The Robotics Primer

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The Robotics Primer offers a broadly accessible introduction to robotics for studentsat pre-university and university levels, robot hobbyists, and anyone interested in this burgeoningfield. The text takes the reader from the most basic concepts (including perception and movement) tothe most novel and sophisticated applications and topics (humanoids, shape-shifting robots, spacerobotics), with an emphasis on what it takes to create autonomous intelligent robot behavior. Thecore concepts of robotics are carried through from fundamental definitions to more complexexplanations, all presented in an engaging, conversational style that will appeal to readers ofdifferent backgrounds. The Robotics Primer covers such topics as the definition of robotics, thehistory of robotics ("Where do Robots Come From?"), robot components, locomotion,manipulation, sensors, control, control architectures, representation, behavior ("Making YourRobot Behave"), navigation, group robotics, learning, and the future of robotics (and itsethical implications). To encourage further engagement, experimentation, and course and lessondesign, The Robotics Primer is accompanied by a free robot programming exercise workbook thatimplements many of the ideas on the book on iRobot platforms. The Robotics Primer is unique as aprincipled, pedagogical treatment of the topic that is accessible to a broad audience; the onlyprerequisites are curiosity and attention. It can be used effectively in an educational setting ormore informally for self-instruction. The Robotics Primer is a springboard for readers of allbackgrounds--including students taking robotics as an elective outside the major, graduate studentspreparing to specialize in robotics, and K-12 teachers who bring robotics into their classrooms.MajaJ Mataric [acute accent over c] is Professor of Computer Science and Neuroscience and Director ofthe Center for Robotics and Embedded Systems at the University of Southern California, where she isalso Codirector of the Robotics Research Lab and Senior Associate Dean for research in the ViterbiSchool of Engineering.

 

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Contents

What Is a Robot? Defining Robotics
1
Where Do Robots Come From? A Brief but Gripping History of Robotics
7
Whats in a Robot? Robot Components
19
Arms Legs Wheels Tracks and What Really Drives Them Effectors and Actuators
29
Move It Locomotion
47
Grasping at Straws Manipulation
59
Whats Going On? Sensors
69
Switch on the Light Simple Sensors
81
Dont Think React Reactive Control
161
Think and Act Separately in Parallel Hybrid Control
177
Think the Way You Act BehaviorBased Control
187
Making Your Robot Behave Behavior Coordination
207
When the Unexpected Happens Emergent Behavior
215
Going Places Navigation
223
Go Team Group Robotics
233
Things Keep Getting Better Learning
255

Sonars Lasers and Cameras Complex Sensors
97
Stay in Control Feedback Control
121
The Building Blocks of Control Control Architectures
135
Whats in Your Head? Representation
145
Think Hard Act Later Deliberative Control
151
Where To Next? The Future of Robotics
269
Bibliography
289
Glossary
293
Index
303
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Maja J. Mataric is Professor of Computer Science and Neuroscience and Director of the Center for Robotics and Embedded Systems at the University of Southern California, where she is also Codirector of the Robotics Research Lab and Senior Associate Dean for research in the Viterbi School of Engineering.