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Intelligent Robotics and Autonomous Agents series

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.

Edited by Gerhard Weiss

Multiagent systems are made up of multiple interacting intelligent agents—computational entities to some degree autonomous and able to cooperate, compete, communicate, act flexibly, and exercise control over their behavior within the frame of their objectives. They are the enabling technology for a wide range of advanced applications relying on distributed and parallel processing of data, information, and knowledge relevant in domains ranging from industrial manufacturing to e-commerce to health care.

The Ethical and Social Implications of Robotics

Robots today serve in many roles, from entertainer to educator to executioner. As robotics technology advances, ethical concerns become more pressing: Should robots be programmed to follow a code of ethics, if this is even possible? Are there risks in forming emotional bonds with robots? How might society—and ethics—change with robotics? This volume is the first book to bring together prominent scholars and experts from both science and the humanities to explore these and other questions in this emerging field.

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.

An Introduction

Self-reconfigurable robots are constructed of robotic modules that can be connected in many different ways. These modules move in relationship to each other, which allows the robot as a whole to change shape. This shapeshifting makes it possible for the robots to adapt and optimize their shapes for different tasks. Thus, a self-reconfigurable robot can first assume the shape of a rolling track to cover distance quickly, then the shape of a snake to explore a narrow space, and finally the shape of a hexapod to carry an artifact back to the starting point.

Today, when computing is pervasive and deployed over a range of devices by a multiplicity of users, we need to develop computer software to interact with both the ever-increasing complexity of the technical world and the growing fluidity of social organizations. The Art of Agent-Oriented Modeling presents a new conceptual model for developing software systems that are open, intelligent, and adaptive.

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.

Strategies and Lessons from the Trading Agent Competition

E-commerce increasingly provides opportunities for autonomous bidding agents: computer programs that bid in electronic markets without direct human intervention. Automated bidding strategies for an auction of a single good with a known valuation are fairly straightforward; designing strategies for simultaneous auctions with interdependent valuations is a more complex undertaking. This book presents algorithmic advances and strategy ideas within an integrated bidding agent architecture that have emerged from recent work in this fast-growing area of research in academia and industry.

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.

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.

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.

Cynthia Breazeal here presents her vision of the sociable robot of the future, a synthetic creature and not merely a sophisticated tool. A sociable robot will be able to understand us, to communicate and interact with us, to learn from us and grow with us. It will be socially intelligent in a humanlike way. Eventually sociable robots will assist us in our daily lives, as collaborators and companions.

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.

One goal of modern computer science is to engineer computer programs that can act as autonomous, rational agents; software that can independently make good decisions about what actions to perform on our behalf and execute those actions. Applications range from small programs that intelligently search the Web buying and selling goods via electronic commerce, to autonomous space probes. This book focuses on the belief-desire-intention (BDI) model of rational agents, which recognizes the primacy of beliefs, desires, and intentions in rational action.

As computers advance from isolated workstations to linked elements in complex communities of systems and people, cooperation and coordination via intelligent agents become increasingly important. Examples of such communities include the Internet, electronic commerce, health institutions, electricity networks, and digital libraries.

"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.

A Modern Approach to Distributed Artificial Intelligence
Edited by Gerhard Weiss

This is the first comprehensive introduction to multiagent systems and contemporary distributed artificial intelligence that is suitable as a textbook. The book provides detailed coverage of basic topics as well as several closely related ones.

A Winning Approach to Robotic Soccer

This book looks at multiagent systems that consist of teams of autonomous agents acting in real-time, noisy, collaborative, and adversarial environments. The book makes four main contributions to the fields of machine learning and multiagent systems.

foreword by Michael Arbib

An Experiment in Behavior Engineering

foreword by Lashon Booker


To program an autonomous robot to act reliably in a dynamic environment is a complex task. The dynamics of the environment are unpredictable, and the robots' sensors provide noisy input. A learning autonomous robot, one that can acquire knowledge through interaction with its environment and then adapt its behavior, greatly simplifies the designer's work. A learning robot need not be given all of the details of its environment, and its sensors and actuators need not be finely tuned.

Evolutionary robotics (ER) aims to apply evolutionary computation techniques to the design of both real and simulated autonomous robots. The Horizons of Evolutionary Robotics offers an authoritative overview of this rapidly developing field, presenting state-of-the-art research by leading scholars. The result is a lively, expansive survey that will be of interest to computer scientists, robotics engineers, neuroscientists, and philosophers.