ANN: Books: Mason and Webb

Jud Wolfskill wolfskil at mit.edu
Tue Sep 18 14:01:44 EST 2001

I thought readers of bionet.neuroscience might be interested in this
book.  For more information, please follow the URLs below.  Thank you!


Mechanics of Robotic Manipulation
Matthew T. Mason
For more information please visit http://mitpress.mit.edu/0262133962

"Manipulation" refers to a variety of physical changes made to the world
around us. Mechanics of Robotic Manipulation addresses one form of
robotic manipulation, moving objects, and the various processes
involved--grasping, carrying, pushing, dropping, throwing, and so on.
Unlike most books on the subject, it focuses on manipulation rather than
manipulators. This attention to processes rather than devices allows a
more fundamental approach, leading to results that apply to a broad
range of devices, not just robotic arms.
The book draws both on classical mechanics and on classical planning,
which introduces the element of imperfect information. The book does not
propose a specific solution to the problem of manipulation, but rather
outlines a path of inquiry.

7 x 9, 272 pp., cloth 0-262-13396-2
Intelligent Robotics and Autonomous Agents series
A Bradford Book

Methods and Applications
edited by Barbara Webb and Thomas R. Consi
For more information please visit http://mitpress.mit.edu/026273141X

Animal-like robots are playing an increasingly important role as a link
between the worlds of biology and engineering. The new,
multidisciplinary field of biorobotics provides tools for biologists
studying animal behavior and testbeds for the study and evaluation of
biological algorithms for potential engineering applications. This book
focuses on the role of robots as tools for biologists.

An animal is profoundly affected by the many subtle and complex signals
within its environment, and because the animal invariably disturbs its
environment, it constantly creates a new set of stimuli. Biorobots are
now enabling biologists to understand these complex animal-environment
relationships. This book unites scientists from diverse disciplines who
are using biorobots to probe animal behavior and brain function. The
first section describes the sensory systems of biorobotic crickets,
lobsters, and ants and the visual system of flies. The second section
discusses robots with cockroach motor systems and the intriguing
question of how the evolution of complex motor abilities could lead to
the development of cognitive functions. The final section discusses
higher brain function and neural modeling in mammalian and humanoid

6 x 9, 250 pp.
paper ISBN 0-262-73141-X
Distributed for AAAI Press

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