Recommended reading material for a budding robot enthusiast

What would you recommend to read for someone in their early teens (think FLL age) who is interested in robotics?

I don’t know if the children you’re talking about are too young for this, but The New Cool by Neal Bascomb is always a great read. I’ve also heard of FTC Robotics: Tips, Tricks, Strategies, and Secrets, but never have read it myself. ::rtm::

Aim High:Behind the Design and Rack ‘N’ Roll:Behind the Design are also good books if you can get your hands on them, but they’d probably get boring for middle schoolers.

There are a few books on LEGO robots out there. I have one at home, but it’s for the RCX systems, and written for a sumo competition.

I have no idea for a early teen but the best book about building robots I’ve read was Kickin Bot by Grant Imahara (from Mythbusters) Granted it’s geared towards Battlebots but it covers everything from basic powertool use to pneumatics.

OK, this is not a book but it is very enjoyable and is a great introduction to FIRST. Gearing Up is a documentary shown on PBS a couple of years ago. It follows 4 teams through a season.

It can be seen here:

http://www.gearingupproject.org/

Winning Design! Lego Mindstorms NXT: Design Patterns for Fun and Competition

I read this book when trying to figure out what the best way was to coach my FLL teams. It was phenomenal! It’s centered around robots for FLL, and covers EVERYTHING (chassis design, programming, powered and active attachments, consistent turning, placement- the list goes on!). I had all the kids on my teams read it, and it has helped inspire some brilliant ideas as well as provide some great tips.