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Updated Make an Arduino Controlled Robot Book still refers to the old Adafruit Shield

The Book: Make an Arduino Controlled Robot
By Michael Margolis
Publisher: Maker Media, Inc
Ebook: October 2012
is showing as updated as of September 2014, however all the links are still the old 2012 version which uses the old, no longer available Adafruit motor shield. I assumed the updated version would use the current shield. Did you upload the wrong version?

Max
Max@dobres.com
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  • Hello Max,

    Thanks for your interest in Make an Arduino Controlled Robot Book. Let me check in with someone from the publisher (Maker Media), so I can provide you with an informed answer on this.

    Best regards,
    Paul Fichera
    O'Reilly Media
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  • Hi Max,

    The new shields have changed in a very significant way, but there are some third party suppliers who are selling a shield compatible with the original version. Maker Shed has commissioned a limited number of shields that are compatible with the original version, but these are all embedded in the Rovera Kit. If you aren't able to find a shield that's compatible with the original version, please send me a message and I'll ask the Maker Shed if they have any suggestions.

    Regards,

    Brian
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  • Brian
    Its a shame the book is not being updated. I used it with the new shield and found that once I modified the code to replace the libraries it all worked fine. I had hoped to by another copy of the revised book for my nephew, but hoped it had been revised.
    The new shield is ready assembled so its also easier to work with. The book is probably the best one I have found for starting robot building. Pity it will not be updated.
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  • Max, thanks for sharing this perspective. You're totally right.

    I'm going to work with the author on this. Would you be willing to share your code somewhere? We'd find that helpful.

    Thanks,

    Brian
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  • I will, but its a grossly simplified version of that in the book.
    As far as I can remember the code change just needs a substitution of the new libraries, everything else works.

    The book needs to be changed to reflect the new driver shield, it looks different and it comes ready assembled, so the section on putting it together is redundant.

    Finally it is worth mentioning that the new shield uses I2C so you don't need to loose any Arduino pins, but you do need to be aware of conflict with other I2C devices. when I used a I2C Ultrasonic sensor with the address 0x70. the Motor Shield stopped working.
    Adafruit told me:
    0x70 is the 'All Call' address for the PCA9865 PWM chip used in the motor shield. Although the individual base addresses are configurable, the "All Call" address by design is not.

    So I had to change the address on the sensor, not a problem, now it works.

    Max
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  • Thanks, Max. I've reached out to the author, and he's going to send me some revised code in the next couple weeks. I'll work on integrating that into an updated version of the book. Thanks for raising this with us, and thanks for the suggestions and help with the technical details on the I2C side.

    We'll probably keep the assembly instructions in because we still ship a V1-compatible shield with the kit, but we haven't been able to get sufficient quantity for selling it as a separate product.

    Best,

    Brian
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  • help! I made the robot, using the 2013 book. I copied the code from the web site but when I try to download it to the arduino it shows there are hundreds of errors .

    Help!
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