Electronic Design

Robotics: Science and Systems I

Edited by Sabastian Thrun, Gaurav Sukhatme, Stefan Schaal, and Oliver BrockISBN: 0262701146

Looking for the latest on robotics? This book is the collection of roughly 50 papers presented at the Robotics: Science and Systems conference held at MIT in 2005. They cover a wide range of topics including vision systems, topology mapping and planning.

The papers have a high density of photos, equations, proofs and code examples making it heavy duty reading. I was able to do a quick scan because each paper includes an abstract but it was well worth the time to reread articles of interest to get the most out of them.

Multiple robots including swarm and cooperative robots were common threads among the papers. There were also a number of unique robots presented such as SpinyBotII that can climb walls using its multiple legs with tiny spines used to grip a rough surface. Another robot presented in a paper mimics a water strider insect that can essentially walk on water. If you want to know why robotics is such a challenging application area then this book is a useful introduction. It is invaluable for experts in the field and for those who need to stay abreast of the technology. Just reserve plenty of time to get through the book.


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