Robotics Engineering and Our Automated World by Rebecca Sjonger, Crabtree Publishing, 2016. ISBN: 9780778775379. Reviewed by John R. Clark, MLIS
Another in a good series on engineering, this entry begins by noting that the field isn’t cut and dried in terms of everyone agreeing on what exactly constitutes a robot. From there it discusses defines autonomous robots (ones that function without human help) which are the type generally used in manufacturing, automatic car washes, self-operating vacuum cleaners, etc. It goes on to cover artificial intelligence, starting with remote controlled ones like those that are used in bomb disposal. Some of the more recent types blend the two. Our space shuttle program couldn’t function without them, nor could self-driving cars and drones.
The history of robotics is mentioned, noting the origin of the word in a Czech play back in 1921 as well as early pioneers Gerge Devol and Joseph Engelberger. The impact of computer science comes next, followed by power sources and how both impacted our missions to Mars. More recent developments, future challenges and how readers can create their own design challenge are last, followed by a glossary, a list of books, online sources and places to visit where robotic technology is on display. It’s a worthy addition to a library collection that encourages interest in STEM.