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The interest in climbing and walking robots (CLAWAR) has remarkably augmented over recent years. Novel solutions for complex and very diverse application fields (exploration/intervention in severe environments, personal services, emergency rescue operations, transportation, entertainment, medical, etc.), has been anticipated by means of a large progress in this area of robotics. Moreover, the amalgamation of original ideas and related innovations, the search for new potential applications and the use of state of the art supporting technologies permit to foresee an important step forward and a significant socio-economic impact of advanced robot technology in the forthcoming years. In response to the technical challenges in the development of these sophisticated machines, a significant research and development effort has to be undertaken. It concerns embedded technologies (for power sources, actuators, sensors, information systems), new design methods, adapted control techniques for highly redundant systems, as well as operational and decisional autonomy and human/robot co-existence.
This book contains the proceedings of the 7th Climbing and Walking Robots 2004 (CLAWAR 2004) Conference offering the international scientific community one of the most excellent forums for academics, researchers and industrialists interested in this motivating area of climbing and walking robots. It provides a wide forum of original state-of-the-art contributions from various industrial and new/emerging research fields, presenting a full picture of climbing and walking robots. The conference, held in Madrid, Spain, September 22-24 2004 was organized by the Thematic Network "CLAWAR 2" and funded by the European Commission under the GROWTH Programme.