By Marko B. Popovic et al., Academic Press, 2019, ISBN: 978-0-128-12939-5, xiv + 654 pages, $190
This text is an interesting and useful overview of the general field of biomechatronics, representing the contributions of the primary author and 27 coauthors to what appears to be a significant expansion of Dr. Popovic’s earlier textbook Biomechatronics and Robotics (CRC Press, 2013). It is one of the few textbooks available currently covering this entire field of endeavor.
The text consists of 20 chapters, 19 of which include the primary author’s name on the credits, 3 of which he solely authored. Chapter 19 consists of practice problems (76) covering 13 of the prior 18 chapters, and Chapter 20 covers solutions for 20 of the prior 76 problems, some of which are heavily mathematical in nature, some of which are solely conceptual or definition based.
Chapter 1, “Introduction,” serves to supply a definition of the field of biomechatronics, and an overview of the remaining chapters.
The remaining 17 chapters cover the topics of biomechatronics: kinematics, actuators, sensors, controls, neural interfaces, artificial organs, microrobotics, prosthetics, orthotics, exoskeletons, design considerations, rehabilitation, mobility aids, feeding and assistive systems, robotic surgery, bioinspired robotics, motion and gait analysis, and future areas of research and applications. Each chapter reads as though it is an area paper by specialists (which they are), each includes a historical overview as necessary, all are extremely well referenced, and all are reasonably comprehensive in coverage.
The author indicates a potential readership from many areas of engineering (biomedical, electrical, mechanical, etc.), which is valid, given the breadth of this field. However, to fully utilize the text, and to solve the more complex problems, it is recommended that the student (and instructor) be well versed in kinematics and dynamic systems analysis, which implies at least a junior level of engineering studies in many fields.
One difficulty with this text is the uneven nature of the writing and use of English, especially in the homework chapter, likely due to the multiauthorship of the sections and problems. More editing on the part of the publisher is recommended prior to publication of the second edition.
This reviewer does recommend this text for classroom and reference uses. If used in conjunction with available online sources such as the article “Mapping the Future of Closed-Loop Brain-Machine Neurotechnology,” the reader may be well versed in the basics from this text, and up to date from faster publication services.
—Review by Paul H. King, Ph.D., PE, Vanderbilt University