The ?eld of robotics continues to ?ourish and develop. In common with general scienti?c investigation, new ideas and implementations emerge quite spontaneously and these are discussed, used, discarded or subsumed at c- ferences, in the reference journals, as well as through the Internet. After a little more maturity has been acquired by the new concepts, then archival publication as a scienti?c or engineering monograph may occur. The goal of the Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics is to publish new developments and advances in the ?elds of robotics research - rapidly and informally but with a high quality. It is hoped that prospective authors will welcome the opportunity to publish a structured presentation of some of the emerging robotics methodologies and technologies. The edited volume by Antonio Bicchi, Henrik Christensen and Domenico Prattichizzo is the outcome of the second edition of a workshop jointly sponsored by the IEEE Control Systems Society and the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society. Noticeably, the previous volume was published in the Springer Lecture Notes on Control and Information Sciences. The authors are recognised as leading scholars internationally. A n- ber of challenging control problems on the forefront of today's research in robotics and automation are covered, with special emphasis on vision, sensory-feedback control, human-centered robotics, manipulation, planning, ?exible and cooperative robots, assembly systems.
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