reference.htm_cmp_neon000_bnr.gif (2017 bytes)

Beginner's Guide from TRCY




  This area will give you a catalog list for parts, suggest magazine and book titles to read that  you can even buy online now from our selection below. We also provide tutorials on common aspects of robotics.

  Please note: there are more tutorials at Gary's Tech Corner.

Note to readers: If you would like to write a tutorial on a topic not covered,
just e-mail it to me.


The current tutorials are "Robotics for Beginners"  "A Simple Analog Robot"  "Printer port How to"  "Artificial Intelligence" and "Building an Underwater Robot"
Electronics Basics Recently completed is our Electronic Basics Area.  Get the basic info you need to get started making electronics circuits!

TOOLS:  A .pdf document on common tools every robot builder should have.

Click here for a "Basic Soldering Guide"




BoloBotsmall.jpg (10902 bytes)

Download the Bolo-Bot direction in .PDF format. (It's 200K in size)  This is a little robot I call Bolo-Bot.   It can run around a room and play hide and go seek.   It is quite simple, and I compare it to an analog or BEAM style robot as it has no embedded micro-processor.   Total cost should not exceed $20 U.S. funds.


new.gif (26193 bytes) Download "Adventures in Robot Body Design", This is a 727K file in .PDF format.  The article details several different cheap robot body designs, with ideas for both small and large robots.   This article was last updated 9.4.00

How to Build a Robot Arm:
By: Justin R. Ratliff

You can make a robotic arm in an number of ways.  It really depends on the task of the robot that will determine what sort of arm design you want to use.   Blow is a picture of my robot arm and hand.  The hand is a Terminator like gripper toy.  The fingers have independent movement (except for the last two finger which are connected) and are controlled by standard servos.  The elbow and shoulder motors are 12 volt gear head motors.   They were bought from the MECI catalog and were originally made to run power car windows.  More info on my design, constructions and controls of the arm and hand will be coming soon.  Until then, here is a picture.  The hand has a great grip too!   It can even hold and squeeze the trigger of a laser tag gun. Is this the beginning of the Terminator??

handarm.jpg (28580 bytes)




Catalog List for Electronics and Tools:

Catalog List for Motors and Hardware:


  • McMaster
  • Small Parts Inc.
  • Stock Drive Products
  • Boston Gear
  • Servos:

    Lasers and Kits:

    You may find some of these books at your local library or you can order them now from us through bnsmall.gif (802 bytes)

    bookCover3.gif (9041 bytes) "Robot Builders Bonanza: 99 Inexpensive Projects" by Gordon Mccomb  $15.16
    - The best all around robot book. It has it all from sensor circuits to computer interfacing. It's a must have, even with some minor errors. The errors many people talk about in regard to this book are more of the type of wrong figures listings than problems with schematics.
    bookCover1.gif (12515 bytes) "Robots, Androids, and Animatrons" $15.96
    by John Iovine
    After outlining how to modify base platforms for locomotion, the author provides detailed information on various types of robotic sensors, including tilt, bump, and road and wall detectors. He illustrates how to implement two different types of robotic intelligence-expert and neural. The remainder of the book focuses on specific, hands-on projects.
    bookCover5.gif (12507 bytes) "Stiquito: advanced Experiments With A Simple and Inexpensive Robot"  $35 by Conrad and Mills

    Describes how to assemble and build Stiquito, a small, inexpensive, six-legged robot...covers design, control, and research uses; simulation of a robot guided by vision; and more...includes experiments and the robot kit

    bookCover6.gif (12965 bytes) Mobile Robots: Inspiration to Implementation
    Joseph L. Jones Anita M. Flynn Bruce A. Seiger $32

    The authors' aim, put simply, is to teach the reader how to build a robot.  This book now puts it under one cover. With illuminating photographs, illustrations, and accessible text, Mobile Robots guides the reader through the step-by-step process of constructing two different, inexpensive, yet fully functional robots with a varying range of abilities.

    bookCover2.gif (10853 bytes) Robot: Mere Machine to Transcendent Mind $25
    by, Hans Moravec
    The most awesome work of controlled imagination I have ever encountered: Hans Moravec stretched my mind until it hit the stops. —Arthur C. Clarke
    Blends hard scientific practicality with a prophet's far-seeing vision. His tomorrow is both disturbing and ultimately thrilling. A world where machines are given souls by their creations, and help us achieve unimaginable heights. —David Brin
    bookCover4.gif (11329 bytes) Robotics: Introduction, Programming, and Projects
    James L. Fuller   $66.67
    While the text is aimed at engineering and technology students, it can be understood by all students. Part I introduces the field of robotics, applications, and artificial intelligence. Part II investigates robot sensors, software, and hardware, as well as speech output. Part III deals with simple robotics projects. published in 98
    bookCover7.gif (5491 bytes) Controlling the World with Your PC, by Paul Bergsman

    Retail Price: $35.00
    Barns and Noble Price $28.00 You Save: $7.00 (20%)

    In includes a disk with source code in Basic, C and ASM and gives schematics for interfaces with a serial and printer port

    bookCover8.gif (10133 bytes) Artificial Life: An Overview
    Christopher G. Langton (Editor)
    This book brings together a series of overview articles that appeared in the first three issues of the groundbreaking journal Artificial Life, along with a new introduction by Christopher Langton, Editor-in-Chief of Artificial Life, founder of the discipline, and Director of the Artificial Life Program at the Santa Fe Institute.
    bookCover9.gif (9738 bytes) The Philosophy of Artificial Life
    Margaret A. Boden (Editor)

    This volume offers a selection of the most important philosophical work in the new and fast-growing interdisciplinary area of artificial life; it will set the agenda for future study and research.

    Muscle Wires Project Book: A Hands-on Guide to Amazing Robotic Muscles That Shorten When Electrically Powered (Book and Kit)
    Roger G. Gilbertson Miranda Celene De (Editor) Tom Twohy (Illustrator)
    Barns and Noble Price: $17.95

    New Book coming out by SRS alumni Karl Lunt entitled, How to Build Your Own Robot due out Jan 15, 2000

      getbooks.gif (5020 bytes)  findrare.gif (3645 bytes) 

    Here are some more titles you may find at your local library or order from another book store.