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Robotics

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Mobile robots range from the Mars Pathfinder mission's teleoperated Sojourner to the cleaning robots in the Paris Metro. This text offers students and other interested readers an introduction to the fundamentals of mobile robotics, spanning the mechanical, motor, sensory, perceptual, and cognitive layers the field comprises. The text focuses on mobility itself, offering an overview of the mechanisms that allow a mobile robot to move through a real world environment to perform its tasks, including locomotion, sensing, localization, and motion planning.

Theories, Methods, and Technologies

New approaches to artificial intelligence spring from the idea that intelligence emerges as much from cells, bodies, and societies as it does from evolution, development, and learning. Traditionally, artificial intelligence has been concerned with reproducing the abilities of human brains; newer approaches take inspiration from a wider range of biological structures that that are capable of autonomous self-organization.

The Robotics Primer offers a broadly accessible introduction to robotics for students at pre-university and university levels, robot hobbyists, and anyone interested in this burgeoning field. The text takes the reader from the most basic concepts (including perception and movement) to the most novel and sophisticated applications and topics (humanoids, shape-shifting robots, space robotics), with an emphasis on what it takes to create autonomous intelligent robot behavior.

Probabilistic robotics is a new and growing area in robotics, concerned with perception and control in the face of uncertainty. Building on the field of mathematical statistics, probabilistic robotics endows robots with a new level of robustness in real-world situations.

Theory, Algorithms, and Implementations

Robot motion planning has become a major focus of robotics. Research findings can be applied not only to robotics but to planning routes on circuit boards, directing digital actors in computer graphics, robot-assisted surgery and medicine, and in novel areas such as drug design and protein folding. This text reflects the great advances that have taken place in the last ten years, including sensor-based planning, probabalistic planning, localization and mapping, and motion planning for dynamic and nonholonomic systems.

From Biological Inspiration to Implementation and Control

Autonomous robots are intelligent machines capable of performing tasks in the world by themselves, without explicit human control. Examples range from autonomous helicopters to Roomba, the robot vacuum cleaner. In this book, George Bekey offers an introduction to the science and practice of autonomous robots that can be used both in the classroom and as a reference for industry professionals.

The Biology, Intelligence, and Technology of Self-Organizing Machines

Evolutionary robotics is a new technique for the automatic creation of autonomous robots. Inspired by the Darwinian principle of selective reproduction of the fittest, it views robots as autonomous artificial organisms that develop their own skills in close interaction with the environment and without human intervention. Drawing heavily on biology and ethology, it uses the tools of neural networks, genetic algorithms, dynamic systems, and biomorphic engineering.

"Manipulation" refers to a variety of physical changes made to the world around us. Mechanics of Robotic Manipulation addresses one form of robotic manipulation, moving objects, and the various processes involved—grasping, carrying, pushing, dropping, throwing, and so on. Unlike most books on the subject, it focuses on manipulation rather than manipulators. This attention to processes rather than devices allows a more fundamental approach, leading to results that apply to a broad range of devices, not just robotic arms.

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.

foreword by Michael Arbib

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