Recommended Reading

The 'net can be great for finding ideas but when it comes down to it nothing beats a good book. In Association with & aims to point you in the direction of some great reads & resources when you're getting down to 'bot design and build.

Robot Sumo - The Official Guide

Pete Miles Paperback (2002)

Ok so you don't want to splash out on books but you are going to buy just one... well make this the one you get!.

There's more to this book than first meets the eye. It's well written, full of great ideas and fantastic to dip into when your bashing you ideas around.

At a glance the contents contain:-
  • Introducing Robot Sumo
  • The Rules of the Game
  • Building the Sumo Ring
  • Robot Materials and Construction techniques
  • Making Your Robot Move
  • Power Transmission Fundamentals
  • Batteries: The Heart of a Robot
  • It's All About Power: Selecting the Right Motor
  • Motor Control Fundamentals
  • Remotely Controlling Your Robot
  • Introduction to Microcontrollers
  • Sensors: Letting Your Robot See the World
  • Building the Robot
  • Offensive and Defensive Strategies
  • Improving Your Robot's Pushing Capability
  • Real-Life Sumo Robots: Lessons from Robot Builders
  • Robot Resources and References

This book is available from either or

Making Things Move DIY Mechanisms for Inventors, Hobbyists, and Artists

Dustyn Roberts Paperback (2011)

This books is a great beginners guide to mechanical engineering. It presents the concepts in a clear, concise format with a good mix of diagrams and photographs.

At a glance the contents contain:-
  • Introduction to Mechanisms and Machines
  • Materials: How to Choose and Where to Find Them
  • Screw It or Glue It: Fastening and Joining Parts
  • Forces, Friction, and Torque (Oh My!)
  • Mechanical and Electrical Power, Work and Energy
  • Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Motor: Options for Creating and Controlling Motion
  • The Guts: Bearings, Couplers, Gears, Screws and Springs
  • Combining Simple Machines for Work and Fun
  • Making Things and Getting Things Made
  • Projects
  • Appendix: Breadboard Power and Arduino Primer

This book is available from either or

Build Your Own Printed Circuit Board

Al Williams Paperback (2004)

This book makes an easy to follow guide to designing and making Printed Circuit Boards. It includes sections on schematics design, sizing, layout, autorouting and fabrication. There's a CD-ROM included with a copy of the Eagle CAD software for schematic design and PCB layout, it will run on Linux and Windows.

While giving guidance on generating CAM (Computer Aided Manufacturing) files, that you might use when out sourcing your PCBs, it also devotes a chapter to using prints from a Laser Printer to produce etch masks for prototyping your own boards.

This book is available from either or

Programming and Customizing the
PICAXETM Microcontroller

David Lincoln Paperback (2006)

This text introduces the PICAXETM Microcontroller, while not directly relating to MiniSumo there's a wealth of code and circuitly examples. At a glance the contents contain:-

  • Introductioin
    (to PIC® and PICAXETM)
  • Programming Techniques
  • PICAXETM Arithmetic
  • Interfacing & I/O Techniques
  • Using Programming EditorTM
  • Programming, Powering, and Resetting the PICAXETM
  • Basic Experiments
  • Intermediate Experiments
  • Advanced Experiments

The Basic Experiments cover simple switch inputs and driver outputs, Intermediate Experiments expand this with more complex I/O interface applications. Advanced Experiments cover display interfacing, I2CTM and more advanced motor control.

This book is available from either or

123 Pic Microcontroller Experiments for the Evil Genius

Myke Predko Paperback (2005)

Reviews on this book are mixed, mainly positive but with many references to typographical errors. There a quite a lot of library rountines presented in this book that fit nicely with mini-sumo robotics. These include IR edge detection, Modulated IR object detection and motor routines including servo control.

If you buy Microchip's PICkitTM2 you'll find the code on the supporting disk but without the explaining text.

This book is available from either or

Junkbots, Bugbots and Bots on Wheels:
Building Simple Robots with BEAM Technology

Dave Hrynkiw, Mark W. Tilden Paperback (2002)

This book presents some interesting circuits for hard wired 'bots but as such is limited. It does present an interesting idea for building a simple hard wired minisumo.

This book is available from either or
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