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Rehabilitation Robotics
The coupling of several areas of the medical field with recent advances in robotic systems has seen a paradigm shift in our approach to selected sectors of medical care, especially over the last decade. Rehabilitation medicine is one such area. The development of advanced robotic systems has ushered with it an exponential number of trials and experiments aimed at optimising restoration of quality of life to those who are physically debilitated. Despite these developments, there remains a paucity in the presentation of these advances in the form of a comprehensive tool. This book was written to present the most recent advances in rehabilitation robotics known to date from the perspective of some of the leading experts in the field and presents an interesting array of developments put into 33 comprehensive chapters. The chapters are presented in a way that the reader will get a seamless impression of the current concepts of optimal modes of both experimental and ap- plicable roles of robotic devices.
Human Robot Interaction
Human-robot interaction research is diverse and covers a wide range of topics. All aspects of human factors and robotics are within the purview of HRI research so far as they provide insight into how to improve our understanding in developing effective tools, protocols, and systems to enhance HRI. For example, a significant research effort is being devoted to designing human-robot interface that makes it easier for the people to interact with robots. HRI is an extremely active research field where new and important work is being published at a fast pace. It is neither possible nor is it our intention to cover every important work in this important research field in one volume. However, we believe that HRI as a research field has matured enough to merit a compilation of the outstanding work in the field in the form of a book. This book, which presents outstanding work from the leading HRI researchers covering a wide spectrum of topics, is an effort to capture and present some of the important contributions in HRI in one volume. We hope that this book will benefit both experts and novice and provide a thorough understanding of the exciting field of HRI.
Multiprocessor Scheduling, Theory and Applications
A major goal of the book is to continue a good tradition - to bring together reputable researchers from different countries in order to provide a comprehensive coverage of advanced and modern topics in scheduling not yet reflected by other books. The virtual consortium of the authors has been created by using electronic exchanges; it comprises 50 authors from 18 different countries who have submitted 23 contributions to this collective product. In this sense, the volume can be added to a bookshelf with similar collective publications in scheduling, started by Coffman (1976) and successfully continued by Chretienne et al. (1995), Gutin and Punnen (2002), and Leung (2004). This volume contains four major parts that cover the following directions: the state of the art in theory and algorithms for classical and non-standard scheduling problems; new exact optimization algorithms, approximation algorithms with performance guarantees, heuristics and metaheuristics; novel models and approaches to scheduling; and, last but least, several real-life applications and case studies.
Medical Robotics
The first generation of surgical robots are already being installed in a number of operating rooms around the world. Robotics is being introduced to medicine because it allows for unprecedented control and precision of surgical instruments in minimally invasive procedures. So far, robots have been used to position an endoscope, perform gallbladder surgery and correct gastroesophogeal reflux and heartburn. The ultimate goal of the robotic surgery field is to design a robot that can be used to perform closed-chest, beating-heart surgery. The use of robotics in surgery will expand over the next decades without any doubt. Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) is a revolutionary approach in surgery. In MIS, the operation is performed with instruments and viewing equipment inserted into the body through small incisions created by the surgeon, in contrast to open surgery with large incisions. This minimizes surgical trauma and damage to healthy tissue, resulting in shorter patient recovery time. The aim of this book is to provide an overview of the state-of-art, to present new ideas, original results and practical experiences in this expanding area. Nevertheless, many chapters in the book concern advanced research on this growing area. The book provides critical analysis of clinical trials, assessment of the benefits and risks of the application of these technologies. This book is certainly a small sample of the research activity on Medical Robotics going on around the globe as you read it, but it surely covers a good deal of what has been done in the field recently, and as such it works as a valuable source for researchers interested in the involved subjects, whether they are currently “medical roboticists” or not.
Reinforcement Learning
Brains rule the world, and brain-like computation is increasingly used in computers and electronic devices. Brain-like computation is about processing and interpreting data or directly putting forward and performing actions. Learning is a very important aspect. This book is on reinforcement learning which involves performing actions to achieve a goal. The first 11 chapters of this book describe and extend the scope of reinforcement learning. The remaining 11 chapters show that there is already wide usage in numerous fields. Reinforcement learning can tackle control tasks that are too complex for traditional, hand-designed, non-learning controllers. As learning computers can deal with technical complexities, the tasks of human operators remain to specify goals on increasingly higher levels. This book shows that reinforcement learning is a very dynamic area in terms of theory and applications and it shall stimulate and encourage new research in this field.



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