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Robotics – Wikipedia

Design, construction, operation, and application of robots

Robotics is an interdisciplinary branch of engineering and science that includes mechanical engineering, electronic engineering, information engineering, computer science, and others. Robotics deals with the design, construction, operation, and use of robots, as well as computer systems for their control, sensory feedback, and information processing.

These technologies are used to develop machines that can substitute for humans and replicate human actions. Robots can be used in many situations and for lots of purposes, but today many are used in dangerous environments (including bomb detection and deactivation), manufacturing processes, or where humans cannot survive (e.g. in space). Robots can take on any form but some are made to resemble humans in appearance. This is said to help in the acceptance of a robot in certain replicative behaviors usually performed by people. Such robots attempt to replicate walking, lifting, speech, cognition, and basically anything a human can do. Many of today’s robots are inspired by nature, contributing to the field of bio-inspired robotics.

The concept of creating machines that can operate autonomously dates back to classical times, but research into the functionality and potential uses of robots did not grow substantially until the 20th century. Throughout history, it has been frequently assumed by various scholars, inventors, engineers, and technicians that robots will one day be able to mimic human behavior and manage tasks in a human-like fashion. Today, robotics is a rapidly growing field, as technological advances continue; researching, designing, and building new robots serve various practical purposes, whether domestically, commercially, or militarily. Many robots are built to do jobs that are hazardous to people such as defusing bombs, finding survivors in unstable ruins, and exploring mines and shipwrecks. Robotics is also used in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) as a teaching aid.[1] The advent of nanorobots, microscopic robots that can be injected into the human body, could revolutionize medicine and human health.[2]

Robotics is a branch of engineering that involves the conception, design, manufacture, and operation of robots. This field overlaps with electronics, computer science, artificial intelligence, mechatronics, nanotechnology and bioengineering.[3]

The word robotics was derived from the word robot, which was introduced to the public by Czech writer Karel apek in his play R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots), which was published in 1920.[4] The word robot comes from the Slavic word robota, which means labour/work. The play begins in a factory that makes artificial people called robots, creatures who can be mistaken for humans very similar to the modern ideas of androids. Karel apek himself did not coin the word. He wrote a short letter in reference to an etymology in the Oxford English Dictionary in which he named his brother Josef apek as its actual originator.[4]

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word robotics was first used in print by Isaac Asimov, in his science fiction short story “Liar!”, published in May 1941 in Astounding Science Fiction. Asimov was unaware that he was coining the term; since the science and technology of electrical devices is electronics, he assumed robotics already referred to the science and technology of robots. In some of Asimov’s other works, he states that the first use of the word robotics was in his short story Runaround (Astounding Science Fiction, March 1942),[5][6] where he introduced his concept of The Three Laws of Robotics. However, the original publication of “Liar!” predates that of “Runaround” by ten months, so the former is generally cited as the word’s origin.

In 1948, Norbert Wiener formulated the principles of cybernetics, the basis of practical robotics.

Fully autonomous only appeared in the second half of the 20th century. The first digitally operated and programmable robot, the Unimate, was installed in 1961 to lift hot pieces of metal from a die casting machine and stack them. Commercial and industrial robots are widespread today and used to perform jobs more cheaply, more accurately and more reliably, than humans. They are also employed in some jobs which are too dirty, dangerous, or dull to be suitable for humans. Robots are widely used in manufacturing, assembly, packing and packaging, mining, transport, earth and space exploration, surgery, weaponry, laboratory research, safety, and the mass production of consumer and industrial goods.[7]

There are many types of robots; they are used in many different environments and for many different uses, although being very diverse in application and form they all share three basic similarities when it comes to their construction:

As more and more robots are designed for specific tasks this method of classification becomes more relevant. For example, many robots are designed for assembly work, which may not be readily adaptable for other applications. They are termed as “assembly robots”. For seam welding, some suppliers provide complete welding systems with the robot i.e. the welding equipment along with other material handling facilities like turntables etc. as an integrated unit. Such an integrated robotic system is called a “welding robot” even though its discrete manipulator unit could be adapted to a variety of tasks. Some robots are specifically designed for heavy load manipulation, and are labelled as “heavy duty robots”.[21]

Current and potential applications include:

At present, mostly (leadacid) batteries are used as a power source. Many different types of batteries can be used as a power source for robots. They range from leadacid batteries, which are safe and have relatively long shelf lives but are rather heavy compared to silvercadmium batteries that are much smaller in volume and are currently much more expensive. Designing a battery-powered robot needs to take into account factors such as safety, cycle lifetime and weight. Generators, often some type of internal combustion engine, can also be used. However, such designs are often mechanically complex and need a fuel, require heat dissipation and are relatively heavy. A tether connecting the robot to a power supply would remove the power supply from the robot entirely. This has the advantage of saving weight and space by moving all power generation and storage components elsewhere. However, this design does come with the drawback of constantly having a cable connected to the robot, which can be difficult to manage.[33] Potential power sources could be:

Actuators are the “muscles” of a robot, the parts which convert stored energy into movement. By far the most popular actuators are electric motors that rotate a wheel or gear, and linear actuators that control industrial robots in factories. There are some recent advances in alternative types of actuators, powered by electricity, chemicals, or compressed air.

The vast majority of robots use electric motors, often brushed and brushless DC motors in portable robots or AC motors in industrial robots and CNC machines. These motors are often preferred in systems with lighter loads, and where the predominant form of motion is rotational.

Various types of linear actuators move in and out instead of by spinning, and often have quicker direction changes, particularly when very large forces are needed such as with industrial robotics. They are typically powered by compressed and oxidized air (pneumatic actuator) or an oil (hydraulic actuator).

