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What is this Book About?

This is an unique introduction to programming robots to execute tasks autonomously. Drawing on years of experience in artificial intelligence and robot programming, Cameron and Tracey Hughes introduce the reader to basic concepts of programming robots to execute tasks without the use of remote controls.

Robot Programming: A Guide to Controlling Autonomous Robots takes the reader on an adventure through the eyes of Midamba, a lad who has been stranded on a desert island and must find a way to program robots to help him escape. In this book, you are presented with practical approaches and techniques to program robot sensors, motors, and translate your ideas into tasks a robot can execute autonomously.

Cameron and Tracey Hughes are two of the authors of "Build Your Own Teams of Robots with LEGO® Mindstorms® NXT and Bluetooth", published by McGraw-Hill/TAB Electronics, January 2013. They have written many books and blogs on Software Development and Artificial Intelligence. They’ve also written books on multicore, multithreaded programming, Linux rapid application development, object-oriented programming, and parallel programming in C++.

The robot programming “boot camp” ensures that you have all the information needed to get started programming autonomous robots. We have built and programmed many types of robots ranging from simple single-purpose robots to advanced multifunction autonomous robot teams and have found this short robot programming boot camp indispensable for those who are new to programming robots or who want to learn new techniques to program robots.

In this book, we tell a short story of how free-spirited, fun-loving Midamba found himself in a precarious predicament. As luck would have it, his only chance out of the predicament required that he learn how to program robots. Although Midamba had some basic experience programming a computer, he had very little knowledge of robots and no experience programming them. So throughout the book, we use Midamba’s predicament and his robot programming triumph as an example. We walk you through the same basic lessons that Midamba learned and the steps he had to take to successfully program his first robot.

Although Robot Programming: A Guide to Controlling Autonomous Robots does not assume that you have any previous experience programming robots, to get the most out the book it is assumed that you are familiar with basic programming techniques in standard programming languages such as Java or C++. While the book does present the final robot programs in Java or C++, the basic robot instruction techniques and concepts are presented with diagrams or plain English first. The book also introduces you to approaches to program design, planning, and analysis such as RSVP (Robot Scenario Visual Planning) and REQUIRE (Robot Effectiveness Quotient Used in Real Environments).