Robotics for Software Engineers book - MEAP updates

Dear ROS community,

trying to find a way to share updates on new chapters of Robotics for Software Engineers becoming available in Manning Early Access Program (MEAP) with you without spamming Discourse, I intend to post them to this thread [1] (only).

The current draft table of contents for the book is:

Part 1: The Big Picture
1 Robotics or Bits Meet Atoms
2 Robots from a Software Point of View
3 Robot Software Systems

Part 2: Fundamentals
4 Robot Motion Fundamentals 1: Geometry
5 Robot Motion Fundamentals 2: Kinematics and Dynamics
6 Robot Motion Fundamentals 3: Control and Models
7 Robotics Libraries, Frameworks and Tools
8 Virtual Robots: Simulators
9 Basic Manipulation
10 Mobility

Part 3: More Capabilities
11 Task Planing and Execution
12 Sensors and Sensing
13 Advanced Manipulation
14 Navigation
15 Artificial Intelligence in Robotics

Part 4: Applications
16 Application I: Flexible Assembly Cell
17 Application II: Goods-To-Person Logistics
18 Application III: Drone Analytics
19 Application IV: Fetch and Deliver

Part 5: In Practice
20 Robot Software Architecture
21 Robot Software Engineering
22 Working with Real Robots

Part 6: A Few More Things
23 More Awesome Robotics Topics

Appendix A: Installation Instructions
Appendix B: Minimal Recaps
Appendix C: Real Robots for Your Projects

Usage of ROS2 starts in chapter 7 and usage of Gazebo in chapter 8.

Best regards,

[1] Bumping the thread if necessary before no new answers are possible after 30 days.


Chapter 4 (Robot Motion Fundamentals 1: Geometry) is now available in MEAP. It covers

  • Working with objects in space: shapes and poses
  • Coordinate transformation trees
  • Common geometry representations and how to operate on them

Looking forward to your feedback!

4 Robot Motion Fundamentals 1: Geometry
4.1 Objects in Space
4.2 Coordinate Transformations
4.3 Common Geometry Representations
4.3.1 Vectors
4.3.2 Matrices
4.3.3 Homogenous Coordinates
4.3.4 Quaternions
4.3.5 Shapes
4.4 Practical Advice
4.5 Exercises on Geometry
4.6 Summary

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Please move this thread over to the training and education category to avoid spamming general.

Is this book open access or is the material behind a paywall?

Thread moved - thanks for proposing a suitable category.

It is a regular commercial book. However, the MEAP livebook system allows each user a free preview of large parts.

I really enjoyed part 1 @ahb, looking forward to reading the recent updates.

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Chapter 5 is taking longer than planned - I’ll post here once it is available in MEAP.

The main reason for the delay is the difficulty to present various robot types (manipulators, ground-based mobile robots, aerial robots, …) in a coherent way. The terminology, notation and conventions used in the robotics literature for the robot types are quite varied and inconsistently used.
What is your opinion, how well are we doing in the ROS community when it comes to having a uniform way to handle all the highly diverse types of robots running ROS?

See also this discussion on LinkedIn.

Today (Jun 6th) you can get 45% off on Robotics for Software Engineers book: Deal of the Day
Furthermore, you can get the same discount on Build Mobile Robots with ROS2 liveProject (same link).

Chapter 5 “Robot Motion 2: Kinematics” is now online: 5 Robot Motion Fundamentals 2: Kinematics · Robotics for Software Engineers MEAP V03

The chapter covers

  • Kinematics: Trajectories and the conversion between joint and task space.
  • Analytical and numerical approaches to kinematics.
  • Differentiation and integration as essential mathematical tools.

The visual style of most 3D figures will likely look familiar to people here :slight_smile:

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Thanks for the updates on this @ahb, looking forward to reading through the new chapter.

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More free content available on the robot software stack: The Robot Software Stack - Manning

Another excerpt is online: Robots as Software - Manning

The book was renamed to “Robotics for Programmers” (Robotics for Programmers) - content staying the same. Next chapter on dynamics will most likely become available this month.

Today Robotics for Programmers is the Deal of the Day and you can get 45% off: Deal of the Day

Chapter 6 was delayed on my side, but is now submitted and should be online in MEAP soon.

Chapter 6 has been released:

  • Dynamics: The relationship between forces/torques and motion
  • Foundational physics principles underlying robot motion
  • Equations of motion for rigid body mechanisms and robots
  • Algorithms for forward dynamics and inverse dynamics

This includes explanation of the concepts behind the dynamics related URDF parameters such as <inertial>, <contact_coefficients> and <dynamics>, also <transmission>.

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