A Gentle Introduction to Robotics
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A Gentle Introduction to Robotics

Volume 1 : mBlock and the mBot

About the Book

This book contains a series of projects based on the affordable mBot, a STEM-focused robot kit from Makeblock. You will start by learning how to turn the onboard LEDs on and off using mBlock, a development environment based on MIT's Scratch. The projects cover using the sensors and motors as well as fun activities such as creating an ultrasonic theremin, a robotic sumo wrestler, and finishes by using all of these newly acquired skills to create a maze-solving robot. Full source code is available at Github.

All of the proceeds from the sales of this book go into a fund for assisting robotics teams to purchase the hardware, software, and training they need to learn the skills necessary to be successful roboticists.

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    • Embedded Systems
    • Software
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About the Author

Charles McKnight
Charles McKnight

Charles McKnight is a long-time technology consultant with experience in end-to-end software design and development. His interest in technology began early on as he learned electronics from his father. Armed with this background, Charles built an uncountable number of electronics projects until he discovered personal computing and began focusing on developing his skills as a developer. These experiences and accumulated skills enable his pursuit of designing and creation of robots and enables him to share that knowledge with others.

Table of Contents



Getting Set Up

The Software Development Process

Programming Guidelines

The mBlock Programming Environment

Blinking LEDs

Play An Octave

Press the Button

Light It Up!

Ultrasonic Theremin

Baby You Can Drive My Bot

Where's My Line?

Robotic Movement Part 1

We Like to Move It!

Robotic Movement Part 2

Trace A Shape

Obstacle Avoidance

Bashin' at the Basho


You Made It!

Appendix A: Flowcharts

Appendix B: mBot Blocks

Appendix C: Best Practices

Appendix D: Musical Note Values

Appendix E: Arduino Uno Specifications

Appendix F: Resources

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