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Scientific Methods in Mobile Robotics: Quantitative Analysis of Agent Behaviour

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Mobile robots are widely applied in a range of applications from transportation, surveillance through to health care. In all these applications it is clearly important to be able to analyse and control the performance of the mobile robot and it is therefore surprising that formalised methods to achieve this are not readily available. This book introduces methods and procedures from statistics, dynamical systems theory, and system identification that can be applied to address these important problems. The core objective is to try to explain the interaction between the robot, the task and the environment in a transparent manner such that system characteristics can be analysed, controllers can be designed, and behaviours can be replicated in a systematic and structured manner. This aim of constructing a formalised approach for task-achieving mobile robots represents a refreshingly new approach to this complex set of problems.

Dr Nehmzow has done an outstanding job of constructing and describing a unified framework, which clearly sets out the crucial issues for the development of a theory for mobile robots. Thanks to the careful organisation of the topics and a clear exposition, this book provides an excellent introduction to some new directions in this subject area. Dr Nehmzow’s book represents a major departure from the traditional treatment of mobile robots, and provides a refreshing new look at some long-standing problems. I am sure that this is just the beginning of an exciting new phase in this subject area. This book provides a very readable account of the concepts involved; it should have a broad appeal, and will I am sure provide a valuable reference for many years to come.
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