A flexure is designed as part of the motor actuator, to improve safety and provide robust force control, energy efficiency, shock absorption (mechanical filtering) while reducing excessive wear on the transmission and other mechanical components. The resultant lower reflected inertia can improve safety when a robot is interacting with humans or during collisions. It has been used in various robots, particularly advanced manufacturing robots and[34] walking humanoid robots.[35]

Pneumatic artificial muscles, also known as air muscles, are special tubes that expand(typically up to 40%) when air is forced inside them. They are used in some robot applications.[36][37][38]

Muscle wire, also known as shape memory alloy, Nitinol or Flexinol wire, is a material which contracts (under 5%) when electricity is applied. They have been used for some small robot applications.[39][40]

EAPs or EPAMs are a plastic material that can contract substantially (up to 380% activation strain) from electricity, and have been used in facial muscles and arms of humanoid robots,[41] and to enable new robots to float,[42] fly, swim or walk.[43]

Recent alternatives to DC motors are piezo motors or ultrasonic motors. These work on a fundamentally different principle, whereby tiny piezoceramic elements, vibrating many thousands of times per second, cause linear or rotary motion. There are different mechanisms of operation; one type uses the vibration of the piezo elements to step the motor in a circle or a straight line.[44] Another type uses the piezo elements to cause a nut to vibrate or to drive a screw. The advantages of these motors are nanometer resolution, speed, and available force for their size.[45] These motors are already available commercially, and being used on some robots.[46][47]

Elastic nanotubes are a promising artificial muscle technology in early-stage experimental development. The absence of defects in carbon nanotubes enables these filaments to deform elastically by several percent, with energy storage levels of perhaps 10J/cm3 for metal nanotubes. Human biceps could be replaced with an 8mm diameter wire of this material. Such compact “muscle” might allow future robots to outrun and outjump humans.[48]

Sensors allow robots to receive information about a certain measurement of the environment, or internal components. This is essential for robots to perform their tasks, and act upon any changes in the environment to calculate the appropriate response. They are used for various forms of measurements, to give the robots warnings about safety or malfunctions, and to provide real-time information of the task it is performing.

Current robotic and prosthetic hands receive far less tactile information than the human hand. Recent research has developed a tactile sensor array that mimics the mechanical properties and touch receptors of human fingertips.[49][50] The sensor array is constructed as a rigid core surrounded by conductive fluid contained by an elastomeric skin. Electrodes are mounted on the surface of the rigid core and are connected to an impedance-measuring device within the core. When the artificial skin touches an object the fluid path around the electrodes is deformed, producing impedance changes that map the forces received from the object. The researchers expect that an important function of such artificial fingertips will be adjusting robotic grip on held objects.

Scientists from several European countries and Israel developed a prosthetic hand in 2009, called SmartHand, which functions like a real oneallowing patients to write with it, type on a keyboard, play piano and perform other fine movements. The prosthesis has sensors which enable the patient to sense real feeling in its fingertips.[51]

Computer vision is the science and technology of machines that see. As a scientific discipline, computer vision is concerned with the theory behind artificial systems that extract information from images. The image data can take many forms, such as video sequences and views from cameras.

In most practical computer vision applications, the computers are pre-programmed to solve a particular task, but methods based on learning are now becoming increasingly common.

Computer vision systems rely on image sensors which detect electromagnetic radiation which is typically in the form of either visible light or infra-red light. The sensors are designed using solid-state physics. The process by which light propagates and reflects off surfaces is explained using optics. Sophisticated image sensors even require quantum mechanics to provide a complete understanding of the image formation process. Robots can also be equipped with multiple vision sensors to be better able to compute the sense of depth in the environment. Like human eyes, robots’ “eyes” must also be able to focus on a particular area of interest, and also adjust to variations in light intensities.

There is a subfield within computer vision where artificial systems are designed to mimic the processing and behavior of biological system, at different levels of complexity. Also, some of the learning-based methods developed within computer vision have their background in biology.

Other common forms of sensing in robotics use lidar, radar, and sonar.[52]

Robots need to manipulate objects; pick up, modify, destroy, or otherwise have an effect. Thus the “hands” of a robot are often referred to as end effectors,[53] while the “arm” is referred to as a manipulator.[54] Most robot arms have replaceable effectors, each allowing them to perform some small range of tasks. Some have a fixed manipulator which cannot be replaced, while a few have one very general purpose manipulator, for example, a humanoid hand.[55]Learning how to manipulate a robot often requires a close feedback between human to the robot, although there are several methods for remote manipulation of robots.[56]

One of the most common effectors is the gripper. In its simplest manifestation, it consists of just two fingers which can open and close to pick up and let go of a range of small objects. Fingers can for example, be made of a chain with a metal wire run through it.[57] Hands that resemble and work more like a human hand include the Shadow Hand and the Robonaut hand.[58] Hands that are of a mid-level complexity include the Delft hand.[59][60] Mechanical grippers can come in various types, including friction and encompassing jaws. Friction jaws use all the force of the gripper to hold the object in place using friction. Encompassing jaws cradle the object in place, using less friction.

Vacuum grippers are very simple astrictive[61] devices that can hold very large loads provided the prehension surface is smooth enough to ensure suction.

Pick and place robots for electronic components and for large objects like car windscreens, often use very simple vacuum grippers.

Some advanced robots are beginning to use fully humanoid hands, like the Shadow Hand, MANUS,[62] and the Schunk hand.[63] These are highly dexterous manipulators, with as many as 20 degrees of freedom and hundreds of tactile sensors.[64]

For simplicity, most mobile robots have four wheels or a number of continuous tracks. Some researchers have tried to create more complex wheeled robots with only one or two wheels. These can have certain advantages such as greater efficiency and reduced parts, as well as allowing a robot to navigate in confined places that a four-wheeled robot would not be able to.

Balancing robots generally use a gyroscope to detect how much a robot is falling and then drive the wheels proportionally in the same direction, to counterbalance the fall at hundreds of times per second, based on the dynamics of an inverted pendulum.[65] Many different balancing robots have been designed.[66] While the Segway is not commonly thought of as a robot, it can be thought of as a component of a robot, when used as such Segway refer to them as RMP (Robotic Mobility Platform). An example of this use has been as NASA’s Robonaut that has been mounted on a Segway.[67]

A one-wheeled balancing robot is an extension of a two-wheeled balancing robot so that it can move in any 2D direction using a round ball as its only wheel. Several one-wheeled balancing robots have been designed recently, such as Carnegie Mellon University’s “Ballbot” that is the approximate height and width of a person, and Tohoku Gakuin University’s “BallIP”.[68] Because of the long, thin shape and ability to maneuver in tight spaces, they have the potential to function better than other robots in environments with people.[69]

Several attempts have been made in robots that are completely inside a spherical ball, either by spinning a weight inside the ball,[70][71] or by rotating the outer shells of the sphere.[72][73] These have also been referred to as an orb bot[74] or a ball bot.[75][76]

Using six wheels instead of four wheels can give better traction or grip in outdoor terrain such as on rocky dirt or grass.

