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15 Best Books to Learn About Robotics

Picture of two white robots with large wheels

Robots have been a staple of science fiction for centuries, but they only began to become a reality in the early 20th century. In the 1920s, Czech writer Karel Čapek introduced the word “robot” into literature in his play R.U.R., and since then robots have taken on a life of their own in the minds of writers and readers alike.

Since the dawn of the robotics age, there have been countless books written about these fascinating machines. Some are educational, teaching us about the science and engineering behind robotics. Others are more speculative, imagining what our robot-filled future might be like. And still, others are just plain fun, telling stories of robots that come to life and go on adventures.

If you’re interested in learning more about robotics, or if you’re just looking for a good read, check out some of these great books about robotics.

Books About Robotics

Robotics: Everything You Need to Know About Robotics from Beginner to Expert by Peter Mckinnon

Do you love robots? Are you fascinated with modern advances in technology? Do you want to know how robots work? If so, you’ll be delighted with Robotics: Everything You Need to Know About Robotics from Beginner to Expert. You’ll learn the history of robotics, learn the 3 Rules, and meet the very first robots. This book also describes the many essential hardware components of today’s robots: – Analog and Digital brains – DC, Servo, and Stepper Motors – Bump Sensors and Light Sensors – and even Robotic Bodywork Would you like to build and program your own robot? You can use Robotics: Everything You Need to Know About Robotics from Beginner to Expert to learn the software basics of RoboCORE and how to create “brains” for creations like the Obstacle Avoiding Robot.

Learn Robotics Programming: Build and control autonomous robots using Raspberry Pi 3 and Python by Danny Staple

We live in an age where the most difficult human tasks are now automated. Smart and intelligent robots, which will perform different tasks precisely and efficiently, are the requirement of the hour. A combination of Raspberry Pi and Python works perfectly when making these kinds of robots.

Learn Robotics Programming starts by introducing you to the basic structure of a robot, along with how to plan, build, and program it. As you make your way through the book, you will gradually progress to adding different outputs and sensors, learning new building skills, and writing code for interesting behaviors with sensors. You’ll also be able to update your robot, and set up web, phone, and Wi-Fi connectivity in order to control it.

By the end of the book, you will have built a clever robot that can perform basic artificial intelligence (AI) operations.

Practical Electronics for Inventors, Fourth Edition by Paul Scherz and Simon Monk

Advance your electronics knowledge and gain the skills necessary to develop and construct your own functioning gadgets. Written by a pair of experienced engineers and dedicated hobbyists, Practical Electronics for Inventors, Fourth Edition, lays out the essentials and provides step by step instructions, schematics, and illustrations. Discover how to select the right components, design and build circuits, use microcontrollers and ICs, work with the latest software tools, and test and tweak your creations. This easy to follow book features new instruction on programmable logic, semiconductors, operational amplifiers, voltage regulators, power supplies, digital electronics, and more.

Modern Robotics (Mechanics, Planning, and Control) by Kevin M. Lynch

This introduction to robotics offers a distinct and unified perspective of the mechanics, planning and control of robots. Ideal for self-learning, or for courses, as it assumes only freshman-level physics, ordinary differential equations, linear algebra and a little bit of computing background. Modern Robotics presents the state-of-the-art, screw-theoretic techniques capturing the most salient physical features of a robot in an intuitive geometrical way. With numerous exercises at the end of each chapter, accompanying software written to reinforce the concepts in the book and video lectures aimed at changing the classroom experience, this is the go-to textbook for learning about this fascinating subject.

Learn Robotics with Raspberry Pi: Build and Code Your Own Moving, Sensing, Thinking Robots by Matt Timmons-Brown

Learn Robotics with Raspberry Pi will take you from inexperienced maker to robot builder. You’ll start off building a two-wheeled robot powered by a Raspberry Pi minicomputer and then program it using Python, the world’s most popular programming language. Gradually, you’ll improve your robot by adding increasingly advanced functionality until it can follow lines, avoid obstacles, and even recognize objects of a certain size and color using computer vision.

Learn how to:
– Control your robot remotely using only a Wii remote
– Teach your robot to use sensors to avoid obstacles
– Program your robot to follow a line autonomously
– Customize your robot with LEDs and speakers to make it light up and play sounds
– See what your robot sees with a Pi Camera

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INTELLIGENT AUTOMATION: Learn how to harness Artificial Intelligence to boost business & make our world more human by Pascal Bornet

This is the first reference book on Intelligent Automation (IA). Also called Hyperautomation, it is one of the most recent trends in the field of artificial intelligence. IA is a cutting-edge combination of methods and technologies, involving people, organizations, machine learning, low-code platforms, robotic process automation (RPA), and more.

This book is for everyone – whether you are an experienced practitioner, new to the topic, or simply interested in what the future holds for enterprises, work, life, and society as a whole.

Robotics: DISCOVER THE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY OF THE FUTURE with 20 PROJECTS by Kathy Ceceri and Sam Carbaugh

Named to the 2012 Chicago Public Library’s “Best of the Best” Reading List for Informational Books for Older Readers, Robotics: Discover the Science and Technology of the Future is a fun and educational introduction to the exciting field of designing, building, and operating robots. Along with background material and clear explanations of how robots work, Robotics features step-by-step instructions for building real robot models using ordinary craft materials and parts salvaged from recycled toys and other household devices.

Budding roboticists will learn how to create working robot hands, hydraulic arms, sensors, solar-powered robots, light-seeking robots and more. A great way to get kids interested in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math), the activities encourage kids to use all their talents to come up with creative solutions to tricky problems and figure out how things work.

