The robotics pages are from 2003 and 2004, when I had quite a bit of time to
tinker with electronics projects. They haven't been updated since then. My
primary interest at the time was in learning to solve electronics and software
problems, while keeping the mechanics simple.
Robot Resources on the Web
All of these can be found at Amazon.com.
- Mobile Robots: Inspiration to Implementation, by Joseph Jones, Anita Flynn, and Bruce Seiger.
- The Robot Builder's Bonanza: 99 Inexpensive Robotics Projects, by Gordon McComb.
- The Art of Electronics, by Paul Horowitz and Winfield Hill.
Where to find stuff
- Digikey has an amazing online catalog and ships many orders within an hour of pressing Send. The fastest way I've ever found to find a datasheet is to type the part number into Digikey's search form and click on Technical/Catalog information. Most parts have a PDF datasheet that you can download.
- Jameco is less complete but less expensive. You don't always know what brand of part you're going to get, but usually you can't tell the difference anyway. They have several catalog pages just for robot builders: robot kits, uC programmers, flex sensors, servos, tiny gears, and a selection of DC and stepper motors.
- Mouser. I haven't used Mouser much, but sometimes they have things that I can't find anywhere else. For example, ST Electronics L293 H-bridge drivers, and headers with long pins for wire wrap. Prices similar to Jameco.
- Acroname is all about amateur robotics. Lots of ideas and hints, and they sell some hard-to-find items like Polaroid ultrasonic rangers, compass, and roller wheels.
- Tower Hobbies seems to be targeted to people building remote control stuff: cars, planes, boats. You'll find lots of motors, gears, batteries, glue, etc.
Please let me know if you have any suggestions for these pages. I'm not a
robotics expert, but I want to share what I have learned.