Mighty robots: Mechanical Marvels That Fascinate and Frighten.
When people imagine a robot, it's usually the humanoid servant described in science fiction. But that image is far from robotic reality. Existing robots already perform a variety of tasks, from assembling cars to exploring Mars. Jones, an author of books, articles, and radio plays, explores how robots have become ingrained in the human imagination and how scientists have developed ever-more-advanced machines to perform tasks that people are unable or unwilling to handle. He reviews the history of artificial intelligence and ponders why reality hasn't caught up with people's imaginations: why there still aren't robots that behave as people do. The author goes on to consider the implications of such a robot finally being created. Throughout this short book, Jones provides interesting sidebars on famous fictional robots as well as on real machines that can do everything from vacuuming a room to disarming a bomb. Annick Press, 2005, 126 p., color photos, paperback, $14.95.