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16 Reviews
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must for your Bookshelf
-I read this book cover to cover and the first time I picked it
up...and thumbed through it I was not won over by it. Months later I
decided what the heck and got it off Amazon. I have a good deal of
computer experience but at the time had no robotics experience. This
book incredibly broadened my thinking. It basically covers everything
from...
Published on Aug. 5 2000 by Paul A Jacobs

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Frustratingly vague!!!
This book is definitely a classic (in all senses of the word). What hobbyist still uses the Motorolla chips? There is little or no pseudocode (especially when an example would help). Even more troubling is that level of discussion is sometimes exceedingly simple (a transistor is. . . ) and sometimes way over the top (some of the subsumption and behavior based...
Published on July 2 2004 by M.B.


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4.0 out of 5 stars The basics of robot hardware and software, Sept. 20 2003
By 
Charles Ashbacher (Marion, Iowa United States) - See all my reviews
During the fall semester of 2003, I have the pleasure of directing an independent study research project in robotics. One of the robots purchased in order to carry out the research was the Rug Warrior sold by A.K. Peters. While I understood the principles of AI and programming very well, I was weak in the areas of the mechanics of the parts of the robots. Fortunately, both students were solid in that area and I had this book to fill in my gaps.
It is a general introduction to all of the basics of robotics, (with an emphasis on the Rug Warrior), from the fundamentals of hardware and how it works, to the foundations of programming. I found it invaluable in learning how the pieces of the Rug Warrior work, how they are put together and how they interact. There are also several example programs that can be entered to demonstrate the actions of all of the programmable parts.
With this book to get us started, we are having a great deal of fun in programming the Rug Warrior and the other faculty members are starting to wonder what purpose soccer cones could possibly be serving in the halls of the fifth floor of Warde Hall.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Required Reading for the Serious Hobbyist, July 5 2001
By 
E. Glenn Anaiscourt "LA" (Los Angeles, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
For those seriously interested in hobby robotics, Mobile Robots is required reading. Its authors follow in the tradition established by the collaboration between MIT and LEGO that began to bring the fruits of robotics research out of the labs and into the hands of the general public. Unlike LEGO Mindstorms, however, Mobile Robots is not aimed at those just starting out in science. This well written book reads something like the Voice of the MIT Media Lab, and the principal robot that it describes, the Rug Warrior, is not a beginning project. However, just about anyone with a basic background in electronics, computer programming and mechanical engineering will benefit from reading, working with and referring to it. The first part of the book does a very good job of describing a tutorial robot in detail. The second part starts with a discussion of the Rug Warrior's microcontroller and related topics. Once past this technical discussion, the book moves on to address a variety of general topics in mobile robotics. The tutorial robot first described is relatively inexpensive and easy to construct, while the Rug Warrior is neither. Most anyone wishing to build Rug Warrior will have to purchase it as a kit, as it employs parts that are difficult to obtain on one's own, and the book itself does not provide adequate information to construct it. However, Mobile Robots contains plenty of good general information that can be applied toward your own designs and projects, whether or not you decide to build a Rug Warrior.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must for your Bookshelf, Aug. 5 2000
By 
Paul A Jacobs (Westmont, IL United States) - See all my reviews
-I read this book cover to cover and the first time I picked it
up...and thumbed through it I was not won over by it. Months later I
decided what the heck and got it off Amazon. I have a good deal of
computer experience but at the time had no robotics experience. This
book incredibly broadened my thinking. It basically covers everything
from brains to brawns, citing examples quite often. I did not read
the 1'st edition of this book, but I emplore you to read this. If you
do not trust my opinion go down to a book store and read at least for
10 mins through the chapters. I think you will find that if you are a
novice roboticist that this book will get you quickly off in the
right direction to building your own bots. I also encourage you to
build their "Tute-Bot" a tutorial hardware bot that can be
put together for just a couple bucks. It will teach you an invaluable
lesson on why robots greatly rely on microprocessors. I sat
captivated by this book for upwards of 4-8 hour reading spells and I
did not lose interest which says alot considering their is much that
is still highly technical in this book and could, if not written well
become boring or too specific for a begginers/intermediate robotics
book. Prepare to see implementations/explanations on all sorts of
sensors (sonar, pyroelectric, photoelectric, Infrared, etc. etc.) the
"how-to's" on experimental circuit board design, creating
mobile bases/chasis, and a slew of other helpful design
suggestions.
