Introduction to Robotics: Mechanics and Control (3rd Edition)

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Book title: Introduction to Robotics: Mechanics and Control (3rd Edition)

Introduction to Robotics: Mechanics and Control (3rd Edition) Technical details/features and description:

Now in its third edition, Introduction to Robotics by John J. Craig provides readers with real-world practicality with underlying theory presented. With one half of the material from traditional mechanical engineering material, one fourth control theoretical material, and one fourth computer science, the book covers rigid-body transformations, forward and inverse positional kinematics, velocities and Jacobians of linkages, dynamics, linear control, non-linear control, force control methodologies

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3 thoughts on “Introduction to Robotics: Mechanics and Control (3rd Edition)

  1. 19 of 22 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Great for understanding the computational mechanics of robotics, September 5, 2005
    By 
    calvinnme
    (TOP 10 REVIEWER)
      
    (VINE VOICE)
      

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Introduction to Robotics: Mechanics and Control (3rd Edition) (Hardcover)

    Over all, I would say this is the best source for understanding mechanics and control theory as it relates to robotics motion. It really gets into the details that books on the subject of computational robots such as “Introduction to Autonomous Mobile Robots” and “Computational Principles of Mobile Robotics” simply do not have the room to accommodate. Chapters two and three go into great detail on the matrix transformations and geometry necessary to relate one frame of motion to another. Chapter four is the best chapter on the subject of inverse kinematics that I have found in print. This chapter tackles the difficult problem of answering the question: “Given starting point A and stopping point B, what forces must come to bear on a particular robotic arm to get from A to B?” Chapter five introduces the very important matrix entity entitled the Jacobian, which is necessary for the study of both velocities and static forces. Once again, the computational robotics books in print mention the Jacobian and use the Jacobian, but none I have encountered actually bother to explain it as this book does. Chapters six and seven round out the discussion of mechanics with tutorials on the subject of manipulator dynamics. Chapter eight is less mathematical, and it deals with the mechanical design of robot elements. A background in mechanics of materials would be helpful for understanding this chapter, but you can still get through it even without it. Finally, chapters nine through eleven deal with control theory and the modeling of robot manipulators. The math gets a bit sparse in these chapters, and I don’t think that the level of explanation is as good here as it is in the first eight chapters dealing with mechanics. Chapters twelve and thirteen deal with robot programming systems and should be understandable by anyone with some computer programming experience. The book is full of worked numerical examples and exercises with the solutions to selected exercises given in the back of the book. The book also has many Matlab programming exercises, which is great since most mathematical robotics problems are too complex to solve without Matlab. The only part of the book that I found somewhat weak in the least bit would be the chapters on control theory.
    In summary, to really appreciate this book you should already have some background in engineering mechanics – say a course in both statics and dynamics, and also some understanding of control theory, with a desire to apply this knowledge specifically to computational issues in robotics. You cannot be a robotic hobbyist and tinkerer with no background in engineering or mathematics and gain much from this book. From reading the other reviews, I think this misunderstanding might be where some of the bad ratings are coming from.

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  2. 14 of 17 people found the following review helpful:
    1.0 out of 5 stars
    Typo ridden clunker…, October 27, 2005
    By 
    A discerning reader (California) –

    This review is from: Introduction to Robotics: Mechanics and Control (3rd Edition) (Hardcover)

    The textbook attempts to cover basic kinematics, forward and backward chaining through the Euclidean approach to describe DH conventions, torque, and so forth. The first three chapters would lead one to expect an excellent textbook, and then the textbook descends into a nightmare.

    The notation is cobbled together from so many different disciplines, we had to make study sheets to figure out what was said. There is no summary of formula or notation. Once there are a dozen notations in play, the typos begin. In chapter six alone, we counted over a dozen formulas with the wrong symbols or missing terms.

    Even with these flaws, the book fails to deliver. The first half of the book has a theme: using transforms on DH conventions to derive position, accelleration, force and torque. Chapter seven covers a number of trajectory planning algorithms. The rest of the book adopts new notation and slowly explores control methods, stretching out simple solutions over many chapters. At the end, the reader still has no idea how to evaluate between the various control methods presented, aside from learning that more modeling is better. No alternatives are presented to the author’s single thread, and the book misses concepts such as variable gains, force field collision avoidence, calibration, and Keynes notation.

    There is a good topic in here screaming to get out. If you delve past the first four chapters, you will be screaming to get out.

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  3. 15 of 20 people found the following review helpful:
    1.0 out of 5 stars
    Avoid if possible, June 21, 2005
    By 
    Stephen Lyon (Santa Barbara, CA) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: Introduction to Robotics: Mechanics and Control (3rd Edition) (Hardcover)

    This is the worst textbook I have ever read. It was assigned for an introductory robotics class I took and it proved to be a very bad experience. The book starts fine with its treatment of rotation and translation matrices, since that topic is simple enough, but somewhere in the sections on kinematics and certainly by the section on Jacobians (conveniently after the drop deadline for my class), the book becomes impossible to follow and therefore worthless. The chapters have rocky progression between topics and later chapters rely heavily on his notation and conventions which are briefly introduced in random places in the beginning of the book (like c12 which apparently means cos(x1)cos(x2)-sin(x1)sin(x2) or something like that). I am lead to believe that these are nonstandard because my professor had his own notation which was different. The book’s examples are not helpful because they lose all generality and dont even make an attempt to guide you through problem solving strategies. In one such instance, a rotation matrix is presented with entries like 0.866025, instead of ‘sin(60)’ which would have given the reader some hint as to how it was derived. Throughout the book the examples lose generality in similar fashion and are of no help with the homework problems, which are rated on a Knuth-style scale of 1-50 for relative difficulty. I guess he thinks it is funny to include unsolved research problems (denoted by 50) in the middle of the review problems, I thought it was annoying. These review problems are even more ambiguous than the examples. They will ask things like ‘solve the inverse kinematics of a manipulator.’ Well, is that a matrix? Table? Is it a function of the angle? It was sort of evident after I got the solutions back what they wanted but I couldn’t figure out what to do when working on the problems initially, even after scouring the text and examples for some clue. I think the problem is that the book is based on lecture notes and I guess he figures it is a good companion for his class, which im sure it is, but it wasnt helpful for my class. It has exactly one useful table, which is the one on inverse kinematic equations, and is the only part of the book I will be keeping. If the book is required, then you dont really have a choice, but don’t pick up this book if you think you are just going to pick up robotics in your spare time.

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