Special Issue on Modern Trends in Mobile Robotics
Takashi Tsubouchi* and Keiji Nagatani**
* Associate Professor University of Tsukuba 1-1-1,Tennoudai,Tsukuba-shi,lbaraki,305 -8573 Japan
** Okayama University 3-1-1,Tsushima-naka,Okayama-shi,Okayama,700-8530 Japan
Since the dawning of the Robotics age, mobile robots have been important objectives of research and development. Working from such aspects as locomotion mechanisms, path and motion planning algorithms, navigation, map building and localization, and system architecture, researchers are working long and hard. Despite the fact that mobile robotics has a shorter history than conventional mechanical engineering, it has already accumulated a major, innovative, and rich body of R&D work. Rapid progress in modern scientific technology had advanced to where down-sized low-cost electronic devices, especially highperformance computers, can now be built into such mobile robots. Recent trends in ever higher performance and increased downsizing have enabled those working in the field of mobile robotics to make their models increasingly intelligent, versatile, and dexterous. The down-sized computer systems implemented in mobile robots must provide high-speed calculation for complicated motion planning, real-time image processing in image recognition, and sufficient memory for storing the huge amounts of data required for environment mapping. Given the swift progress in electronic devices, new trends are now emerging in mobile robotics. This special issue on “Modern Trends in Mobile Robotics” provides a diverse collection of distinguished papers on modern mobile robotics research. In the area of locomotion mechanisms, Huang et al. provide an informative paper on control of a 6-legged walking robot and Fujiwara et al. contribute progressive work on the development of a practical omnidirectional cart. Given the importance of vision systems enabling robots to survey their environments, Doi et al., Tang et al., and Shimizu present papers on cutting-edge vision-based navigation. On the crucial subject of how to equip robots with intelligence, Hashimoto et al. present the latest on sensor fault detection in dead-reckoning, Miura et al. detail the probabilistic modeling of obstacle motion during mobile robot navigation, Hada et al. treat long-term mobile robot activity, and Lee et al. explore mobile robot control in intelligent space. As guest editors, we are sure readers will find these articles both informative and interesting concerning current issues and new perspectives in modern trends in mobile robotics.
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