Focusing on the important control problems in state-of-the-art robotics and automation, this volume features invited papers from a workshop held at CDC, San Diego, California. As well as looking at current problems, it aims to identify and discuss challenging issues that are yet to be solved but which will be vital to future research directions. The many topics covered include: automatic control, distributed multi-agent control, multirobots, dexterous hands, flexible manipulators, walking robots, free-floating systems, nonholonomic robots, sensor fusion, fuzzy control, virtual reality, visual servoing, and task synchronization. Control Problems in Robotics and Automation will be of interest to all researchers, scientists and graduate students who wish to broaden their knowledge in robotics and automation and prepare themselves to address and resolve the control problems that will be faced in this field as we enter the twenty-first century.
It is rather evident that if we are to address successfully the control needs of our society in the 21st century, we need to develop new methods to meet the new challenges, as these needs; are imposing ever increasing demands for better, faster, cheaper and more reliable control systems. There are challenging control needs all around us, in manufacturing and process industries, in transportation and in communications, to mention but a few of the application areas. Advanced sensors, actuators, computers, and communication networks offer unprecedented opportunities to implement highly ambitious control and decision strategies. There are many interesting control problems out there which urgently need good solutions. These are exciting times for control, full of opportunities. We should identify these new problems and challenges and help the development and publication of fundamental results in new areas, areas that show early promise that will be able to help address the control needs of industry and society well into the next century. We need to enhance our traditional control :methods, we need new ideas, new concepts, new methodologies and new results to address the new problems. Can we do this? This is the challenge and the opportunity.