This is an alphabetical reference about robotics and artificial intelligence
(AI) for hobbyists, students, and people who are just curious about these
Computers and robots are here to stay.We depend on them every day.
Often we don’t notice them until they break down.We will get more used
to them, and more reliant on them, as the future unfolds.
To find information on a subject, look for it as an article title. If your
subject is not an article title, look for it in the index.
This book is meant to be precise, but without too much math or jargon.
It is written with one eye on today and the other eye on tomorrow.
Illustrations are functional; they are drawn with the intention of showing,
clearly and simply, how things work.
Suggestions for future editions are welcome.
Editor in Chief
Welcome to the high frontier of cognition and computation!
You are about to dig into a uniquely interesting and important book.
This is not a highly technical or abstruse guide to this often complex and
difficult-to-understand subject. Rather, the book provides short, clear definitions
and interpretations of the major concepts and rapidly emerging
ideas in this dynamic field. The work includes numerous functional illustrations
that help the general reader “see” the abstract robotics notions
presented. I envision this book as an important introductory overview for
the general interested reader and artificial intelligence (AI) hobbyist, and
as a valuable backup and refresher for professional workers in the area.
Because this book is all about terms, let me frame the effort by saying that
it addresses two major, universal needs: cognition and computation.
Cognition (kog-NISH-un) is literally “the act of knowing or awareness.”
As you refer to definitions in this book, you should steadily gain
knowledge and awareness of the robotics/AI topics presented. Most
interestingly, it is your own central nervous system (brain and spinal
cord), functionally connected to your eyes, that is allowing your natural
intelligence (NI) to study this material and build a relevant cognition
(mental awareness) of key robotics concepts. A thorough cognition and
comprehension of robotics/AI terminology and concepts is becoming
absolutely critical to all intelligent lay people worldwide.
“Can human consciousness be duplicated electronically?” Stan Gibilisco
thoughtfully asks us. “Will robots and smart machines ever present a danger
to their makers? What can we reasonably expect from robotics and
artificial intelligence in the next 10 years? In 50 years? In 100 years?” Such
questions as these will be of ever-increasing importance for human cognition
(NI) as machine computation or artificial intelligence continues to
Let us coin a new word, computhink: a contraction of “computer-like
modes or ways of human thinking.” A comprehensive introductory reference
book such as this will help the NI of general readers to learn computhink.
This will result in a better understanding and management
of our powerful cousin, AI, for the greater benefit and education of all
This book presents a thorough, basic, blissfully nonmathematical coverage
of numerous electronic and mechanical concepts that is greatly
needed worldwide. Stan has provided us with the essential vocabulary
of machine computation for the twenty-first century, a vocabulary that
many (not just a select few) people need to understand.