Tank tracks provide even more traction than a six-wheeled robot. Tracked wheels behave as if they were made of hundreds of wheels, therefore are very common for outdoor and military robots, where the robot must drive on very rough terrain. However, they are difficult to use indoors such as on carpets and smooth floors. Examples include NASA’s Urban Robot “Urbie”.[77]

Walking is a difficult and dynamic problem to solve. Several robots have been made which can walk reliably on two legs, however, none have yet been made which are as robust as a human. There has been much study on human inspired walking, such as AMBER lab which was established in 2008 by the Mechanical Engineering Department at Texas A&M University.[78] Many other robots have been built that walk on more than two legs, due to these robots being significantly easier to construct.[79][80] Walking robots can be used for uneven terrains, which would provide better mobility and energy efficiency than other locomotion methods. Hybrids too have been proposed in movies such as I, Robot, where they walk on two legs and switch to four (arms+legs) when going to a sprint. Typically, robots on two legs can walk well on flat floors and can occasionally walk up stairs. None can walk over rocky, uneven terrain. Some of the methods which have been tried are:

The zero moment point (ZMP) is the algorithm used by robots such as Honda’s ASIMO. The robot’s onboard computer tries to keep the total inertial forces (the combination of Earth’s gravity and the acceleration and deceleration of walking), exactly opposed by the floor reaction force (the force of the floor pushing back on the robot’s foot). In this way, the two forces cancel out, leaving no moment (force causing the robot to rotate and fall over).[81] However, this is not exactly how a human walks, and the difference is obvious to human observers, some of whom have pointed out that ASIMO walks as if it needs the lavatory.[82][83][84] ASIMO’s walking algorithm is not static, and some dynamic balancing is used (see below). However, it still requires a smooth surface to walk on.

Several robots, built in the 1980s by Marc Raibert at the MIT Leg Laboratory, successfully demonstrated very dynamic walking. Initially, a robot with only one leg, and a very small foot could stay upright simply by hopping. The movement is the same as that of a person on a pogo stick. As the robot falls to one side, it would jump slightly in that direction, in order to catch itself.[85] Soon, the algorithm was generalised to two and four legs. A bipedal robot was demonstrated running and even performing somersaults.[86] A quadruped was also demonstrated which could trot, run, pace, and bound.[87] For a full list of these robots, see the MIT Leg Lab Robots page.[88]

A more advanced way for a robot to walk is by using a dynamic balancing algorithm, which is potentially more robust than the Zero Moment Point technique, as it constantly monitors the robot’s motion, and places the feet in order to maintain stability.[89] This technique was recently demonstrated by Anybots’ Dexter Robot,[90] which is so stable, it can even jump.[91] Another example is the TU Delft Flame.

Perhaps the most promising approach utilizes passive dynamics where the momentum of swinging limbs is used for greater efficiency. It has been shown that totally unpowered humanoid mechanisms can walk down a gentle slope, using only gravity to propel themselves. Using this technique, a robot need only supply a small amount of motor power to walk along a flat surface or a little more to walk up a hill. This technique promises to make walking robots at least ten times more efficient than ZMP walkers, like ASIMO.[92][93]

A modern passenger airliner is essentially a flying robot, with two humans to manage it. The autopilot can control the plane for each stage of the journey, including takeoff, normal flight, and even landing.[94] Other flying robots are uninhabited and are known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). They can be smaller and lighter without a human pilot on board, and fly into dangerous territory for military surveillance missions. Some can even fire on targets under command. UAVs are also being developed which can fire on targets automatically, without the need for a command from a human. Other flying robots include cruise missiles, the Entomopter, and the Epson micro helicopter robot. Robots such as the Air Penguin, Air Ray, and Air Jelly have lighter-than-air bodies, propelled by paddles, and guided by sonar.

Several snake robots have been successfully developed. Mimicking the way real snakes move, these robots can navigate very confined spaces, meaning they may one day be used to search for people trapped in collapsed buildings.[95] The Japanese ACM-R5 snake robot[96] can even navigate both on land and in water.[97]

A small number of skating robots have been developed, one of which is a multi-mode walking and skating device. It has four legs, with unpowered wheels, which can either step or roll.[98] Another robot, Plen, can use a miniature skateboard or roller-skates, and skate across a desktop.[99]

Several different approaches have been used to develop robots that have the ability to climb vertical surfaces. One approach mimics the movements of a human climber on a wall with protrusions; adjusting the center of mass and moving each limb in turn to gain leverage. An example of this is Capuchin,[100] built by Dr. Ruixiang Zhang at Stanford University, California. Another approach uses the specialized toe pad method of wall-climbing geckoes, which can run on smooth surfaces such as vertical glass. Examples of this approach include Wallbot[101] and Stickybot.[102] China’s Technology Daily reported on November 15, 2008, that Dr. Li Hiu Yeung and his research group of New Concept Aircraft (Zhuhai) Co., Ltd. had successfully developed a bionic gecko robot named “Speedy Freelander”. According to Dr. Li, the gecko robot could rapidly climb up and down a variety of building walls, navigate through ground and wall fissures, and walk upside-down on the ceiling. It was also able to adapt to the surfaces of smooth glass, rough, sticky or dusty walls as well as various types of metallic materials. It could also identify and circumvent obstacles automatically. Its flexibility and speed were comparable to a natural gecko. A third approach is to mimic the motion of a snake climbing a pole.[103]

It is calculated that when swimming some fish can achieve a propulsive efficiency greater than 90%.[104] Furthermore, they can accelerate and maneuver far better than any man-made boat or submarine, and produce less noise and water disturbance. Therefore, many researchers studying underwater robots would like to copy this type of locomotion.[105] Notable examples are the Essex University Computer Science Robotic Fish G9,[106] and the Robot Tuna built by the Institute of Field Robotics, to analyze and mathematically model thunniform motion.[107] The Aqua Penguin,[108] designed and built by Festo of Germany, copies the streamlined shape and propulsion by front “flippers” of penguins. Festo have also built the Aqua Ray and Aqua Jelly, which emulate the locomotion of manta ray, and jellyfish, respectively.

