Robotics is now a well established field of endeavour both in industry and research laboratories. There is a danger that the word may be widely in areas where it is inappropriate, so knowing precisely what used even a robot is, how it is controlled and how it may be used in specific applications is of the highest importance. The authors are not only innovators in the development of robots but also highly respected educators. This book has been carefully com piled to crystallize, for the reader, the fundamentals of robot operation and application. The material carefully treads its path between achieving broad coverage and depth where it is needed. Industrialists, teachers and students alike will benefit from the book. Igor Aleksander July 1983 Chapter 1 Robotics: an introduction As a result of the great advances of the last few years many industrial processes have become largely automated, with the human operator playing an ever decreasing role. The fully automated and unmanned factory is probably now only a few decades away.