Robots are unparalleled at stationary, repetitive work, designed with efficient simplicity to perform their tasks around the clock, without stopping for bathroom breaks or coffee. But when they are on the move, their design becomes more complex because they require propellers, wheels or legs, energy to propel them and a guidance system. Mobile, or locomotory, robots are specialized to the task for which they are developed and are equipped to go slow or fast, to roll or step, even to crawl with suckers on their feet, or to fly. Energy may come from batteries or solar panels. Similarly, navigation systems may be remote or internal, governed by obstacle sensors and GPS coordinates. The appearance of these robots is as varied as their design. Locomotory robots are mowing lawns, moving inventory in warehouses, providing transportation (robot monorails), testing wires and fittings on tall buildings and cruising the oceans. Parker condenses complex information into two-page spreads, each spread presenting a type of locomotory robot and the work associated with it, with clarity and imagination. Detailed captions accompany color photographs and expand on the information in the text. Sidebars in contrast colors present interesting information on specific aspects of the robots. This book, part of "Robot World" series, concludes with a glossary, a list of further reading, a list of websites and an index and is recommended as a resource in upper elementary or middle school classes on robotics and the role of technology in society. Reviewer: Hazel Buys
- Meredith Kiger
One of six in the "Mapping Global Issues" series, this book focuses on poverty and hunger worldwide. Designed for the middle school student, the eye-catching layout and use of visual media such as photos, maps and statistical charts brings this overwhelming issue into focus for young students. The well-researched text is divided into seven chapters, beginning with an introduction into this complex problem that brings some understanding of the economic reality. Subsequent chapters explore the areas of Sub-Saharan Africa, the Asia-Pacific Region, the Middle East and North Africa, the Americas, and Europe and Central Asia. Each chapter explores the commonalities and differences of poverty in each region. The generous use of maps and statistical charts aids students' development of geographical, economic, and political understanding. Boxed personal stories add a human touch to the numbers. The final chapter explores possible solutions to some of the bigger issues in the future. There is plenty of information to spark lively discussion. A glossary, an index, and a list of sources for further info are included. Reviewer: Meredith Kiger, Ph.D.