D printing, as today’s experimental and hobby robots very often use 3D printing to create the housings and appendages to the robot.
But how, exactly, does one design and build a robot? That’s the topic for this 237-page book by Peter Mckinnon.
The book provides a gentle introduction to the topic of robotic design, and then proceeds on to focus on Robocore. This is a cloud-based solution that provides an easy way for non-programmers to create the logic that drives the actions of a robot.
The software, of course, is the heart of any robot, and thus it requires considerable attention. But beyond the software there are many other components, and Mckinnon covers the physical aspects, including building materials and tips. Electrical circuit design is briefly covered as well.
Mckinnon takes the reader through the construction steps for a simple beginner robot, and then proceeds to explain the design for more complex robotic examples, such as a touchless sensor robot, and a wall-climbing robot.
More advanced robotic concepts are discussed, including cognitive robotics, where the robot must make intelligent decisions based on sensor input. Similarly, autonomous robotics is discussed. Cloud robotics is also discussed, which is expected due to the earlier connection with Robocore.
Mckinnon includes a chapter dedicated to the use of motors in robot design, which is almost always required to enable the device to gain mobility in some form. There is also a section dedicated to the use of sensors, of which there are countless types available to the robot designer.
If you’re considering your first robot project using 3D printing, this book might be of interest.