In 2014 iSplash-II was developed by PhD student Richard James Clapham and Prof. Huosheng Hu at Essex University. It was the first robotic fish capable of outperforming real carangiform fish in terms of average maximum velocity (measured in body lengths/ second) and endurance, the duration that top speed is maintained.[109] This build attained swimming speeds of 11.6BL/s (i.e. 3.7m/s).[110] The first build, iSplash-I (2014) was the first robotic platform to apply a full-body length carangiform swimming motion which was found to increase swimming speed by 27% over the traditional approach of a posterior confined waveform.[111]

Sailboat robots have also been developed in order to make measurements at the surface of the ocean. A typical sailboat robot is Vaimos[112] built by IFREMER and ENSTA-Bretagne. Since the propulsion of sailboat robots uses the wind, the energy of the batteries is only used for the computer, for the communication and for the actuators (to tune the rudder and the sail). If the robot is equipped with solar panels, the robot could theoretically navigate forever. The two main competitions of sailboat robots are WRSC, which takes place every year in Europe, and Sailbot.

Though a significant percentage of robots in commission today are either human controlled or operate in a static environment, there is an increasing interest in robots that can operate autonomously in a dynamic environment. These robots require some combination of navigation hardware and software in order to traverse their environment. In particular, unforeseen events (e.g. people and other obstacles that are not stationary) can cause problems or collisions. Some highly advanced robots such as ASIMO and Mein robot have particularly good robot navigation hardware and software. Also, self-controlled cars, Ernst Dickmanns’ driverless car, and the entries in the DARPA Grand Challenge, are capable of sensing the environment well and subsequently making navigational decisions based on this information. Most of these robots employ a GPS navigation device with waypoints, along with radar, sometimes combined with other sensory data such as lidar, video cameras, and inertial guidance systems for better navigation between waypoints.

The state of the art in sensory intelligence for robots will have to progress through several orders of magnitude if we want the robots working in our homes to go beyond vacuum-cleaning the floors. If robots are to work effectively in homes and other non-industrial environments, the way they are instructed to perform their jobs, and especially how they will be told to stop will be of critical importance. The people who interact with them may have little or no training in robotics, and so any interface will need to be extremely intuitive. Science fiction authors also typically assume that robots will eventually be capable of communicating with humans through speech, gestures, and facial expressions, rather than a command-line interface. Although speech would be the most natural way for the human to communicate, it is unnatural for the robot. It will probably be a long time before robots interact as naturally as the fictional C-3PO, or Data of Star Trek, Next Generation.

Interpreting the continuous flow of sounds coming from a human, in real time, is a difficult task for a computer, mostly because of the great variability of speech.[113] The same word, spoken by the same person may sound different depending on local acoustics, volume, the previous word, whether or not the speaker has a cold, etc.. It becomes even harder when the speaker has a different accent.[114] Nevertheless, great strides have been made in the field since Davis, Biddulph, and Balashek designed the first “voice input system” which recognized “ten digits spoken by a single user with 100% accuracy” in 1952.[115] Currently, the best systems can recognize continuous, natural speech, up to 160 words per minute, with an accuracy of 95%.[116]With the help of artificial intelligence, machines nowadays can use people’s voice to identify their emotions such as satisfied or angry[117]

Other hurdles exist when allowing the robot to use voice for interacting with humans. For social reasons, synthetic voice proves suboptimal as a communication medium,[118] making it necessary to develop the emotional component of robotic voice through various techniques.[119][120]

One can imagine, in the future, explaining to a robot chef how to make a pastry, or asking directions from a robot police officer. In both of these cases, making hand gestures would aid the verbal descriptions. In the first case, the robot would be recognizing gestures made by the human, and perhaps repeating them for confirmation. In the second case, the robot police officer would gesture to indicate “down the road, then turn right”. It is likely that gestures will make up a part of the interaction between humans and robots.[121] A great many systems have been developed to recognize human hand gestures.[122]

Facial expressions can provide rapid feedback on the progress of a dialog between two humans, and soon may be able to do the same for humans and robots. Robotic faces have been constructed by Hanson Robotics using their elastic polymer called Frubber, allowing a large number of facial expressions due to the elasticity of the rubber facial coating and embedded subsurface motors (servos).[123] The coating and servos are built on a metal skull. A robot should know how to approach a human, judging by their facial expression and body language. Whether the person is happy, frightened, or crazy-looking affects the type of interaction expected of the robot. Likewise, robots like Kismet and the more recent addition, Nexi[124] can produce a range of facial expressions, allowing it to have meaningful social exchanges with humans.[125]

Artificial emotions can also be generated, composed of a sequence of facial expressions and/or gestures. As can be seen from the movie Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, the programming of these artificial emotions is complex and requires a large amount of human observation. To simplify this programming in the movie, presets were created together with a special software program. This decreased the amount of time needed to make the film. These presets could possibly be transferred for use in real-life robots.

Many of the robots of science fiction have a personality, something which may or may not be desirable in the commercial robots of the future.[126] Nevertheless, researchers are trying to create robots which appear to have a personality:[127][128] i.e. they use sounds, facial expressions, and body language to try to convey an internal state, which may be joy, sadness, or fear. One commercial example is Pleo, a toy robot dinosaur, which can exhibit several apparent emotions.[129]

The Socially Intelligent Machines Lab of the Georgia Institute of Technology researches new concepts of guided teaching interaction with robots. The aim of the projects is a social robot that learns task and goals from human demonstrations without prior knowledge of high-level concepts. These new concepts are grounded from low-level continuous sensor data through unsupervised learning, and task goals are subsequently learned using a Bayesian approach. These concepts can be used to transfer knowledge to future tasks, resulting in faster learning of those tasks. The results are demonstrated by the robot Curi who can scoop some pasta from a pot onto a plate and serve the sauce on top.[130]

The mechanical structure of a robot must be controlled to perform tasks. The control of a robot involves three distinct phases perception, processing, and action (robotic paradigms). Sensors give information about the environment or the robot itself (e.g. the position of its joints or its end effector). This information is then processed to be stored or transmitted and to calculate the appropriate signals to the actuators (motors) which move the mechanical.

The processing phase can range in complexity. At a reactive level, it may translate raw sensor information directly into actuator commands. Sensor fusion may first be used to estimate parameters of interest (e.g. the position of the robot’s gripper) from noisy sensor data. An immediate task (such as moving the gripper in a certain direction) is inferred from these estimates. Techniques from control theory convert the task into commands that drive the actuators.

