The recently publishedGrippers in Motion: The Fascination of Automated Handling Tasksis both informative and highly readable.

MORRISVILLE, NC-Robots have fascinated mankind for decades. In fact, the term "robot" is derived from the Czech word "robota," used to describe the part of a hardworking slave in the 1921 play "Rossum's Universal Robots," by Karel Capek.

Unfortunately, good books on robotics can be hard to find. They are either too technical for those not already immersed in the subject or frustratingly superficial and of no use to manufacturing engineers.

The recently published Grippers in Motion: The Fascination of Automated Handling Tasks bridges this gap in a way that is informative and readable. It has both diagrams and excellent four-color photographs. Written by Dr. Andreas Wolf of robomotion GmbH (Stuttgart, Germany) and Ralf Steinmann and Henrik Schunk of clamping and automation manufacturer Schunk Inc., it includes both detailed technical information and background on the history and development of robotics.

Although the book focuses on gripping technology, it addresses many of the issues of concern to robotics in general, making it a valuable resource to manufacturing engineers of all stripes. Different chapters focus on topics such as limiting conditions of handling applications; gripping applications and workpieces; and real-world applications and completed projects.

The books retails for $69.95 and can be ordered directly from Schunk Inc. Call 800-772-4865 or visit