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  You are here: RoboFlag Main Page > Course Resources > Reference Material > Books and Magazines


  Recommended Books and Magazines

This list of recommended books, magazines, and other hardcopy reference materials is a good starting place for your robotics project. I have used or know someone who has used all of the items listed, and I can recommend them with confidence. The items listed below are linked to online bookstores, where you can order and receive the books within days.

I've rated the books for content and relevance to the course. My rating system is pretty simple: okay, good, and excellent. I'm not listing reference material that isn't useful, so you can be sure that your money won't be wasted. Before buying anything, please shop around (eBay, amazon, barnesandnoble, chapters, etc) to get a good deal.

Aram Salehi (a student from last year's course) mentioned that you can find e-coupons at http://www.techbargains.com, which can give you 30% off orders of $40 or more. Some students have received books in less than three days.

The recommendations are broken up into the following sections:



General Robotics Books



Will's Rating: Excellent!
Mobile Robots: Inspiration to Implementation
by Bruce A. Seigar, Joseph L. Jones, Anita M. Flynn
CDN$49.50 from Chapters.ca
US$32.00 from Amazon.com

Paperback | 480 Pages | ISBN 1568810970 | Table of Contents
2nd edition; Published in November 1998 by A.K. Peters

Will says: This is a textbook for robot enthusiasts, and gives a very good overview of mobile robots and subsystems. Includes a good section on behaviour-based "subsumption" architecture.



Will's Rating: Okay
The Robot Builder's Bonanza: 99 Inexpensive Robotics Projects
by Gordon McComb
CDN$29.95 from Chapters.ca
US$17.05 from Amazon.com

Paperback | 336 Pages | ISBN 0830628002 | Table of Contents
Published by T A B Books

Will says: This is a very hands-on book with examples of how to build robot platforms. Lightly covers most material, good for general ideas and techniques. Beware, however: a number of problems have been found with the diagrams and figures.



Will's Rating: Good
Practical Robotics: Principles and Applications
by Bill Davies
CDN$61.95 from Chapters.ca
US$39.00 from Amazon.com

Paperback | 330 Pages | ISBN 096818300X | Table of Contents
Published in January 1997 by Werd Technology, Incorporated

Will says: This book was written as a text for an Engineering design course, so it is both theoretically and practically sound. Good collection of mechanical and electrical construction techniques.




Electronics and Sensors Books



Will's Rating: Good
The Forrest Mims Engineer's Notebook
by Forrest M. Mims, Harry L. Helms
CDN$31.95 from Chapters.ca
US$17.95 from Amazon.com

Paperback | 155 Pages | ISBN 1878707035 | Table of Contents
Published in January 1992 by Llhtechnology Publishing

Will says: This is a circuits cookbook for the practical hobbyist. Mr. Mims, of RadioShack fame, has thoroughly researched and written a manual that best answers the question "how do I .. with ICs?"



Will's Rating: Good
The Art of Electronics
by Paul Horowitz, Winfield Hill
CDN$104.95 from Chapters.ca
US$67.95 from Amazon.com

Hardcover | 1125 Pages | ISBN 0521370957 | Brief Table of Contents
2nd edition; Published in July 1989 by Waterford

Will says: This is one of the best electronics reference texts there are. The cost, and the fact that much of this information is covered in other undergraduate texts, make this a "good" rather than "excellent!" rating.



Will's Rating: Good
Sensors for Mobile Robots: Theory and Application
by H. R. Everett
CDN$110.75 from Chapters.ca
US$68.00 from Amazon.com

Hardcover | 550 Pages | ISBN 1568810482 | Table of Contents
Published in January 1995 by A K Peters, Limited

Will says: This is a real-world reference manual for sensors and subsystems, and would be a must-buy if it wasn't for the price. Virtually every sensor you would use is in here, and there is a great deal of technical detail.




Behaviour and Navigation Books



Will's Rating: Good
The Personal Robot Navigator
by Merl K. Miller, Nelson B. Winkless, Joseph H. Bosworth, Kent Phelps
CDN$69.50 from Chapters.ca
US$44.95 from Amazon.com

Paperback | 224 Pages | ISBN 188819300X | Table of Contents
Published in March 1998 by Robot Press

Will says: I haven't had much experience with this book, but it appears to be much more down-to-earth than most of the navigation and localization texts available.



Will's Rating: Good
Behavior-Based Robotics (Intelligent Robots and Autonomous Agents)
by Ronald C. Arkin
CDN$92.95 from Chapters.ca
US$59.95 from Amazon.com

Hardcover | 491 Pages | ISBN 0262011654 | Table of Contents
Published in January 1998 by M I T Press

Will says: Intended for graduate students new to AI, this book covers the theory and application of AI in mobile robotics. Behaviour-based autonomy is the _only_ way to get your 'bot to do X when Y happens (without having a remote control).




PIC Microcontroller Books



Will's Rating: Excellent!
Easy Pic'N : A Beginners Guide to Using PIC16/17 Microcontrollers
by David Benson
CDN$46.50 from Chapters.ca
US$29.95 from Amazon.com

Paperback | 148 Pages | ISBN 0965416208 | Table of Contents
Published in January 1996 by Square One Electronics

Will says: Excellent reference material for the PIC, but this may be too beginner-oriented to be of much use. Buy this if you haven't had experience with small microcontrollers.



Will's Rating: Excellent!
PIC'n up the Pace: An Intermediate Guide to Using PIC16/17 Microcontrollers
by David Benson
CDN$53.95 from Chapters.ca
US$34.95 from Amazon.com

Paperback | 272 Pages | ISBN 0965416216 | Table of Contents
Published in January 1997 by Square One Electronics

Will says: Excellent reference material, and slightly more advanced. This is a good intermediate-level manual of PIC design and use.



Will's Rating: Excellent!
PIC'n Techniques: PIC Microcontroller Applications Guide
by David Benson
CDN$53.95 from Chapters.ca
US$34.95 from Amazon.com

Paperback | 307 Pages | ISBN 0965416232 | Table of Contents
Published in January 1999 by Square One Electronics

Will says: Another excellent PIC resource manual, this intermediate-level book covers timing, counting, PWM output, etc. Very good for sensor input.

 

 
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