At longer time scales or with more sophisticated tasks, the robot may need to build and reason with a “cognitive” model. Cognitive models try to represent the robot, the world, and how they interact. Pattern recognition and computer vision can be used to track objects. Mapping techniques can be used to build maps of the world. Finally, motion planning and other artificial intelligence techniques may be used to figure out how to act. For example, a planner may figure out how to achieve a task without hitting obstacles, falling over, etc.

Control systems may also have varying levels of autonomy.

Another classification takes into account the interaction between human control and the machine motions.

Much of the research in robotics focuses not on specific industrial tasks, but on investigations into new types of robots, alternative ways to think about or design robots, and new ways to manufacture them. Other investigations, such as MIT’s cyberflora project, are almost wholly academic.

A first particular new innovation in robot design is the open sourcing of robot-projects. To describe the level of advancement of a robot, the term “Generation Robots” can be used. This term is coined by Professor Hans Moravec, Principal Research Scientist at the Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Institute in describing the near future evolution of robot technology. First generation robots, Moravec predicted in 1997, should have an intellectual capacity comparable to perhaps a lizard and should become available by 2010. Because the first generation robot would be incapable of learning, however, Moravec predicts that the second generation robot would be an improvement over the first and become available by 2020, with the intelligence maybe comparable to that of a mouse. The third generation robot should have the intelligence comparable to that of a monkey. Though fourth generation robots, robots with human intelligence, professor Moravec predicts, would become possible, he does not predict this happening before around 2040 or 2050.[132]

The second is evolutionary robots. This is a methodology that uses evolutionary computation to help design robots, especially the body form, or motion and behavior controllers. In a similar way to natural evolution, a large population of robots is allowed to compete in some way, or their ability to perform a task is measured using a fitness function. Those that perform worst are removed from the population and replaced by a new set, which have new behaviors based on those of the winners. Over time the population improves, and eventually a satisfactory robot may appear. This happens without any direct programming of the robots by the researchers. Researchers use this method both to create better robots,[133] and to explore the nature of evolution.[134] Because the process often requires many generations of robots to be simulated,[135] this technique may be run entirely or mostly in simulation, using a robot simulator software package, then tested on real robots once the evolved algorithms are good enough.[136] Currently, there are about 10 million industrial robots toiling around the world, and Japan is the top country having high density of utilizing robots in its manufacturing industry.[citation needed]

The study of motion can be divided into kinematics and dynamics.[137] Direct kinematics refers to the calculation of end effector position, orientation, velocity, and acceleration when the corresponding joint values are known. Inverse kinematics refers to the opposite case in which required joint values are calculated for given end effector values, as done in path planning. Some special aspects of kinematics include handling of redundancy (different possibilities of performing the same movement), collision avoidance, and singularity avoidance. Once all relevant positions, velocities, and accelerations have been calculated using kinematics, methods from the field of dynamics are used to study the effect of forces upon these movements. Direct dynamics refers to the calculation of accelerations in the robot once the applied forces are known. Direct dynamics is used in computer simulations of the robot. Inverse dynamics refers to the calculation of the actuator forces necessary to create a prescribed end-effector acceleration. This information can be used to improve the control algorithms of a robot.

In each area mentioned above, researchers strive to develop new concepts and strategies, improve existing ones, and improve the interaction between these areas. To do this, criteria for “optimal” performance and ways to optimize design, structure, and control of robots must be developed and implemented.

Bionics and biomimetics apply the physiology and methods of locomotion of animals to the design of robots. For example, the design of BionicKangaroo was based on the way kangaroos jump.

There has been some research into whether robotics algorithms can be run more quickly on quantum computers than they can be run on digital computers. This area has been referred to as quantum robotics.[138]

Robotics engineers design robots, maintain them, develop new applications for them, and conduct research to expand the potential of robotics.[139] Robots have become a popular educational tool in some middle and high schools, particularly in parts of the USA,[140] as well as in numerous youth summer camps, raising interest in programming, artificial intelligence, and robotics among students. First-year computer science courses at some universities now include programming of a robot in addition to traditional software engineering-based coursework.[56]

Universities offer bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees in the field of robotics.[141] Vocational schools offer robotics training aimed at careers in robotics.

The Robotics Certification Standards Alliance (RCSA) is an international robotics certification authority that confers various industry- and educational-related robotics certifications.

Several national summer camp programs include robotics as part of their core curriculum. In addition, youth summer robotics programs are frequently offered by celebrated museums and institutions.

There are lots of competitions all around the globe. The SeaPerch curriculum is aimed as students of all ages. This is a short list of competition examples; for a more complete list see Robot competition.

The FIRST organization offers the FIRST Lego League Jr. competitions for younger children. This competition’s goal is to offer younger children an opportunity to start learning about science and technology. Children in this competition build Lego models and have the option of using the Lego WeDo robotics kit.

One of the most important competitions is the FLL or FIRST Lego League. The idea of this specific competition is that kids start developing knowledge and getting into robotics while playing with Lego since they are 9 years old. This competition is associated with National Instruments. Children use Lego Mindstorms to solve autonomous robotics challenges in this competition.

The FIRST Tech Challenge is designed for intermediate students, as a transition from the FIRST Lego League to the FIRST Robotics Competition.

The FIRST Robotics Competition focuses more on mechanical design, with a specific game being played each year. Robots are built specifically for that year’s game. In match play, the robot moves autonomously during the first 15 seconds of the game (although certain years such as 2019’s Deep Space change this rule), and is manually operated for the rest of the match.

The various RoboCup competitions include teams of teenagers and university students. These competitions focus on soccer competitions with different types of robots, dance competitions, and urban search and rescue competitions. All of the robots in these competitions must be autonomous. Some of these competitions focus on simulated robots.

AUVSI runs competitions for flying robots, robot boats, and underwater robots.

The Student AUV Competition Europe [142] (SAUC-E) mainly attracts undergraduate and graduate student teams. As in the AUVSI competitions, the robots must be fully autonomous while they are participating in the competition.

The Microtransat Challenge is a competition to sail a boat across the Atlantic Ocean.

RoboGames is open to anyone wishing to compete in their over 50 categories of robot competitions.

Federation of International Robot-soccer Association holds the FIRA World Cup competitions. There are flying robot competitions, robot soccer competitions, and other challenges, including weightlifting barbells made from dowels and CDs.

Many schools across the country are beginning to add robotics programs to their after school curriculum. Some major programs for afterschool robotics include FIRST Robotics Competition, Botball and B.E.S.T. Robotics.[143] Robotics competitions often include aspects of business and marketing as well as engineering and design.

