ROBOT: The Life Story of a Technology

ROBOT: The Life Story of a Technology

LISA NOCKS    Book Number: 84711    Product format: Hardback

Since the turn of the last century, Honda, Toyota and Sony have exhibited humanoid robots that look like diminutive suited astronauts. They can climb stairs, run, dance, communicate with their operators and even play musical instruments but as yet are not nearly as sophisticated as those depicted in movies like AI: Artificial Intelligence or I, Robot (2004). Robotics have in the last 30 years expanded to the medical, military, exploration and service industries. Walking and flying insect-bots, wheeled and track-propelled mobile robots, precision arm and hand robots are only some of the configurations incorporated into such fields as space and underwater exploration, environmental clean up, mining and excavation, construction and manufacturing, search and rescue and combat operations. The newest mobile robots can navigate their environments independently learning from their experience and 'cyber' bots serve as important instruments for surveillance and information services like Web browsers. The first part of the book is an introduction to the forerunners of the robot. As early as the first millennium BCE, the Greeks had incorporated into their mythology stories of sophisticated machines built from forged metals. In the Middle Ages and Renaissance, the creation of hydraulically-powered garden automata led to the production of mechanical ones. The second part of the volume covers early 20th century advances in control engineering. Efforts to improve automatic weapons and decipher enemy code resulted in both cybernetics and the binary code that is the basis of the first modern computers. The invention of transistors and electronic controllers at mid century made it possible to build truly robotic manipulators. With a timeline of important events, glossary of terms, descriptions and statistics of robot labs and companies from around the world. 192pp in paperback.
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Additional product information

ISBN 9780801890710
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