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In this section we cover computer hardware and software, in addition to electronics. Just follow the steps in one of our excellent introductory books and you'll have your robot running in no time.




   Electronic Circuits for the Evil Genius

Electronic Circuits for the Evil GeniusElectronic Circuits for the Evil Genius makes it fun to achieve genuine mastery, one simple lesson at a time. What's more, when you're done, you'll have five complete projects to show for your efforts! The book features 57 lessons that build on each other and add up to projects that you'll be proud to display, play with, and put to practical use. You don't need to know anything about electronics to begin building:

Featuring everything an electronics hobbyist could want to learn about circuits and circuit design. Designed to teach through doing, Electronic Circuits for the Evil Genius provides hours of rewarding fun. This book also gives you valuable experience in circuit construction and design. You learn to test, modify, and observe results -- skills you can put to work in all the exciting circuit-building projects in your future.

Electronic Circuits for the Evil Genius gives you:

* Illustrated instructions and plans for amazing pre-tested projects advanced enough for sophisticated enthusiasts but described in sufficient detail to be built easily by newcomers
* Frustration-free plans -- needed parts and sources are listed
* Full instructions on using a digital multimeter and turning your computer into an oscilloscope
* Templates for CAD work and a access to a great CAD program
* Access to an inexpensive kit (around $50) containing all the materials you need to build these projects

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    Practical Electronics for Inventors

Here's the book for every hobbyist who wants to be an inventor, but needs to learn the basics of electronics to get there. In most introductory electronics books the emphasis is on technical formulas and theory, while practical applications and advice often get lost in a high-tech haze. Not very inspiring...

Practical Electronics for Inventors, on the other hand, gives you information you need, in a format you can work with. The simple step-by-step approach teaches the fundamentals in a way that requires no background in electronics. Packed with illustrations, the 750 hand-drawn images provide clear, detailed instructions on how to turn theoretical ideas into working real-life gadgets.

This crystal-clear, learn-as-you-go guide shows you what a particular device does, what it looks like, how it compares with similar devices, and how it is used in applications. Written by Paul Scherz, a physicist who is also an inventor and electrical hobbyist, this important reference provides beginning hobbyists and inventors with an intuitive grasp of the theoretical and practical aspects of electronics--just the kind of insight you need to get your projects up and running.

Starting with a light review of electronics history, physics, and math, the book provides an easy-to-understand overview of all major electronic elements. Along with coverage of integrated circuits (ICs), digital electronics, microcontrollers, and various input/output devices, Practical Electronics for Inventors takes you through reading schematics; building and testing prototypes; purchasing electronic components; and safe work practices. You'll find all this--and more--in the guide that's destined to spur you on to new levels of creativity. The ultimate inventor's guide!

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   Robot Programmer's Bonanza

Get ready to reach into your programming toolbox and control a robot like never before! Robot Programmer's Bonanza is the one-stop guide for everyone from robot novices to advanced hobbyists who are ready to go beyond just building robots and start programming them to perform useful tasks.

Using the versatile RobotBASIC programming language, you'll discover how to prototype your creative ideas using the integrated mobile robot simulator and then port your finished programs to nearly any hardware/software configuration. You can even use the built-in wireless protocol to directly control real-world robots that can be built from readily available sensors and actuators.

Start small by making your robot follow a line, hug a wall, and avoid drop-offs or restricted areas. Then, enable your robot to perform more sophisticated actions, such as locating a goal, sweeping the floor, or navigating a home or office. Packed with illustrations and plenty of inspiration, the unique Robot Programmer's Bonanza even helps you teach your robot to become intelligent and adapt to its environment.