The only downside although minor was that this book
made possibly to much reference to the rug-warrior brawn and
brains.... I would not reccomend for any novice to buy the rug
warrior nor the brains for it. At roughly $600 it is too high of an
investment for the newbie. Do however learn from [the] Rug-Warrior
design as I did, and use their ideas to implement your own
rug-warrior robot. A much better buy is the "Handy Board"
which is also ... a good high quality Robotic
Brain for Begginners/Intermediate roboticists. Also get the
"expansion board" with the handyboard, and rack up the
servo connectivity...The Rug-Warrior(tm) is still an awesome robot
and much can be learned from it, and reading about I found to be
still fascinating even though the price was not in my range. To
conclude, I would not pass up this book if you are new to robotics,
it is a MUST Have! ;-)
Ps. just so you know I am not affiliated
with acroname nor with the publisher, I just honestly reccomend this
book.
VipErReD -MaD RoBoTiCiSt
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2.0 out of 5 stars Frustratingly vague!!!, July 2 2004
By 
M.B. (Mountain View, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This book is definitely a classic (in all senses of the word). What hobbyist still uses the Motorolla chips? There is little or no pseudocode (especially when an example would help). Even more troubling is that level of discussion is sometimes exceedingly simple (a transistor is. . . ) and sometimes way over the top (some of the subsumption and behavior based algorithms could have used a lot more discussion room).
I found this book far too general to be useful. However, I will admit that it offers enough background to get you familiar with the words. This book needs a little more modernization (newer parts/processors/languages) to make it useful today.
Worth reading (you can skip entire chapters of basic stuff at a time), especially if you know somebody who will loan you their copy. My recommendation though: buy it used and save the money, as it is not worth full price.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but overly focused on Their Robot., June 21 1999
By A Customer
Mobile Robots was clear, and to the point though I thought it was a little hobby shop oriented for a MIT Press Book. The book does cover the topic it claims, but it leaves out a lot. Many grounding, and circuit comments are left out assuming that you are using thier Robot. Little is said about SW Filtering, or dealing sensors problems. Almost nothing is said about alternatives to the 68HC11 Processor used on the Rug Warrior II brains board. A great list of resources, very impressive though a Web page for the book with all the code in soft copy would have been more up to the modern standard. All in All a good book for the beginner. Well worth the money.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must have book for Hobby Roboticists, April 25 2003
If you're thinking about building robots for fun and pleasure (the autonomous kind, not the battling kind) then this is the first book you should buy. It covers all of the basics and gives completely worked examples.
Once you've mastered this book you will be well on your way to building robots that will amaze your friends, enchant kids of all ages, and reward you with hours of entertainment. There is no greater ice breaker at a party today than, "The first robot I built had some really interesting attributes..."
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1.0 out of 5 stars The first edition is much better, Feb. 9 2004
By A Customer
The *first* edition is an excellent text ; a bible, right up there with Horowitz & Hill's "Art of Electronics". This edition is an apparently unauthorized, butchered, ripoff of the first. The added material due to the new author (Sieger)is certainly not of the same quality. Buy the first edition (new or used), and know you're getting an indispensible book to the credit of the real, *original* authors, Joe Jones, and Anita Flynn.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Please ..., Jan. 29 2004
By 
Leandro Musso (Buenos Aires, Argentina) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
... don't buy this book. Read below, the true author is being injured and stolen with this false second edition. I don't have any relation with the author (Dr. Anita Flynn), in fact I'm an Argentinian reader who is very far from the EEUU. Read the site [...] to learn more about the story behind.
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3.0 out of 5 stars The Director of the MIT AL Lab has this to say..., Jan. 23 2000
By 
Alasdair Allan (Exeter, UK) - See all my reviews
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If you look at his FAQ page Rodney Brooks the MIT AI Lab director says that "However, I do not recommend the second edition. It has an inaccurate list of authors and contains many errors." This is the guy that taught the guys that wrote the book. You milage may vary...
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3.0 out of 5 stars Dubious informaiton -- try 1st. edition, Dec 11 2003
By 
Joseph Zapert (Los Angeles, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
When researching books on robotics, I found a hearty recommendation for this book but also noted some controversy about the accuracy and authorship of the second edition. It was even the subject of a court trial. The first edition lists one fewer author and is recommended!
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Mobile Robots: Inspiration to Implementation, Second Edition
Mobile Robots: Inspiration to Implementation, Second Edition by Anita M. Flynn (Hardcover - July 15 1997)
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