It’s been a while since I published a new post and it’s been even longer since I did a review of a book, but due having a busy schedule lately, I was forced to decrease the amount of time I can spend on writing posts. Nowadays I’m focusing on digging deeper in some particular fields, which will hopefully result in better post topics as well in the near future, so stay tuned for those (I have one larger thing going on right now, which I plan to demonstrate in detail as soon as it’s done). Until those new posts get published (and the work behind them gets done of course), let me present you with yet another book review, which I found to be an excellent educational-relaxing read about industrial robots. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, here’s the complete review (which was originally posted on goodreads, as always). Please enjoy.
To be honest I wasn’t looking for this book up until I happened to find myself playing around with an industrial robot simulation program, some of which became freely available for a short time during the pandemic. After spending some time with one of the simulators, I quickly realized, that my programming skills will not be enough to be able to work with the simulation program efficiently, unless I gained some much needed general overview on industrial robots and how to work with them. This is why I started to look for a book that gives me this sort of overview, and soon I found exactly what I was looking for.
The main content of the book is partitioned into seven chapters, which deal with the most essential stuff, like the history, structure, motion, programming principles and methods, and finally safety considerations of industrial robots. The set of main topics is clearly well selected, and the elaboration on these topics is also done in a clean, easy to understand way. Furthermore, the reader will find many helpful insights, which (seems to me) can normally be gained only through real work experience, which makes this book an even more interesting read. I also liked the fact, that the book doesn’t focus on the robots of a single manufacturer, but instead all larger manufacturers are mentioned when relevant.
The few things that could use a bit more work in the book are probably the amount of illustrations. Even though there are quite a few figures and photos, I still couldn’t help but feel that sometimes an additional explanatory graphic or photo was missing to help the reader visualize some concepts or types of robots and tools. We are talking about real physical industrial robots moving in real 3D space (to which the general public has little access to), so having a few extra visual guides to make sure the reader grasps everything correctly would most certainly not hurt. My other concern was the lack of mentioning of additional external resources, that the author probably used or found useful at one point or another during his career as a robot programmer. These of course are not huge problems, and don’t take away from the value contained in the book, but they most certainly would be really nice additions.
Since this book is only an introductory piece on industrial robotics meant for students and plant managers (this is actually stated on the back cover), don’t expect deep explanations, a flood of equations, or that this book will teach you how to program a robot. Acquiring such knowledge will require other resources. But if the reader wants a nice general overview on industrial robots and how to work with them, this book is exactly what I would recommend. All in all, I’ve got exactly what I expected.