In this book you'll find everything you need to program and control a robot including:

* In-depth coverage of the RobotBASIC simulator as well as how it can be used to control real-world robots either directly or through the integrated wireless protocol
* A free download of the full version of the RobotBASIC robotic simulator and control language
* Remote control algorithms as well as autonomous behaviors

* Integrated debugger that facilitates program development
* Appendices that detail RobotBASIC's extensive commands and functions as well as the integrated programming environment
* Adaptable and customizable programs that solve realistic problems-use simulations to prototype robots that can mow a yard, deliver mail, or recharge a battery, then port your algorithms to real-world robots
* Chapters devoted to creating contests with RobotBASIC and utilizing RobotBASIC in the classroom to teach programming

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   Electronic Sensor Circuits & Projects

Electronic Sensor Circuits & ProjectsElectronic sensor circuits convert light, temperature, sound, and other signals into a form that can be processed by electronic circuits. Learn about solar cells, photoresistors, thermistors, and magnet switches. Then build circuits that respond to heat, pressure, light, and more. This Engineer's Mini Notebook is a compilation of three of Forrest Mims's notebooks: Sensor Projects; Solar Cell Projects; and Magnet & Magnet Sensor Projects.


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   Electronic Gadgets for the Evil Genius : 21 Build-It-Yourself Projects

Electronic Gadgets for the Evil GeniusElectronics fans have waited a long time for this book. Not since 1983 has author Bob Iannini published a collection of his amazing projects -- all of them fun, easy, and inexpensive to make at home and, best of all, seriously exciting and impressive! Iannini takes the stuff of science fiction and science future and brings it down to size for the home hobbyist. Full of easy-to-follow plans and clear diagrams and schematics, Electronic Gadgets for the Evil Genius gives you:

* Illustrated instructions and plans for amazing pre-tested projects advanced enough for sophisticated electronics enthusiasts but described in sufficient detail to be built easily by newcomers

* Explanations of the science and math behind each project

* Frustration-free plans -- parts are listed, along with sources -- and most of these projects can be built for $100 or less

This book equips you with complete plans, instructions, parts lists, and sources for these wonderful projects:

Electromagnetic Mass Driver and launcher
Pyrotechnic Blaster and shock wave pulser
Magnetic Pulse Can Crusher
Robotic Circuits Disabler with Electromagnetic Pulse Generator
Object Catapult
Laser Beam Cutter
Body Heat Detector
Lightning Bolt Generator
Object Levitation Device
Infrared Viewer
Laser Listening System
Traveling Plasma Wave Generator
Multi Vortex Plasma Tornado
Working Star Wars-like Light Saber
Ultrasonic Microphone
Marx Impulse Generator
Ultrasonic shock projector
Sonic Phaser Cannon
Ion ray projector
Ultra bright green laser
Centrifuge Design
Vortex Smoke Ring Machine
Electronic Ventriloquism System
Several Tesla Coil Projects

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   PDA Robotics : Using Your Personal Digital Assistant to Control Your Robot

PDA RoboticsBuild a robot that uses your PDA as a brain! The chasm between PDAs and robots has been spanned, with PDA Robotics : Using Your Personal Digital Assistant to Control Your Robot, an easy to read guide to integrating these two pieces of technology into a single, remote controlled powerhouse.

Written in simple language by a renowned software designer and robotics expert, this unique resource reveals innovative concepts and designs, helping you to build your own PDA-controlled robot from the ground up.

Perfect for hobbyists, students of electronics, and engineers alike, this book is your ticket into the brave new world of PDA-controlled robots!

You'll be able to:

* Allow any PDA to communicate with and control your robot
* Establish a wireless RF link between your PDA and robot
* Acquire low-cost, standard, and easily obtainable components
* Learn about special software, control circuits, and interface ideas for creating artificial life forms
* Customize modules easily
* Learn about room radar and sonar devices
* And much more!

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   Hardware Hacking Projects for Geeks

Hardware Hacking Projects for GeeksFrom How to Hack a Toaster to building Cubicle Intrusion Detection Systems, Hardware Hacking Projects for Geeks offers an array of inventive customized electronics projects for the geek who can't help looking at a gadget and wondering how it might be "upgraded."

Beginning with basic hacks, tools, and techniques for those who may not have a background in electronics, the book covers the tools of the hardware hacking trade and basic soldering techniques. Clear step-by-step instructions allow even those with no formal electronics or hardware engineering skills to hack real hardware in very clever ways.

