It is with a heavy heart that we here at Make: announce the passing of hobby robotics pioneer, Gordon McComb. He died on Monday, Sept 10th, apparently of a heart attack. Gordon was a great friend to Make: and to makers and robotics hobbyists from around the world.
Gordon’s Robot Builder’s Bonanza book, first published in 1987, arguably marks the beginning of hobby robotics as a significant maker category. It was the book that I bought in the late 80s that got me into robot building, and by extension, all forms of hardware hacking. I was so honored to become acquainted with Gordon personally a decade or so ago. He was always so kind, helpful, and generous and he assisted us on several robotics contests and series that we did here on Make:. Gordon was also a Make: magazine contributor and Make: books author. In his lifetime, he penned over 65 books and wrote countless articles in magazines, newspapers, and technical journals. Over a million copies of his books have been sold and translated into over a dozen languages. He was a relentless tinkerer, maker, and tech educator.
Gordon was an encyclopedist, a collector of useful information and ideas. His Robot Builder’s Sourcebook, an outsized, sort of Whole Earth Catalog for robot builders, was an absolute treasure trove of access to most every tool and component available at the time (2002). Most recently, Gordon created the book and kit, How to Make a Robot, for Make:.
Fellow hobby robotics pioneer, Mark Tilden, once said: “A human is a way that a robot builds a better robot.” Few humans have done more to build better robots and advance robotkind than Gordon McComb.
Godspeed, Gordon. Your numerous friends and fans, both organic and mechanic, will miss you very much.