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5.0 out of 5 stars Another Really Great Book - Thanks!!
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 -...
Published on May 31 2004 by David Pullen

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2.0 out of 5 stars The title is wrong
This book would claim to tell you you can build a humaniod robot for a cheap price not so. First you my think a robot like the Honda robot, NO! I only tell how to build a small two leg robot that does nothing. Plus to top it all off you have to buy software for this project which about $100 dollar. This is not a good book for anyone.
Published on May 1 2004 by Stanley J. Morris


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5.0 out of 5 stars Another Really Great Book - Thanks!!, May 31 2004
This review is from: Build Your Own Humanoid Robots: 6 Amazing and Affordable Projects (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.
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4.0 out of 5 stars CORRECTION: It would be a better book if . . ., May 29 2004
This review is from: Build Your Own Humanoid Robots: 6 Amazing and Affordable Projects (Paperback)
Karl Williams would get up and post the source code and complied version of the servo controller interface like was promised on the first page of the chapter. I have been to the web site mentioned in the book once a day for the past month (4/22/2004 - 5/29/2004) and the book which was published on MARCH, 26th 2004 is still listed, by the author as "coming soon!". I have e-mailed Karl Williams at both e-mail accounts listed on his two web sites. I do not have the $185 to buy VB. I barely had the $86 for the parts for the arm and controller project. If I can't get the compiled code soon I will have to send the parts back for a refund. IF I do that and return the book I might be able to get VB at a computer show. My next step is to contact the publisher about this. Otherwise the projects were fairly nice, and had room to be built upon.
PLEASE NOTE: That as of 11:40 AM on June 1, 2004 the author has posted the source files as stated above. Now that it is supported I highly recommend this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous resource - Great robotics book!!, May 3 2004
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This review is from: Build Your Own Humanoid Robots: 6 Amazing and Affordable Projects (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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great piece of work, May 31 2004
This review is from: Build Your Own Humanoid Robots: 6 Amazing and Affordable Projects (Paperback)
The robot arm project and the devious two leg walking machine is explained fantastic. The mechanical blue prints and also the pictures very high quality. If you want to know how to interface these robotic machines to a personal computer or have them walk around independent then this book is the great one!! You just can't go wrong with the instructionals and easy to read too. Sooo much fun I love this stuff!!!!!!!
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2.0 out of 5 stars The title is wrong, May 1 2004
By 
Stanley J. Morris "Stanjm23" (Saint Louis, MO USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Build Your Own Humanoid Robots: 6 Amazing and Affordable Projects (Paperback)
This book would claim to tell you you can build a humaniod robot for a cheap price not so. First you my think a robot like the Honda robot, NO! I only tell how to build a small two leg robot that does nothing. Plus to top it all off you have to buy software for this project which about $100 dollar. This is not a good book for anyone.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!!, May 4 2004
By 
Tom Ogden (Washington, DC USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Build Your Own Humanoid Robots: 6 Amazing and Affordable Projects (Paperback)
This book is thorough with nice instructions and easy to follow. I think that this is a very good book if you actually want to build some insteresting robotics projects and learn!!
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Build Your Own Humanoid Robots: 6 Amazing and Affordable Projects
Build Your Own Humanoid Robots: 6 Amazing and Affordable Projects by Karl Williams (Paperback - March 23 2004)
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