The Lego company began a program for children to learn and get excited about robotics at a young age.[144]

Robotics is an essential component in many modern manufacturing environments. As factories increase their use of robots, the number of roboticsrelated jobs grow and have been observed to be steadily rising.[145] The employment of robots in industries has increased productivity and efficiency savings and is typically seen as a long term investment for benefactors. A paper by Michael Osborne andCarl Benedikt Freyfound that 47 per cent of US jobs are at risk to automation “over some unspecified number of years”.[146] These claims have been criticized on the ground that social policy, not AI, causes unemployment.[147]

A discussion paper drawn up by EU-OSHA highlights how the spread of robotics presents both opportunities and challenges for occupational safety and health (OSH).[148]

The greatest OSH benefits stemming from the wider use of robotics should be substitution for people working in unhealthy or dangerous environments. In space, defence, security, or the nuclear industry, but also in logistics, maintenance, and inspection, autonomous robots are particularly useful in replacing human workers performing dirty, dull or unsafe tasks, thus avoiding workers’ exposures to hazardous agents and conditions and reducing physical, ergonomic and psychosocial risks. For example, robots are already used to perform repetitive and monotonous tasks, to handle radioactive material or to work in explosive atmospheres. In the future, many other highly repetitive, risky or unpleasant tasks will be performed by robots in a variety of sectors like agriculture, construction, transport, healthcare, firefighting or cleaning services.[149]

Despite these advances, there are certain skills to which humans will be better suited than machines for some time to come and the question is how to achieve the best combination of human and robot skills. The advantages of robotics include heavy-duty jobs with precision and repeatability, whereas the advantages of humans include creativity, decision-making, flexibility and adaptability. This need to combine optimal skills has resulted in collaborative robots and humans sharing a common workspace more closely and led to the development of new approaches and standards to guarantee the safety of the “man-robot merger”. Some European countries are including robotics in their national programmes and trying to promote a safe and flexible co-operation between robots and operators to achieve better productivity. For example, the German Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) organises annual workshops on the topic “human-robot collaboration”.

In future, co-operation between robots and humans will be diversified, with robots increasing their autonomy and human-robot collaboration reaching completely new forms. Current approaches and technical standards[150][151] aiming to protect employees from the risk of working with collaborative robots will have to be revised.

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Robotics – Wikipedia

RIA – Robotics Online – Industrial Robotics

Most Advanced Robotic OLP Software

Robotmaster is the leading CAM/CAD based offline robot programming software which provides quick and easy programming tools for multiple applications, saving time/money while maximizing your ROI

NEW Dual-Arm Collaborative Robot

The easy-to-deploy duAro2 is a cost-effective cobot that offers an increased vertical stroke/payload, as well as diversified installation options, making it ideal for a wide range of applications.

New ESU Electric Belt-Driven Slides

The Series ESU Electric Belt-Driven Base Slides feature a robust, enclosed design with a high capacity rail bearing system delivering exceptional moment and load capability.

ATIs Compliant Deburring Blade

The pneumatically-actuated Compliant Deburring Blade excels in light and medium deburring, chamfering, and scraping operations.

DENSO Compact, High-Speed Assembly

Why do DENSO robots have such a low cost of ownership? Because DENSOs own manufacturing needs demand it.

Ultra Low Torque Fastening System

Low torque precision fastening optimal for micro screws in the range of S0.6 screws and larger. Torque range of 10 to 180 mN.m (1.42-25.56 ozf.in) with data collection and graphing capabilities.

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Robotics – News, Reviews, Features – New Atlas – New …

Ben Coxworth April 10, 2019

Ordinarily, robots are precisely programmed to perform certain tasks. Robots that run on artificial intelligence, though, learn tasks through a process of trial and error. The Blue robot is specifically designed for the latter, and it should be much more affordable than other AI machines.

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Robotics – News, Reviews, Features – New Atlas – New …

Robotics for Kids & Teens 2019 | Summer Robotics Camps …

Machine learning is the way of 21st century life and the field of robotics is booming. Everything from cars and smartphones to thermostats and gaming consoles are tied to robotics and mechanical engineering. Whether you dream of becoming a Hardware Designer at Apple or an Aerospace Technician at NASA, your robotics path starts here!

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Robotics for Kids & Teens 2019 | Summer Robotics Camps …

NASA – Robotics Alliance Project

The 2019 FIRST Robotics Competition kickoff marks the beginning of the design and build season for the FIRST Robotics Competition. Teams have the opportunity to meet at “local” Kickoffs to compare notes, get ideas, make friends, find mentoring teams, learn the game, pick up the Kit of Parts, and get geared up for the exciting competition season. The 2019 Kickoff took place on Saturday January 5th, 2019.

This year NASA and FIRST are excited to announce “VR” opportunities for teams to view the field in a new way! NASA has put together three options:

+ Game Animation+ Kickoff Broadcast+ 2019 Playlist+ Kickoff Webpage

The highly anticipated moment that all FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) teams that submitted an application for a NASA FRC grant, has finally arrived! NASA’s award selection is listed in the following link. If your FRC team submitted an application for a NASA FRC registration grant, please review the awards list to verify your award status. For those teams that were awarded a registration grant please ensure you complete the requirements for the grant.

+ NASA FRC Awards List+ Entrance Survey Submission Results

Want to build your own six wheeled rover like the ones on Mars? NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory created the “Open Source Rover Project” which provides the plans for anyone to build a rover. This rover is quite capable thanks to the rocker-bogie design with differential pivot and six wheeled Ackerman steering!

+ More Information

During Sol 2138-2140 The Mars Curisosity successfully drilled a hole within the Pettegrove Point Member on the Vera Rubin Ridge. For now the team will focus on obersvations of the material to determine if it can be sent to the analytical instruments for further investigation.

+ More Information

Since June 10, 2018 NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has been silent. The solar powered rover has been unable to receive enough energy due to a planet wide dust storm. Scientists think that the dust storm has already peaked and there is hope that the rover may be able to receive enough sunlight to power back up soon.

Engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory are now trying to recover the rover.

One of the thickest dust storms ever observed on Mars has been spreading for the past week and a half. The storm has caused NASA’s Opportunity rover to suspend science operations, but also offers a window for four other spacecraft to learn from the swirling dust.

