Want to build an Arduino or Raspberry Pi-based robot?

The gearheads behind Maker Faire open their vault of how-to books to benefit nonprofit Maker Ed

Do you have a favorite Raspberry Pi or Arduino-powered robot? Choices abound; the inexpensive microcontrollers hastening the Internet of Things blitz have served as the brains of thousands of useful, silly, and spectacular bots.

Call me old fashioned (or make me one) but I'm still a big fan of the Arduino-based Inebriator project. (If you're of the sudsy persuasion, check out these other bartending robots.)

Robotics projects are fun and hands-on, which makes them a great way to get kids or later life learners into coding and hardware development. And thanks to the inherent frugality of the maker community and a growing catalog of addons for both Arduino and Raspberry Pi, these bots can be made on the cheap, often for less than $100.

Earlier this week I spotlighted nine affordable Arduino robotics kits.

A more ambitious option is to make your own bot from scratch.

For a brief window, Maker Media, which publishes Make: magazine and e-books for DIYers, has teamed up with Humble Bundle, which packages books to support charity. Through December 16, Maker will let you name your own price for a bundle of e-books that will tell you all you need to know about building robots around Arduino and Raspberry Pi boards. Individually purchased, the books in the bundle are valued at $276.

Proceeds from the Humble Bundle e-book package will support Maker Ed, a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating more opportunities for young people to develop an interest in science, technology, engineering, math, art, and learning through making.

Pay as much or as little as you want. The name your price bundle includes the following titles, with bonus material if you meet certain funding thresholds:

  • Make a Raspberry Pi-Controlled Robot: Learn how to build a capable and upgradeable personal robot for around $100 as well as how to control servos, respond to sensor input, and know where your bot is using GPS.
  • Make: Arduino Bots and Gadgets: Build your own robots, turn your ideas into prototypes, control devices with a computer, or make your own cell phone applications with these six easy projects.
  • Making Simple Robots: If you can knit, sew, use a hot-glue gun, or fold a flat piece of paper into a box, you can build a no-tech robotic part with this simple step-by-step book.
  • Getting Started with Adafruit FLORA: At 4.4 grams and with Arduino compatibility, this is the most beginner-friendly way to create wearable projects!
  • Getting Started with Adafruit Trinket: At just $15, the Trinket lets you make inexpensive and powerful programmable electronic projects.
  • MintDuino: Building an Arduino-compatible Breadboard Microcontroller: Perfect for learning or teaching the fundamentals of how microcontrollers work, this hands-on book shows you how to build a complete MintDuino project from start to finish.
  • Make: Raspberry Pi and AVR Projects: Augmenting the Pi's ARM with the Atmel ATmega, ICs, and Sensors: Written for intermediate to seasoned Raspberry Pi users, this book explores four projects covering music, light, games, home automation, and the Internet of Things.