Robots among Us: The Challenges and Promises of Robotics

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
R2D2 and C3PO ("Star Wars") have provided moviegoers with a positive outlook on the potential of robots in a future "far, far away" from our world today. In Robots Among Us, Christopher Baker provides the adolescent reader an opportunity to consider the promises and challenges for robotics in our present and future. The smartly packaged 48-page text begins with a discussion of the useful attributes of robots and their influence on what robots should or need to look like in order to function successfully. From there, Baker leads us through a discussion of intellectual as well as sensory issues that engineers and scientists are balancing as they bring together the science of robotics with aspects of artificial intelligence. In terms of aesthetics, Baker has found a sensible blend of text and photography, especially appropriate for adolescents who can handle more text and less visual stimulation. This is not to say that the photography is not important; indeed, Baker's choices allow students to focus on the most "real" examples of robots in use today. Finally, the author provides a page of web sites that can be accessed by students who have become interested in the subject through their reading of this text or have used Robots Among Us as a starting point for a research project. I definitely found Robots Among Us to be an educational and interesting read, two necessary aspects of any book that will be used with middle school through high school-age students. 2002, The Millbrook Press, $22.90. Ages 10 to 18. Reviewer: Jean Boreen
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-How and why robots are designed, what they do, and how they may be used in the future are the subjects of this fascinating book. Baker frequently provides activities and experiments to illustrate a point. Routine actions such as picking up a glass and drinking its contents are broken down into a "sense-think-act cycle" that is also used to guide a robot's actions. Clear, color photographs and descriptions of present-day robots, while not always placed on the most appropriate pages, add interest as well as information. Readers won't find much specific material about components, electronics, and other aspects of construction, but they will be inspired by a sense of wonder about the abilities of the human body and the complexities involved in trying to duplicate them with a machine.-Louise L. Sherman, formerly at Anna C. Scott School, Leonia, NJ Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761319696
  • Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/28/2002
  • Series: New Century Technology Series
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 10 - 13 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.30 (w) x 8.46 (h) x 0.42 (d)

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