Ramblin' Robots: Building a Breed of Mechanical Beasts (Venture Books--Science)

Wickelgren, Ingrid

Published by Franklin Watts, 1997
ISBN 10: 0531158292 / ISBN 13: 9780531158296
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Synopsis: Examines the evolution of robotics and the efforts of scientists to develop robots with the abilities of various animals.

From Booklist: Gr. 7^-12. Wickelgren's fascinating and enlightening exploration of the history and development of robots will truly excite readers. From the beginning, the goal of roboticists has been to build sophisticated machines to accomplish complex tasks. The downside of this approach is that these robots can deal with only one set of external conditions. If the environment is changed, the robot will probably fail. But 15 years ago, researchers at MIT decided to create a different kind of robot: a "behavior-based" one with several simple computer brains, each based on an animal reflex, such as "lift leg" or "avoid objects." The result was a robot that combined these basic actions into complex behaviors so that it adapted to its environment much more successfully than its predecessors. "Reflexive robots" have since altered the landscape of robotics: equipped with the most basic animal instincts, they have the potential to reveal, through their reactions to their surroundings, how intelligence evolves. Without oversimplifying, Wickelgren outlines the background and issues of this intriguing area in terms the layperson can understand, using helpful analogies and illustrations to demonstrate difficult concepts. If they can get by the book's dull appearance, YAs will be hooked by the author's clear, enthusiastic approach. A natural resource for research reports, the book will undoubtedly spur some to investigate this fast-developing field more deeply. Black-and-white photos; glossary; endnotes; suggested reading list. Laura Tillotson

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Title: Ramblin' Robots: Building a Breed of ...
Publisher: Franklin Watts
Publication Date: 1997
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: Used: Good

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