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This book presents a mathematical formulation of the kinematics, dynamics, and control of robot manipulators. It uses an concise set of mathematical tools which emphasizes the geometry of robot motion and allows a large class of robotic manipulation problems to be analyzed in a unified framework. The book contains numerous examples and exercises which enable it to be used both as a text for an advanced course in robotics and as a reference for robotics researchers. It is accessible to anyone whose has had previous exposure to robotics and has a basic knowledge of linear algebra and advanced calculus.

The foundation of the book is a derivation of robot kinematics using the product of exponentials formula. This formalism relies on the representation of rigid body motion as the exponential of a generalized velocity (twist). It is used to analyze both the forward and inverse kinematic problems, as well as to study the intrinsic geometry of the Jacobian of a robot manipulator. In addition to the kinematics of open-chain manipulators, the book contains a complete description of the kinematics of multi-fingered robot hands, including rolling contacts.

The book also presents an analysis of the dynamics and control of robots systems. The dynamics of robot manipulators are derived in a fashion which emphasizes the fundamental properties of such systems, and allows both constrained and unconstrained manipulators to be represented in a common framework. A direct consequence of this derivation is that controllers for simple robots can immediately be extended to controllers for complicated, interconnected systems, such as a multi-fingered robot hand. Specification and control of internal forces and internal motions (redundancy) are also treated, as are the implications of the nonholonomic nature of rolling contact.

This book is available from CRC Press. To order a copy of the book, you can call the CRC order department at 1-800-272-7737. The CRC catalog number is 7981 and the list price is $99.95 (slightly higher if you are outside the US).

Richard Murray (murray@cds.caltech.edu)

Last modified: 05/15/99