The Developmental Organization of Robot Behavior
A comprehensive introduction to the mathematical foundations of movement and actuation that apply equally to animals and machines.
This textbook offers a computational framework for the sensorimotor stage of development as applied to robotics. Much work in developmental robotics is based on ad hoc examples, without a full computational basis. This book's comprehensive and complete treatment fills the gap, drawing on the principal mechanisms of development in the first year of life to introduce what is essentially an operating system for developing robots. The goal is to apply principles of development to robot systems that not only achieve new levels of performance but also provide evidence for scientific theories of human development.
The book covers motor units, explaining how animals and robots actuate and control their bodies; discusses kinematics and dynamics of articulated sensorimotor mechanisms, including a traditional treatment of the kinematics of grasping; examines the commonly used sensor modalities of vision and touch, comparing them to their biological counterparts; and explores the role of developmental neurology in the first year of life, codifying it in a computational architecture for developmental robotics. Written exercises reinforce the content. Programming projects can be undertaken using a simple robot simulator, “Roger” (named after Paul Churchland's Roger the Crab). Appendixes provide supporting mathematics, including a primer on linear algebra and integral transforms, common methods for deriving the dynamic equation of motion for articulated systems, the basics of numerical relaxation, and an introduction to Q-learning.