Inventors Steven Baard Skaar, PhD and Guillermo Delcastillo, PhD Publish 'Revisualizing Robotics: New DNA for Surviving a World of Cheap Labor' (ISBN: 1933255102)

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We see robots all the time in the movies; why don’t we see more of them in the real world? This is the question that co-Inventors of the Automatically Guided Wheelchair, Professor Steve Skaar and his colleague Guillermo Del Castillo set out to answer in thei just released book “Revisualizing Robotics: New DNA for Surviving a World of Cheap Labor” (ISBN: 1933255102.)

DNA Press announced today that the book “Revisualizing Robotics: New DNA for Surviving a World of Cheap Labor” (ISBN: 1933255102) was shipped to bookstores. The book is written by the co-inventors of the automatically guided wheelchair Prof. Steve Skaar of the Notre Dame University and his colleague Guillermo Delcastillo.

”We see robots all the time in the movies; why don’t we see more of them in the real world? This is the question that Inventor and Professor Steve Skaar and his colleague Guillermo Del Castillo set out to answer in this revisionist but bracing look at one of the most hyped fields in all of engineering,” says Lee Gomes, Technology Columnist with The Wall Street Journal. “The two are critical of the way robotics researchers over the years have pandered to a credulous media and public. Yet they don’t lose their excitement about the enormous potential for machines helping humans. They have written a book that no one with a serious interest in robots can comfortably ignore.”

Steven Skaar is Professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Notre Dame, co-inventor of robust, new visually guided robot solutions http://www.nd.edu/~sskaar/ and editor of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics volume Teleoperation and Robotics in Space. He draws heavily on NASA’s experience with robot use together with a range of other application types to illustrate the problems and great future prospects of robotics.

“If we see anything in our day-to-day lives it’s mostly robots for entertainment, or maybe devices controlled with a human in the loop, perhaps using a joystick – but not generally the self-guided workers the very word “robot” promises,” said Prof. Skaar. “Our book uses the recent history of efforts to deploy real robots to probe reasons for their “widespread absence” today: Are we simply unable to build the right kinds of mechanism? Possibly we need something closer to the human body, for example? Or are useful robots in fact out there, but just too expensive? Just what is the impediment?”

Prof. Skaar added “The DNA metaphor in the subtitles referring to the mechanisms’ control has a telling twist: Overwhelmingly, as they are used today, factory robots’ “old” DNA partners with our carbon-based kind. What I mean is that still today a human “teacher” uses natural vision to jog the robot’s joints through to joint-angle “poses” required by the task; the robot’s computer remembers these joint angles; and a procedure called “teach-repeat” permits the robot to recover the angles every time a new workpiece comes down the assembly line. If your car has automatic-driver-seat-position memory you’ve done much the same thing: The day you first set the seat-back angle and lumbar support you executed the “teach” of teach-repeat. Every time you turn the key your seat does what the factory robot does when a new workpiece arrives on the assembly line: it recovers or “repeats” the taught pose.”

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The book is available at http://www.dnapress.com and through the DNA Press distributor IPG Books http://www.ipgbook.com. Ingram, Baker&Taylor and other book wholesalers. It can be found at http://www.amazon.com as well as wherever books are sold.

BOOK DETAILS:

ISBN: 1933255102

Book binding: Hardcover

Pages: 299

Price: $29.95

Ordering information: Tel. 800.888.4741; E-mail: orders@ipgbook.com

Interviews with the Authors: Prof. Skaar can be reached at sskaar@nd.edu. Dr. Guillermo Del Castillo can be reached at guillermo@itis.ethz.ch. Please copy editors@dnapress.com when you request interviews. The DNA Press editorial staff will help with materials and scheduling.

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