NASA has three orbiters circling the Red Planet, each equipped with special cameras and other atmospheric instruments. Additionally, NASA’s Curiosity rover has begun to see an increase in dust at its location in Gale Crater.

The thin atmosphere makes these storms vastly different from anything encountered on Earth: Despite the drama of “The Martian,” the most powerful surface winds encountered on Mars would not topple a spacecraft, although they can sand-blast dust particles into the atmosphere.

+More Infomation

Follow the Robotics Alliance Project on Twitter! We use twitter to post about announcements, new features, and much more!

Follow @NASA_RAP on Twitter!

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Home – Yaskawa Motoman Robotics

Device Management (Part 1 of 3): The Challenge with Traditional Monitoring Methods

Lets talk about two of the biggest buzzwords surrounding the manufacturing sector today, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Industry 4.0. While I am not going to explain the concepts behind IIoT and why it is important, or how to implement Industry 4.0 technology into your operations, this discussion will cover what happens when you start integrating all these interconnected devices, especially those local to your facility.

Sophisticated demands and shifting markets are transforming the industrial landscape, necessitating the need for smart technology and easy-to-use robots that can help companies of all sizes easily adapt to changing manufacturing requirements. If gaining flexibility, enhancing customization, boosting productivity and decreasing costs are on your operational bucket list, its time to learn more and experience easy automation atAutomate2019.

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Scientists Create Material With “Artificial Metabolism”

A new biomaterial exhibits metabolism-like behaviors. It appears in some ways to act like a living thing, blurring the line between biology and machinery.

Slime Mold

Scientists just got one step closer to creating living machines — or at least machines that mimic biological life as we know it.

A new biomaterial built in a Cornell University bioengineering lab uses synthetic DNA to continuously and autonomously organize, assemble, and restructure itself in a process so similar to how biological cells and tissues grow that the researchers are calling “artificial metabolism,” according to research published in Science Robotics last week.

 We Can Regrow It

It’s clear that the scientists are dancing around the idea of creating lifelike machinery. They stop short of straight-up claiming that their metabolizing biomaterial is alive, but the research begins by coyly listing the characteristics of life that the material exhibits — self-assembly, organization, and metabolism.

“We are introducing a brand-new, lifelike material concept powered by its very own artificial metabolism,” Cornell engineer Dan Lui said in a university-published press release. “We are not making something that’s alive, but we are creating materials that are much more lifelike than have ever been seen before.”

Worming Along

The biomaterial mimics a biological organism’s endless metabolic cycle of taking in energy and replacing old cells. When placed in a nutrient-rich environment, the material grew in the direction of the raw materials and food it needed to thrive — not unlike how a developing brain’s neurons grow out in the direction of specific molecules.

Meanwhile, the material also let its tail end die off and decay, giving the appearance of a constantly-regrowing slime mold traveling around toward food.

While the little bio-blob isn’t alive, it does appear to move and grow like a living thing, suggesting that scientists are blurring the line between life and machine more and more.

READ MORE: FORGET ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE; THINK ARTIFICIAL LIFE [Hackaday]

More on biomaterials: Scientists Manipulated a Material for Robots That Grows Like Human Skin

The post Scientists Create Material With “Artificial Metabolism” appeared first on Futurism.

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Scientists Create Material With “Artificial Metabolism”

Robotics – Wikipedia

Design, construction, operation, and application of robots

Robotics is an interdisciplinary branch of engineering and science that includes mechanical engineering, electronic engineering, information engineering, computer science, and others. Robotics deals with the design, construction, operation, and use of robots, as well as computer systems for their control, sensory feedback, and information processing.

These technologies are used to develop machines that can substitute for humans and replicate human actions. Robots can be used in many situations and for lots of purposes, but today many are used in dangerous environments (including bomb detection and deactivation), manufacturing processes, or where humans cannot survive (e.g. in space). Robots can take on any form but some are made to resemble humans in appearance. This is said to help in the acceptance of a robot in certain replicative behaviors usually performed by people. Such robots attempt to replicate walking, lifting, speech, cognition, and basically anything a human can do. Many of today’s robots are inspired by nature, contributing to the field of bio-inspired robotics.

The concept of creating machines that can operate autonomously dates back to classical times, but research into the functionality and potential uses of robots did not grow substantially until the 20th century. Throughout history, it has been frequently assumed by various scholars, inventors, engineers, and technicians that robots will one day be able to mimic human behavior and manage tasks in a human-like fashion. Today, robotics is a rapidly growing field, as technological advances continue; researching, designing, and building new robots serve various practical purposes, whether domestically, commercially, or militarily. Many robots are built to do jobs that are hazardous to people such as defusing bombs, finding survivors in unstable ruins, and exploring mines and shipwrecks. Robotics is also used in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) as a teaching aid.[1] The advent of nanorobots, microscopic robots that can be injected into the human body, could revolutionize medicine and human health.[2]

Robotics is a branch of engineering that involves the conception, design, manufacture, and operation of robots. This field overlaps with electronics, computer science, artificial intelligence, mechatronics, nanotechnology and bioengineering.[3]

The word robotics was derived from the word robot, which was introduced to the public by Czech writer Karel apek in his play R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots), which was published in 1920.[4] The word robot comes from the Slavic word robota, which means labour/work. The play begins in a factory that makes artificial people called robots, creatures who can be mistaken for humans very similar to the modern ideas of androids. Karel apek himself did not coin the word. He wrote a short letter in reference to an etymology in the Oxford English Dictionary in which he named his brother Josef apek as its actual originator.[4]

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word robotics was first used in print by Isaac Asimov, in his science fiction short story “Liar!”, published in May 1941 in Astounding Science Fiction. Asimov was unaware that he was coining the term; since the science and technology of electrical devices is electronics, he assumed robotics already referred to the science and technology of robots. In some of Asimov’s other works, he states that the first use of the word robotics was in his short story Runaround (Astounding Science Fiction, March 1942),[5][6] where he introduced his concept of The Three Laws of Robotics. However, the original publication of “Liar!” predates that of “Runaround” by ten months, so the former is generally cited as the word’s origin.

In 1948, Norbert Wiener formulated the principles of cybernetics, the basis of practical robotics.

