By the dawn of the new millennium, robotics has undergone a major tra- formation in scope and dimensions. This expansion has been brought about bythematurityofthe?eldandtheadvancesinitsrelatedtechnologies.From a largely dominant industrial focus, robotics has been rapidly expanding into the challenges of the human world. The new generation of robots is expected to safely and dependably co-habitat with humans in homes, workplaces, and communities,providingsupportinservices,entertainment,education,heal- care, manufacturing, and assistance. Beyond its impact on physical robots, the body of knowledge robotics has produced is revealing a much wider range of applications reaching across - verse research areas and scienti?c disciplines, such as: biomechanics, haptics, neurosciences, virtual simulation, animation, surgery, and sensor networks among others. In return, the challenges of the new emerging areas are pr- ing an abundant source of stimulation and insights for the ?eld of robotics. It is indeed at the intersection of disciplines that the most striking advances happen. The goal of the series of Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics (STAR) is to bring, in a timely fashion, the latest advances and developments in robotics on the basis of their signi?cance and quality. It is our hope that the wider dissemination of research developments will stimulate more exchanges and collaborations among the research community and contribute to further advancement of this rapidly growing ?eld.
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The monograph written by Mihoko Otake combines ideas from chemistry and physics, material science and engineering for the revolutionary development of the so-called gel robots. Electroactive polymers are introduced to build new types of muscular-like actuation for deformable robots. The coverage spans from modelling and design to the development, control and experimental testing. A number of methods are proposed for describing the shapes and motions of such systems. The results are demonstrated for beam-shaped gels curling around an object and starfish-shaped gel robots turning over.Review:
From the reviews:“The main focus of this book is to propose methods for deriving a variety of shapes and motions of such machines, using a particular ElectroActive Polymer gel (EAP). ... This book is the first comprehensive monograph in the world on deformable robots utilizing electroactive polymers with full of original simulation and experimental results.” (George S. Stavrakakis, Zentralblatt MATH, Vol. 1190, 2010)
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