National Geographic Kids Everything Robotics: All the Photos, Facts, and Fun to Make You Race for Robots by Jennifer Swanson

They fix spacecraft, dance, tell jokes, and even clean your carpet! From the tiniest robo-bees to gigantic factory machines, robotics is all around you. This technology isn’t just for science-fiction anymore — it’s real and more relevant than ever. With stunning visuals and energetic, impactful design, readers won’t stop until they’ve learned everything there is to know about robotics.

Burn-In: A Novel of the Real Robotic Revolution by P. W. Singer and August Cole

America is on the brink of a revolution, one both technological and political. The science fiction of AI and robotics has finally come true, but millions are angry and fearful that the future has left them behind.

After narrowly stopping a bombing at Washington’s Union Station, FBI Special Agent Lara Keegan receives a new assignment: to field-test an advanced police robot. As a series of shocking catastrophes unfolds, the two find themselves investigating a conspiracy whose mastermind is using cutting-edge tech to rip the nation apart. To stop this new breed of terrorist, their only hope is to forge a new type of partnership.

Springer Handbook of Robotics (Springer Handbooks) by Bruno Siciliano and Oussama Khatib

The second edition of this handbook provides a state-of-the-art cover view on the various aspects in the rapidly developing field of robotics. Reaching for the human frontier, robotics is vigorously engaged in the growing challenges of new emerging domains. Interacting, exploring, and working with humans, the new generation of robots will increasingly touch people and their lives. The credible prospect of practical robots among humans is the result of the scientific endeavour of a half a century of robotic developments that established robotics as a modern scientific discipline. The ongoing vibrant expansion and strong growth of the field during the last decade has fueled this second edition of the Springer Handbook of Robotics

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Robot Building for Beginners, 2nd Edition (Technology in Action) by David Cook

Robot Building for Beginners, Second Edition is an update of David Cook’s best-selling Robot Building for Beginners. This book continues its aim at teenagers and adults who have an avid interest in science and dream of building household explorers. No formal engineering education is assumed.

The robot described and built in this book is battery powered and about the size of a lunchbox. It is autonomous. That is, it isn’t remote controlled.

You’ll begin with some tools of the trade, and then work your way through prototyping, robot bodybuilding, and eventually soldering your own circuit boards. By the book’s end, you will have a solid amateur base of understanding so that you can begin creating your own robots to vacuum your house or maybe even rule the world!

Building Your Own Robots: Design and Build Your First Robot! (Dummies Junior) by Gordon McComb

Fun robotics projects that teach kids to make, hack, and learn!

There’s no better way for kids to learn about the world around them than to test how things work. Building Your Own Robots presents fun robotics projects that children aged 7 – 11 can complete with common household items and old toys. The projects introduce core robotics concepts while keeping tasks simple and easy to follow, and the vivid, full-color graphics keep your kid’s eyes on the page as they work through the projects.

Brought to you by the trusted For Dummies brand, this kid-focused book offers your child a fun and easy way to start learning big topics! They’ll gain confidence as they design and build a self-propelled vehicle, hack an old remote control car to create a motorized robot, and use simple commands to build and program a virtual robot―all while working on their own and enjoying a sense of accomplishment!

  • Offers a kid-friendly design that is heavy on eye-popping graphics
  • Focuses on basic projects that set your child on the road to further exploration
  • Boasts a small, full-color, accessible package that instills confidence in the reader
  • Introduces basic robotics concepts to kids in a language they can understand

Robotics Engineering: Learn It, Try It! (Science Brain Builders) by Ed Sobey

Have you always been fascinated with robots? Do you want to know how to build one yourself? Learn the basics from a real-life expert and get some hands-on experience. The world of robotics engineering is at your fingertips.

Robotic Process Automation Projects: Build real-world RPA solutions using UiPath and Automation Anywhere by Nandan Mullakara and Arun Kumar Asokan

Robotic Process automation helps businesses to automate monotonous tasks that can be performed by machines.

This project-based guide will help you progress through easy to more advanced RPA projects. You’ll learn the principles of RPA and how to architect solutions to meet the demands of business automation, along with exploring the most popular RPA tools – UiPath and Automation Anywhere. In the first part, you’ll learn how to use UiPath by building a simple helpdesk ticket system. You’ll then automate CRM systems by integrating Excel data with UiPath. After this, the book will guide you through building an AI-based social media moderator using Google Cloud Vision API. In the second part, you’ll learn about Automation Anywhere’s latest Cloud RPA platform (A2019) by creating projects such as an automated ERP administration system, an AI bot for order and invoice processing, and an automated emergency notification system for employees. Later, you’ll get hands-on with advanced RPA tasks such as invoking APIs, before covering complex concepts such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning in automation to take your understanding of RPA to the next level.

Introduction to Robotics: Analysis, Control, Applications by Saeed B. Niku

The revised and updated third edition of Introduction to Robotics: Analysis, Control, Applications, offers a guide to the fundamentals of robotics, robot components and subsystems and applications. The author―a noted expert on the topic―covers the mechanics and kinematics of serial and parallel robots, both with the Denavit-Hartenberg approach as well as screw-based mechanics. In addition, the text contains information on microprocessor applications, control systems, vision systems, sensors, and actuators.  

Introduction to Robotics gives engineering students and practicing engineers the information needed to design a robot, to integrate a robot in appropriate applications, or to analyze a robot. The updated third edition contains many new subjects and the content has been streamlined throughout the text. The new edition includes two completely new chapters on screw-based mechanics and parallel robots. The book is filled with many new illustrative examples and includes homework problems designed to enhance learning.

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