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Gordon McComb is helping us out on the site this month in support of the release of MAKE Volume 27, our latest robotics issue, and for our monthly Robotics theme here online. Gordon has also just release the fourth edition of his groundbreaking book, Robot Builder’s Bonanza. The first edition of this book was released in 1987 and pretty much launched the hobby robotics field. This was the book that got me into robotics, which lead me into electronics (and Forrest Mims’ book), hardware hacking, and most of my high-tech making interests.

The latest edition of Gordon’s book is fantastic. It reminds me a lot of Make: Electronics, and together with that book, I think makes these two volumes the Robot Builder’s Bonanza (1st Ed)/Getting Started in Electronics combo of the early 21st century. The new Bonanza is over 700 pages and has over 100 projects. It also has great tutorials, covering everything from robot body basics to using today’s microcontrollers, such as Arduino and PICAXE. You’d think that a 700 page tome would be phonebook-sized, but thin, reasonably high-quality paper was used, so it’s a very bench-convenient size (but it IS heavy). Gordon has also put together a great companion website, with code examples, additional projects, and other support materials.

To celebrate the release of Volume 27, our online theme, and Gordon’s book, we want to do a giveaway. Gordon was kind enough to send me four inscribed/autographed copies of his book to give to YOU. The eligible commenting period will run until Friday (7/22) at midnight Pacific. We’ll announce the four winners on Monday morning.

To be eligible, all you have to do is share with us some vexing question about robotics, some general or technical question about the robot kingdom. E.g. What’s the practical difference between the different types of navigation technologies (sonar/ultrasonic, infrared, radar, etc)? Is the Roomba Create a good platform for beginners? We’ll have our servoheads on staff try and answer. And, as always, readers can answer comment questions to be eligible for the giveaway. Good luck!


From the Pages of MAKE

MAKE 27MAKE Volume 27, Robots!
The robots have returned! MAKE Volume 27 features a special package with robotics projects for every age and skill level. They play music; they outwit your pets; they learn from their mistakes! In addition, we’ll show you how to build a special aquarium to keep jellyfish, create pre-Edison incandescent lighting, spy via the internet, and make a go-anywhere digital message board! All this and much, much more, in MAKE Volume 27.

On newsstands July 26! Buy or Subscribe

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.


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