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Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - Professor explores the future of robotics in new book
By Katie Williams, contributing writer

Oakland University engineering professor Edward Gu, Ph.D., has written a book exploring the ever-changing and rapidly developing technologies within the robotics field. 

In his book, “A Journey from Robot to Digital Human,” published by Springer, Dr. Gu, who teaches in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, provides readers with a set of diverse tools for theoretical modeling and control of complex robotic systems. He also explores the emerging technologies utilized in the development of digital human modeling and motion generation. 

“This book is great for the students of today and of the future,” Dr. Gu said. “Technology is always moving forward, and the field is in the early stages of developing humanoid robots.” 

Robotics, according to Dr. Gu, has been helpful in industrial applications for years, with early technologies mimicking human arm movement for use in automotive assembly lines. 

“The field is in a constant state of progress,” he said. “Now, we’re becoming curious about making these existing robots more intelligent, more autonomous and more capable. In the future, we’re looking to create a robot that imitates the entire human.” 

The book illustrates concepts and methods by linking conceptual and visual learning, and is intended for use as an undergraduate or graduate level textbook or as a reference guide for researchers and scientists. 

Dr. Gu’s book is written to accompany the MATLAB program, a technical system for interactive algorithm development and data visualization and analysis. Written with MATLAB codes, the book guides readers through the creation of 3D graphics and animations for robot arms and digital human models. 

Dr. Gu hopes to use this text in his senior and graduate level courses at Oakland. He teaches courses in a variety of topics, including electric machines, automatic control systems, robotic kinematics, dynamics and control, and analysis of nonlinear systems. 

In addition to teaching, Dr. Gu has roughly 20 years of industry experience. He has worked on research with both General Motors and Chrysler Corporation, and was awarded a U.S. patent in June 2001 while working with Chrysler to develop a dynamic control algorithm for a powered lift device. 
Dr. Gu has published more than 80 papers in academic journals and professional proceedings. 

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“A Journey from Robot to Digital Human,” is available on Amazon, through the publisher, Springer, or at Barnes & Noble.

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