Robotics involves the combined application of several disciplines, such as kinematics, dynamics, control, and programming. Robot algorithms are abstractions describing motion and perception acts that, when executed in the physical world, achieve goal arrangements of physical objects. Such algorithms may be implemented in various ways, e.g., as software modules in a programmable robot controller or as pure mechanisms. Their specification, design, and analysis raises a unique combination of basic questions having their roots in computer science and combinatorial geometry, as well as in control theory.
Although interest in robot algorithms has increased in recent years, most of the research on this topic has been presented at conferences and journals that cover a broad range of topics in either robotics or computational geometry. To better understand how algorithms might serve as a coherent and unifying subfield within robotics, a small workshop was proposed to bring together researchers who have been active in this area for several years. Graduate students and representatives from industry were also invited. Thirty-seven papers were presented in a single track over three days. Although the topics ranged widely, computational issues such as discretization and complexity served as unifying themes. The papers are now collected in a book published by A.K. Peters.
Table of contents.
1995. 556pp. $52.00,
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