This book provides detailed instructions and materials lists for 15 projects. Each is rated in terms of cost to build, level of difficulty, and time needed (usually a weekend, although a few will take several weekends). Projects range from those that are truly useful to some things you may have never thought to do, but which are really cool, such as:

*  Building your own arcade game
*  Making radio-controlled cars play laser tag
*  Building an automobile periscope
*  Hacking an 802.11b antenna
*  Making a building-size display
*  Building an Internet-enabled toaster that imprints the weather forecast on toast.

Perhaps you're an electronics hobbyist who likes to learn by doing. Maybe you hack software and want to see how the other half lives. Or, maybe you've never hacked at all, but you'd like to get started quickly with some projects that do something interesting from the start. If you're any of these, then Hardware Hacking Projects for Geeks will indulge your inner mad scientist.

Using the projects in this book as a jumping point for other new and clever hacks, it won't be long before you're looking around, asking, "I wonder what I can improve next?"

You may also be interested in:
Hardware Hacking : Have Fun While Voiding Your Warranty


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   Controlling the World With Your PC

Controlling the World With Your PCControlling the World With Your PC is not a manual from which you will learn the techniques of world conquest and domination, as the title suggests, rather, it's a guide to interfacing your PC to other devices and circuits.

Each of the circuits in this book connects directly to your parallel printer port! Each also comes complete with a circuit diagram and listings for control software written in Pascal, C, and BASIC. The accompanying disk contains full source code in all the languages. Controlling the World With Your PC covers a vast array of interface topics, from stepper motors to alarm systems to analog interface.

The text is clear and straightforward with useful discussion of the circuit and the accompanying program. The programs are well documented so only basic knowledge is necessary to get through the examples.

The book gives enough information to facilitate further development of custom interfaces based on those in the book, or those that are completely original. Paul Bergsman has done the hard work for you in this terrific book for users of IBM compatible PCs. You won't need to modify your computer to use this book.


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   Teach Yourself Electricity and Electronics

Teach Yourself Electricity and ElectronicsIn the field of introductory electronics, Stan Gibilisco wrote the book. This gifted teacher/author is one of the most trusted names in popular electronics and now he has updated his best-selling guide to reach audiences interested in the latest electronic technologies. Like its predecessor, the Fourth Edition of Teach Yourself Electricity and Electronics is a complete self-teaching tool. Because it assumes no prior technical knowledge, true novices can use it at their own pace to master the fundamentals of electronics for work or hobbies. Gibilisco's proven blend of clear descriptions, extensive illustrations, and numerous self-tests make this a true "stand-alone" guide.

Teach Yourself Electricity and Electronics has become the standard introduction to the essentials of electricity and electronics. Now the author has enhanced his best-selling guide with new chapters on cutting-edge technologies. The Third Edition retains the classic user-friendly, self-study approach while bringing you practical new information on wireless technologies, computers, and the Internet. Teach Yourself Electricity and Electronics provides uniquely thorough coverage, ranging from AC and DC concepts and circuits to semiconductors and integrated circuits.

Assuming no prior background in electronics, it features a conversational writing style, quizzes, self-tests, and more than 500 illustrations that make learning easier and livelier. In virtually no time at all you'll be able to: Make simple current-voltage-resistance determinations; Design basic electronic circuits; Optimize circuit efficiency; and much more! The book also provides new guidance to cellular communications, transducers, wireless LANs and security systems, microprocessors, and cyberspace. Whether you're a hobbyist, a technician, a professional in an electronics-oriented firm, a student of electronics, or a novice, the new edition of Teach Yourself Electricity and Electronics will be an essential reference you'll turn to again and again.

Stan Gibilisco's books are well known for their clear writing, ease of use, and painless learning. The author's other books include:
Tab Electronics Guide to Understanding Electricity and Electronics
Mathematical and Physical Data, Equations, and Rules of Thumb

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