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Robin R. Murphy

Robin R. Murphy is Raytheon Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University and directs the Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue (CRASAR). An IEEE Fellow and a founder of Roboticists without Borders, she has worked in disaster robotics research and deployment since 1995.

Titles by This Author

This book offers the definitive guide to the theory and practice of disaster robotics. It can serve as an introduction for researchers and technologists, a reference for emergency managers, and a textbook in field robotics. Written by a pioneering researcher in the field who has herself participated in fifteen deployments of robots in disaster response and recovery, the book covers theory and practice, the history of the field, and specific missions.

After a broad overview of rescue robotics in the context of emergency informatics, the book provides a chronological summary and formal analysis of the thirty-four documented deployments of robots to disasters that include the 2001 collapse of the World Trade Center, Hurricane Katrina, the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami, and numerous mining accidents. It then examines disaster robotics in the typical robot modalities of ground, air, and marine, addressing such topics as robot types, missions and tasks, and selection heuristics for each modality. Finally, the book discusses types of fieldwork, providing practical advice on matters that include collecting data and collaborating with emergency professionals.

The field of disaster robotics has lacked a comprehensive overview. This book by a leader in the field, offering a unique combination of the theoretical and the practical, fills the gap.

This text covers all the material needed to understand the principles behind the AI approach to robotics and to program an artificially intelligent robot for applications involving sensing, navigation, planning, and uncertainty. Robin Murphy is extremely effective at combining theoretical and practical rigor with a light narrative touch. In the overview, for example, she touches upon anthropomorphic robots from classic films and science fiction stories before delving into the nuts and bolts of organizing intelligence in robots.Following the overview, Murphy contrasts AI and engineering approaches and discusses what she calls the three paradigms of AI robotics: hierarchical, reactive, and hybrid deliberative/reactive. Later chapters explore multiagent scenarios, navigation and path-planning for mobile robots, and the basics of computer vision and range sensing. Each chapter includes objectives, review questions, and exercises. Many chapters contain one or more case studies showing how the concepts were implemented on real robots. Murphy, who is well known for her classroom teaching, conveys the intellectual adventure of mastering complex theoretical and technical material.An Instructor's Manual including slides, solutions, sample tests, and programming assignments is available to qualified professors who are considering using the book or who are using the book for class use.

Downloadable instructor resources available for this title: instructor's manual

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Case Studies of Successful Robot Systems


The mobile robot systems described in this book were selected from among the best available implementations by leading universities and research laboratories. These are robots that have left the lab and been tested in natural and unknown environments. They perform many different tasks, from giving tours to collecting trash. Many have distinguished themselves (usually with first- or second-place finishes) at various indoor and outdoor mobile robot competitions.

Each case study is self-contained and includes detailed descriptions of important algorithms, including pseudo-code. Thus this volume serves as a recipe book for the design of successful mobile robot applications. Common themes include navigation and mapping, computer vision, and architecture.

Contributors: Ronald Arkin, Tucker Balch, Michael Brady, Don Brutzman, Arno Bucken, R. James Firby, Erann Gat, Tony Healy, Ian Horswill, Housheng Hu, Sven Koenig, Kurt Konolige David Kortenkamp, Dave Marco, Bob McGhee, Robin Murphy, Karen Myers, Illah Nourbakhsh, Peter Prokopowicz, Bill Schiller, Reid Simmons, Michael Swain, Sebastian Thrun.