Illah Reza Nourbakhsh

Illah Reza Nourbakhsh is K&L Gates Professor of Ethics and Computational Technologies in the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. He is the author of Robot Futures and coauthor of Introduction to Autonomous Mobile Robots (both published by the MIT Press).

  • AI & Humanity

    Illah Reza Nourbakhsh and Jennifer Keating

    An examination of the implications for society of rapidly advancing artificial intelligence systems, combining a humanities perspective with technical analysis; includes exercises and discussion questions.

    AI & Humanity provides an analytical framing and a common language for understanding the effects of technological advances in artificial intelligence on society. Coauthored by a computer scientist and a scholar of literature and cultural studies, it is unique in combining a humanities perspective with technical analysis, using the tools of literary explication to examine the societal impact of AI systems. It explores the historical development of these technologies, moving from the apparently benign Roomba to the considerably more sinister semi-autonomous weapon system Harpy. The book is driven by an exploration of the cultural and etymological roots of a series of keywords relevant to both AI and society. Works examined range from Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, given a close reading for its themes of literacy and agency, to Simon Head's critique of the effects of surveillance and automation on the Amazon labor force in Mindless.

    Originally developed as a textbook for an interdisciplinary humanities-science course at Carnegie Mellon, AI & Humanity offers discussion questions, exercises (including journal writing and concept mapping), and reading lists. A companion website provides updated resources and a portal to a video archive of interviews with AI scientists, sociologists, literary theorists, and others.

    • Hardcover $35.00 £27.00
  • Robot Futures

    Robot Futures

    Illah Reza Nourbakhsh

    A roboticist imagines life with robots that sell us products, drive our cars, even allow us to assume new physical form, and more.

    With robots, we are inventing a new species that is part material and part digital. The ambition of modern robotics goes beyond copying humans, beyond the effort to make walking, talking androids that are indistinguishable from people. Future robots will have superhuman abilities in both the physical and digital realms. They will be embedded in our physical spaces, with the ability to go where we cannot, and will have minds of their own, thanks to artificial intelligence. In Robot Futures, the roboticist Illah Reza Nourbakhsh considers how we will share our world with these creatures, and how our society could change as it incorporates a race of stronger, smarter beings.

    Nourbakhsh imagines a future that includes adbots offering interactive custom messaging; robotic flying toys that operate by means of “gaze tracking”; robot-enabled multimodal, multicontinental telepresence; and even a way that nanorobots could allow us to assume different physical forms. Nourbakhsh examines the underlying technology and the social consequences of each scenario. He also offers a counter-vision: a robotics designed to create civic and community empowerment. His book helps us understand why that is the robot future we should try to bring about.

    • Hardcover $29.95 £24.00
    • Paperback $19.95 £14.99
  • Introduction to Autonomous Mobile Robots, Second Edition

    Introduction to Autonomous Mobile Robots, Second Edition

    Roland Siegwart, Illah Reza Nourbakhsh, and Davide Scaramuzza

    The second edition of a comprehensive introduction to all aspects of mobile robotics, from algorithms to mechanisms.

    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. It synthesizes material from such fields as kinematics, control theory, signal analysis, computer vision, information theory, artificial intelligence, and probability theory. The book presents the techniques and technology that enable mobility in a series of interacting modules. Each chapter treats a different aspect of mobility, as the book moves from low-level to high-level details. It covers all aspects of mobile robotics, including software and hardware design considerations, related technologies, and algorithmic techniques.

    This second edition has been revised and updated throughout, with 130 pages of new material on such topics as locomotion, perception, localization, and planning and navigation. Problem sets have been added at the end of each chapter. Bringing together all aspects of mobile robotics into one volume, Introduction to Autonomous Mobile Robots can serve as a textbook or a working tool for beginning practitioners.

    Curriculum developed by Dr. Robert King, Colorado School of Mines, and Dr. James Conrad, University of North Carolina-Charlotte, to accompany the National Instruments LabVIEW Robotics Starter Kit, are available. Included are 13 (6 by Dr. King and 7 by Dr. Conrad) laboratory exercises for using the LabVIEW Robotics Starter Kit to teach mobile robotics concepts.

    • Hardcover $75.00 £58.00
  • Introduction to Autonomous Mobile Robots

    Introduction to Autonomous Mobile Robots

    Illah Reza Nourbakhsh and Roland Siegwart

    An overview of all aspects of mobility in robotics, including software and hardware design considerations, related technologies, and algorithmic techniques.

    Mobile robots range from the teleoperated Sojourner on the Mars Pathfinder mission to cleaning robots in the Paris Metro. Introduction to Autonomous Mobile Robots offers students and other interested readers an overview of the technology of mobility—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. It discusses all facets of mobile robotics, including hardware design, wheel design, kinematics analysis, sensors and perception, localization, mapping, and robot control architectures.

    The design of any successful robot involves the integration of many different disciplines, among them kinematics, signal analysis, information theory, artificial intelligence, and probability theory. Reflecting this, the book presents the techniques and technology that enable mobility in a series of interacting modules. Each chapter covers a different aspect of mobility, as the book moves from low-level to high-level details. The first two chapters explore low-level locomotory ability, examining robots' wheels and legs and the principles of kinematics. This is followed by an in-depth view of perception, including descriptions of many "off-the-shelf" sensors and an analysis of the interpretation of sensed data. The final two chapters consider the higher-level challenges of localization and cognition, discussing successful localization strategies, autonomous mapping, and navigation competence. Bringing together all aspects of mobile robotics into one volume, Introduction to Autonomous Mobile Robots can serve as a textbook for coursework or a working tool for beginners in the field.

    • Hardcover $55.00