Synergetic Agents: From Multi-Robot Systems to Molecular Robotics
The authors introduce basic concepts of multi-component self-organizing systems such as order parameters (well known from equilibrium and non-equilibrium phase transitions) and the slaving principle (which establishes a link to dynamical systems). Among explicit examples is the docking manoeuvre of two robots in two and three dimensions.
The second part of the book deals with the rather recently arising field of molecular robotics. It is particularly here where nature has become a highly influential teacher for the construction of robots. In living biological cells astounding phenomena occur: there are molecules (proteins) that literally walk on polymer strands and transport loads that are heavier than their carriers, or molecules that, by joint action, contract muscles. The book provides the reader with an insight into these phenomena, especially by a detailed theoretical treatment of the molecular mechanism of muscle contraction.
At the molecular level, for an appropriate approach the use of quantum theory is indispensable. The authors introduce and use it in a form that avoids all the clumsy calculations of wave-functions. They present a model which is based on an elementary version of quantum field theory and allows taking into account the impact of the surrounding on the quantum mechanical activity of a single molecule. By presenting explicit and pedagogical examples, the reader gets acquainted with the appropriate modelling of the walking behaviour of single molecular robots and their collective behaviour.
The further development of multi-robot systems and particularly of molecular robots will require the cooperation of a variety of disciplines. Therefore the book appeals to a wide audience including researchers, instructors, and advanced graduate students.
Part I: Classical synergetic agents
1. In search for general principles
2. Multi-robot action I
3. Multi-robot action II: Extended configurations
Part II: Quantum synergetic agents
4. Molecular robotics and quantum field theory
5. Quantum theory of robotic motion and chemical interactions
6. Applications to molecular processes
7. Molecular transport along one-dimensional periodic structures
8. A topic in quantum biology
9. Quantum information
10. Molecular robots
Appendix: The meaning of expectation values and correlation functions of Bose and Fermi operators
Paul Levi is Full Professor for Informatics in the Institute for Parallel and Distributed Systems of the University of Stuttgart, Germany. He graduated in physics and computer science and became a senior research scientist in informatics and robotics, and Head of the Department of Technical Expert Systems and Robotics at the University of Karlsruhe. In 1988 he was appointed Professor at the Technical University of Munich, and scientific member of the Bavarian Center for Knowledge-Based Systems. Later on he served as Director of the Institute for Parallel and Distributed High Performance Computers at the University of Stuttgart. He is Member of the Management Board of the Centre for Computer Science (FZI) and Director of the Division Intelligent Systems and Production Engineering (ISPE), Karlsruhe, Germany.
Paul Levi's main research fields include computer vision, robotics, distributed AI and multi-agent systems. He has authored and co-authored both textbooks and monographs.
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