A good book can take you far. A novel can take you to outer space, back in time or into the realm of fantasy. A good textbook can ignite your imagination and give you that much-needed push to start a project. Learn Robotics With Raspberry Pi is a book that will inspire you to build your first robot.
Book Review: Learn Robotics With Raspberry Pi
But this book is not just a “buy this robot kit” kind of book, oh no. This is a book that explains the components chosen to build your robot. The entire book explains how the components go together. From the LM2596 buck converter, used to ensure that your robot gets the correct power, to the L293D H-bridge motor controller. Of particular interest were sections covering the HC SR04 ultrasonic distance sensor and chapter 8 where we learn how to use the official Raspberry Pi camera with OpenCV (Computer Vision) to detect a colored ball. All of the components are built into the humble breadboard and then our robot chassis is made from Lego. It may not be as neat as a kit-built robot, but we learn much more during the process.
This book from Matt Timmons-Brown aka ‘The Raspberry Pi Guy’ covers the physical build of a robot which explains how the circuits work, along with circuit diagrams that illustrate the theory behind the circuit that has been built.
This is an excellent introduction to robotics and the book guides the reader through each chapter. We start with setting up our Raspberry Pi ready for robotics then move on to a chapter on the basics of electronics. The chapters then progress to building and testing the movement of our robot before we move on to using sensors to enable our robot to navigate using its own intelligence. At the back of the book, there are sections covering the Raspberry Pi GPIO pinout, resistor color codes (I still need to refer to this!) and a guide to soldering. These added chapters offer a little more knowledge and support to the reader.
In all honesty, this book is great. It is simple enough for novices to pick up, understand and start building.
The added circuit diagrams enable the reader to learn how to draw their own diagrams and promote the use of best practice when documenting their build.
This book is for everyone who wants to learn robotics. It does not assume that you are an electronics whizz, nor does it just throw you into the deep end with Python programming. This would be a great book for a makerspace or school who are looking to dabble with robotics and electronics but have no idea where to start. The use of off the shelf components, which can be sourced rather cheaply online, rather than pre-built and often expensive robotic kits means that the reader learns about the components that make up their robot. Rather than learning how to use a screwdriver to build a kit, not that there's anything wrong with that, but this book gives us an opportunity to learn what can be achieved with the basic components.
The book follows an almost narrative structure that builds upon the work in the previous chapter to help us learn in a modular manner how our robot is constructed, controlled and programmed. I love this manner of learning, each chapter is a success along the path to building your robot.
Matt has done an exceptional job with this book which you should add to your collection.
Learn Robotics With Raspberry Pi Book Review: The Final Chapter
This is a great book that explains the topic simply and clearly. Following this book is a joy and at the end of it, you will have your own hand-built robot ready to do your bidding!
Learn Robotics With Raspberry Pi is available from No Starch Press for $24.95 for print and Ebook. Or for $19.95 as an Ebook (PDF, Mobi, and ePub).
January 2019, 240 pp.
- Chapters build upon one another
- Written for everyone to understand
- Breaks down the components of a robot