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Interesting Books

In defence of the book

You can  probably find everything you need on the internet but it can be well hidden, here today and gone (or changed) tomorrow, sketchy or even plain wrong.  That’s why people write books!  A book’s job is to explain things from start to finish in a consistent manner – it’s all about the clear and logical development of the ideas and the connections between ideas. Of course the author’s idea of clear and logical mightn’t match yours, but that perhaps says more about the author’s inability to explain than it does your ability to understand.  The good news is that there are lots of good books to choose from. Have a browse and choose the one where the authors brain seems to be some kind of match for  yours.

Here are some books that I like on various topics related to robotics, vision, biology and the social impact of robotic.  Most of these are on my own bookshelf (or in my Kindle), and many are written by people I’ve met or know. Click  a link to take you to Amazon to browse the details and reviews.



This book covers everything about robotics with very readable chapters written by experts in their fields.  You probably don’t need to buy one, but make friends with somebody who has one.

A comprehensive book on the fundamentals of AI, it’s a fast moving field and this classic has been recently updated:

Robot manipulator arms

A classical robotics text with comprehensive coverage of robot manipulator arm kinematics, dynamics and control, using 3D vectors and homogeneous transformations:

A classical robotics text covering robot manipulator arm kinematics, dynamics and control, using 3D vectors and homogeneous transformations, plus a bit of path planning and computer vision:

A modern robotics text with comprehensive coverage of robot manipulator arm kinematics, dynamics and control, using a Lie group and algebra approach.  Mathematically advanced but definitely worth persevering with:

Mobile robots

This book covers the kinematics of wheeled vehicles in great detail, as well as legged and aerial vehicles. It also has chapters on  path planning, state estimation, perception and control:

This book has deep coverage of topics including path planning, state estimation, perception and control:

Flying robots

THE reference book for rotorcraft, the formulation is standard for aeronautical engineering but a little unfamiliar to roboticist’s way of formulating dynamics

THE reference book for probabilistic robots.  Don’t be intimidated by the thickness of the book, logically developed and readable

The detailed fundamentals of how GPS works

A slender volume that clearly explains how to work out where you using the stars and a sextant

Underwater robots

Computer vision

The handbook or encyclopaedia of classical computer vision techniques, predates the deep learning revolution:

Practical details of image and video information presented in an intuitive way.

Biology of vision

I am still amazed at how well our eye and brain functions, here are some insights into what is going on.

Discusses how the eyes of animals have evolved to fit their particular ecological niche, trading off light levels, size, field of view, resolution etc.

Proposes an interesting theory about how the mutation that led to vision might have dramatically spurred the development of life on Earth

Robots, jobs, society, the future