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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Book review From: Industrial Robot: An International Journal, Volume 40, Issue 1
Advanced Mechanics in Robotic Systems
Nava Rodríguez, Nestor EduardoSpringer2011105 pp.$129ISBN: 978-0-85729-587-3www.oldenbourg-verlag.de/en/wissenschaftsverlag/wireless-sensor-networks/9783486707984; www.springer.com/engineering/robotics/book/978-0-85729-587-3?cm_mmc=Google-_-Book%20Search-_-Springer-_-0
Mechanics is a fundamental issue of a robotic system. Other aspects including control, intelligence, and application of a robotic system rely on mechanical design and development. While quite a few books on these aspects have been published, very few books specifically focusing on contemporary mechanics of robotic systems have appeared in recent years. In 2011, the book Advanced Mechanics in Robotic Systems edited by Professor N.E. Nava Rodríguez was published. This book, which was contributed by robotics researchers with intensive hands-on design and application experiences, aims to feature mechanical design and techniques applied to the development of contemporary robotic systems.
The book includes six chapters covering mechanics of different robots. Chapter 1 focuses on the design philosophy and methodologies of humanoid robots. Based on a viewpoint that the humanoid robot is the final link of robot evolution, multi design disciplines through analogies with the human body, were discussed. The design process is then explained aiming to provide a comprehensive solution to humanoid robot design. Chapter 2 focuses on the design of robotic hands. Design concepts of fully actuated and under-actuated robotic hands were described. The design of two corresponding robotic hands was then detailed. Chapter 3 addresses the mechanical structures of multi mobile robots including wheeled robots, tracked robots, legged robots, and hybrid mobile robots regarding to the maneuverability and capability of overcoming obstacles. Specifically, wheeled robot steering is described in detail. Chapter 4 describes design issues of two modular re-configurable parallel robots, classical parallel manipulators and cable-driven ones. A design case of a re-configurable cable-driven parallel robot is featured. Chapter 5 addresses the safe strategies, risk control mechanisms, and corresponding design solutions of human-centered robots. Chapter 6 provides guidelines and solutions of mechanism synthesis during the development of robotic systems with non-complex or low-cost controllers, which includes backlash, vibration, high friction, cantilever and component offsets. The guidelines apply not only to the robotic system, but also to the general mechatronics systems.
Compared to robots in the manufacturing field, the robots covered in this book, such as humanoid robots, robotic hands, mobile robots, and parallel robots, still have many open challenges in the mechanical aspect. This book tries to address the contemporary mechanical issues during the above robotic system developments. It provides instructive solutions to mechanical design by giving not only detailed theoretical analyses, but it also references case studies, which makes this book specific and very informative. However, there are still some potential points for improvements. Chapter 1 would be more instructive if a case study had been reported. Some sections in Chapters 3 and 5 were too brief to be understood thoroughly.
In general, the book is well written and organized. It features the contemporary mechanical issues of robotic systems which draw growing attention. I believe it would be a focus for concern of relevant readers including robotics researchers and mechatronics engineers. The book also provides good materials for studies of advanced mechanics for graduate engineering students.
Zeyang XiaDepartment of Mechanical Engineering, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA