As part of the "Cool Science Books" series, this title gives an overview of robotics. From its somewhat official beginning in Switzerland in 1772, the text follows the advances made in this science and the people who have worked in this field. As early as the first century A.D. the Greeks began working with "small devices that could move on their own." Leonardo Da Vinci designed a robot in the 1400s, and when a team, using his design, built it in 2003, "the robot knight stood, sat, and raised its arms." Written at an elementary level, using words like "klutzy" and "weird and wacky," this book will appeal to readers of all ages. A glossary is included, but definitions are also scattered throughout the text. Illustrations, "Fun Facts," and text bubbles join together to support the text in providing an overview of robotics. Research by many corporations such as Sony, Honda, Toyota, Sanyo and others is discussed, as well as work done by groups like Carnegie Mellon University, the US Department of Defense, and NASA. Also included are "Source Notes," a "Selected Bibliography," and "Further Reading and Websites" on the topic. 2006, Lerner Publications Company, Ages 8 up.
Gr 4-6-These overviews have an attractive, colorful layout that will appeal to readers. Each spread includes captioned, color photographs and/or illustrations; text boxes; and, often, a "fun fact." The first title presents a history of the science, examples of working robots past and present, ways scientists are working to improve robotics, and how artificial intelligence is helping to create thinking robots. Domaine does a fine job of explaining the many uses of these machines, including for space exploration and medical microsurgery. The content is sound and should be accessible to most students. Fridell offers a brief explanation of the science and then discusses how genetics is being used to invent plants, improve animals, and engineer people. Again, many intriguing examples are given. Glowing plants, supersized mice, and shrinking watermelons are among the topics included. The concluding chapter looks to the future. The third title explains what a satellite is and discusses many aspects of satellites, including how they pertain to television broadcasts, weather forecasting, and locating black holes. Numerous amazing facts are included to pique readers' interest. Solid additions.-Maren Ostergard, Bellevue Regional Library, WA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.