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Robotics

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.

Science and Systems IV

Robotics: Science and Systems IV spans a wide spectrum of robotics, bringing together researchers working on the foundations of robotics, robotics applications, and the analysis of robotics systems. This volume presents the proceedings of the fourth annual Robotics: Science and Systems conference, held in 2008 at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.

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.

Science and Systems III

Robotics: Science and Systems III spans a wide spectrum of robotics, bringing together researchers working on the foundations of robotics, robotics applications, and analysis of robotics systems. This volume presents the proceedings of the third annual Robotics: Science and Systems conference, held in June 2007 at Georgia Tech.

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.

Science and Systems II

Robotics: Science and Systems II spans all areas of robotics, bringing together researchers working on the algorithmic and mathematical foundations of robotics, robotics applications, and analysis of robotics systems. This volume presents the proceedings of the second annual Robotics: Science and Systems conference, held in August 2006.

Science and Systems I

The new Robotics: Science and Systems conference spans all areas of robotics, bringing together researchers working on the algorithmic and mathematical foundations of robotics, robotics applications, and analysis of robotics systems. This volume contains papers presented at the inaugural conference, held at MIT in June, 2005.

Additional information can be found at http://roboticsconference.org, or by clicking on the link to the left.

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.

Head direction cells—neurons that fire only when an animal orients its head in a certain direction—are found in several different brain areas, with different neurons selective for different head orientations; they are influenced by landmarks as well as motor and vestibular information concerning how the head moves through space. These properties suggest that head direction cells play an important role in determining orientation in space and in navigation.

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.