From the Back Cover
The StiquitoTM robot is a small, inexpensive, six-legged robot that is unique not only by its cost but because its applications are limitless. This book is written at a level for High School and College students. It provides an engineering, electronics, and robotics curriculum, and presents experiments and projects that illustrates what they teach. It also illustrates Stiquito's uses in education by presenting lab exercises and describes the use of nitinol in classroom e4xperiments. Stiquito has already successfully been used to teach in primary, secondary, high school, and college curricula.
An accompanying teacher's manual that includes additional experiments and lists the science benchmarks and national standards associated with each chapter is also available.
About the Author
He is currently an engineer at Ericsson, Inc., and an adjunct professor at North Carolina State University. He has serve as an assistant professor at the University of Arkansas and as an instructor at North Carolina State University. He has also worked at IBM in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, and Houston, Texas; at Seer Technologies in Cary, North Carolina; at MCI in research Triangle Park, North Carolina; and at BPM Technology in Greenville, South Carolina.
Dr. Conrad is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery, Eta Kappa Nu, and IEEE Computer Society. He is also a Senior Member of IEEE. He is the author of numerous articles in the areas of robotics, parallel processing, artificial intelligence, and engineering education.
Jonathan W. Mills received his doctorate in 1988 from Arizona State University. He is currently an associate professor in the Computer Science Department at Indiana University and director of Indiana University's Analog VLSI and Robotics Laboratory, which he founded in 1992. Dr. Mills invented Stiquito in 1992 as a simple and inexpensive walking robot to use in multirobot colonies and with which to study analog VLSI implementations of biological systems. In 1994 he developed the larger Stiquito II robot, which is used in an eight-robot colony in his laboratory. Since 1992 Indiana University has distributed more than 3,000 Stiquito robots, leading to the idea for this book.
Dr. Mills is currently researching biological computation in the brain using tissue-level models of neural structures implemented with analog VLSI field computers. Field computers offer a powerful but simple paradigm for adaptive robotic control. They are small and light enough to be carried by Stiquito, yet still perform sensor fusion and behavioral control.
Dr. Mills has written a series of papers on his analog VLSI and robot designs; he has one patent with several others pending and applied for on his work. He also freely admits that Stiquito is just the start of what he hopes will be a series of improved and functional miniature robots, and he encourages the readers of this book to be inspired and build them.