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Autonomous Robots: From Biological Inspiration to Implementation and Control (Intelligent Robotics and Autonomous Agents series)

5 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0262025782
ISBN-10: 0262025787
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Autonomous Robots: From Biological Inspiration to Implementation and Control (Intelligent Robotics and Autonomous Agents series) + Darwin's Devices: What Evolving Robots Can Teach Us About the History of Life and the Future of Technology + Ant Encounters: Interaction Networks and Colony Behavior (Primers in Complex Systems)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

George Bekey has quietly been a moving force behind much of autonomous robotics research for the last 20 years. Now he has drawn upon his extensive store of knowledge to produce a startlingly complete account of the major questions, progress, and future directions for this increasingly economically important area of research. No one else could have produced such a tour de force with such authority.

(Rodney Brooks, Director, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab, MIT)

...an additional milestone in the history of synthetic studies, with a special focus on the recent attempts by robotics scientists...this book should be ideal for the students of robotics research, and the researchers in neighboring disciplines, including computer science, artificial life and intelligence, biology, psychology, and neuroscience.

(Fumiya Iida Artificial Life)

Autonomous Robots is a comprehensive overview of the subject by one of the fathers of robotics. It covers both the underlying theory and methods, ranging from mechanical design over architectures, control, and perception to current applications. Remarkably complete in its coverage, the book is an excellent introduction to the field and also a solid reference on recent research.

(Henrik I. Christensen, Centre for Autonomous Systems, Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden)

About the Author

George A. Bekey is Professor Emeritus in Computer Science at University of Southern California and Distinguished Professor of Engineering at California Polytechnic State University.
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Product Details

  • Series: Intelligent Robotics and Autonomous Agents series
  • Hardcover: 560 pages
  • Publisher: A Bradford Book (May 20, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262025787
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262025782
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #901,662 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By James H. McDuffie on August 22, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is a broad brush overview of autonomous robotics. It covers a lot of ground and the depth is not great. But it is an outstanding introduction for just about anybody interested in autonomous robotics. To me it is interesting that the book takes such a biological approach. I have other books that actively try to cover up the biological inspiration. This book flounts it. Controls, structures, learning, software architectures, locomotion, it is all here. Although there is not a lot of depth in the volume, the chosen style and depth makes the book available to a very wide audience and the list of references is tremendous. That is after all where one learns this material.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By W Boudville HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 27, 2005
Format: Hardcover
MIT is one of the key centres of robotics and it is no surprise that this text hails from it. Bekey provides a timely survey (circa 2005) of the state of autonomous robotics. He mentions some robots which have become commercially available recently, like Sony's Aibo, or the Roomba, Asimo or Cog. While simple and cheap, these robots involve key issues of mobility, sensors and decision making.

There are several types of land locomotion. Bekey gives a summary of various efforts since the 70s, to use 4, 6 or 8 legs in a robot.

Aside from locomotion, the book covers many other topics. Such as arm motion and manipulation. This even includes the "exotic" use of neural networks to do inverse kinematics mappings. Though Bekey cautions that the slow convergence of these networks is a serious drawback to realtime usage.

The book should be very readable to someone with a general background in science or engineering. It defers specialised technical details to the papers and texts given in its references.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By kclam on September 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book offers a good and comprehensive overview of a variety of mobile robots such as the wheeled, tracked, legged, snake, underwater and flying robots. Starting from the fundamental structural elements, it examines the software architectures for autonomous robots, locomotion, navigation, control, learning and applications. In particular, the review of humanoid robots and control of multiple robots are most interesting. There are around 200 photographs of robots which are very useful for illustration. Because of little technical details, the book is accessible to most readers.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JJ You on October 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is friendly reading, and excellent collection. Though the humanoid robot had skyrocket change, compared with 2005. Most of the book are up to day.

I also agreed that this book is a review, and lack of detail. Anyway, it is impossible for "one book" to packed too much math or engineering detail in. Thus I still recommended this book for under-graduated school, or others who is newbie.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Arthur A. REYES on February 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Yes, this book provides a fine overview. I need to get the essential information to supervise development of autonomous mobile robots by a team of engineering seniors. This book does not provide me with enough technical information to know the essential abstractions, math models, etc. to guide the project.

My favorite book on the subject is still "Introduction to Autonomous Mobile Robots" by Sigward & Nourbahksh, because it meets my needs.
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