Fully autonomous only appeared in the second half of the 20th century. The first digitally operated and programmable robot, the Unimate, was installed in 1961 to lift hot pieces of metal from a die casting machine and stack them. Commercial and industrial robots are widespread today and used to perform jobs more cheaply, more accurately and more reliably, than humans. They are also employed in some jobs which are too dirty, dangerous, or dull to be suitable for humans. Robots are widely used in manufacturing, assembly, packing and packaging, mining, transport, earth and space exploration, surgery, weaponry, laboratory research, safety, and the mass production of consumer and industrial goods.[7]

There are many types of robots; they are used in many different environments and for many different uses, although being very diverse in application and form they all share three basic similarities when it comes to their construction:

As more and more robots are designed for specific tasks this method of classification becomes more relevant. For example, many robots are designed for assembly work, which may not be readily adaptable for other applications. They are termed as “assembly robots”. For seam welding, some suppliers provide complete welding systems with the robot i.e. the welding equipment along with other material handling facilities like turntables etc. as an integrated unit. Such an integrated robotic system is called a “welding robot” even though its discrete manipulator unit could be adapted to a variety of tasks. Some robots are specifically designed for heavy load manipulation, and are labelled as “heavy duty robots”.[21]

Current and potential applications include:

At present, mostly (leadacid) batteries are used as a power source. Many different types of batteries can be used as a power source for robots. They range from leadacid batteries, which are safe and have relatively long shelf lives but are rather heavy compared to silvercadmium batteries that are much smaller in volume and are currently much more expensive. Designing a battery-powered robot needs to take into account factors such as safety, cycle lifetime and weight. Generators, often some type of internal combustion engine, can also be used. However, such designs are often mechanically complex and need a fuel, require heat dissipation and are relatively heavy. A tether connecting the robot to a power supply would remove the power supply from the robot entirely. This has the advantage of saving weight and space by moving all power generation and storage components elsewhere. However, this design does come with the drawback of constantly having a cable connected to the robot, which can be difficult to manage.[33] Potential power sources could be:

Actuators are the “muscles” of a robot, the parts which convert stored energy into movement. By far the most popular actuators are electric motors that rotate a wheel or gear, and linear actuators that control industrial robots in factories. There are some recent advances in alternative types of actuators, powered by electricity, chemicals, or compressed air.

The vast majority of robots use electric motors, often brushed and brushless DC motors in portable robots or AC motors in industrial robots and CNC machines. These motors are often preferred in systems with lighter loads, and where the predominant form of motion is rotational.

Various types of linear actuators move in and out instead of by spinning, and often have quicker direction changes, particularly when very large forces are needed such as with industrial robotics. They are typically powered by compressed and oxidized air (pneumatic actuator) or an oil (hydraulic actuator).

A flexure is designed as part of the motor actuator, to improve safety and provide robust force control, energy efficiency, shock absorption (mechanical filtering) while reducing excessive wear on the transmission and other mechanical components. The resultant lower reflected inertia can improve safety when a robot is interacting with humans or during collisions. It has been used in various robots, particularly advanced manufacturing robots and[34] walking humanoid robots.[35]

Pneumatic artificial muscles, also known as air muscles, are special tubes that expand(typically up to 40%) when air is forced inside them. They are used in some robot applications.[36][37][38]

Muscle wire, also known as shape memory alloy, Nitinol or Flexinol wire, is a material which contracts (under 5%) when electricity is applied. They have been used for some small robot applications.[39][40]

EAPs or EPAMs are a plastic material that can contract substantially (up to 380% activation strain) from electricity, and have been used in facial muscles and arms of humanoid robots,[41] and to enable new robots to float,[42] fly, swim or walk.[43]

Recent alternatives to DC motors are piezo motors or ultrasonic motors. These work on a fundamentally different principle, whereby tiny piezoceramic elements, vibrating many thousands of times per second, cause linear or rotary motion. There are different mechanisms of operation; one type uses the vibration of the piezo elements to step the motor in a circle or a straight line.[44] Another type uses the piezo elements to cause a nut to vibrate or to drive a screw. The advantages of these motors are nanometer resolution, speed, and available force for their size.[45] These motors are already available commercially, and being used on some robots.[46][47]

Elastic nanotubes are a promising artificial muscle technology in early-stage experimental development. The absence of defects in carbon nanotubes enables these filaments to deform elastically by several percent, with energy storage levels of perhaps 10J/cm3 for metal nanotubes. Human biceps could be replaced with an 8mm diameter wire of this material. Such compact “muscle” might allow future robots to outrun and outjump humans.[48]

Sensors allow robots to receive information about a certain measurement of the environment, or internal components. This is essential for robots to perform their tasks, and act upon any changes in the environment to calculate the appropriate response. They are used for various forms of measurements, to give the robots warnings about safety or malfunctions, and to provide real-time information of the task it is performing.

Current robotic and prosthetic hands receive far less tactile information than the human hand. Recent research has developed a tactile sensor array that mimics the mechanical properties and touch receptors of human fingertips.[49][50] The sensor array is constructed as a rigid core surrounded by conductive fluid contained by an elastomeric skin. Electrodes are mounted on the surface of the rigid core and are connected to an impedance-measuring device within the core. When the artificial skin touches an object the fluid path around the electrodes is deformed, producing impedance changes that map the forces received from the object. The researchers expect that an important function of such artificial fingertips will be adjusting robotic grip on held objects.

Scientists from several European countries and Israel developed a prosthetic hand in 2009, called SmartHand, which functions like a real oneallowing patients to write with it, type on a keyboard, play piano and perform other fine movements. The prosthesis has sensors which enable the patient to sense real feeling in its fingertips.[51]

Computer vision is the science and technology of machines that see. As a scientific discipline, computer vision is concerned with the theory behind artificial systems that extract information from images. The image data can take many forms, such as video sequences and views from cameras.

In most practical computer vision applications, the computers are pre-programmed to solve a particular task, but methods based on learning are now becoming increasingly common.

Computer vision systems rely on image sensors which detect electromagnetic radiation which is typically in the form of either visible light or infra-red light. The sensors are designed using solid-state physics. The process by which light propagates and reflects off surfaces is explained using optics. Sophisticated image sensors even require quantum mechanics to provide a complete understanding of the image formation process. Robots can also be equipped with multiple vision sensors to be better able to compute the sense of depth in the environment. Like human eyes, robots’ “eyes” must also be able to focus on a particular area of interest, and also adjust to variations in light intensities.

There is a subfield within computer vision where artificial systems are designed to mimic the processing and behavior of biological system, at different levels of complexity. Also, some of the learning-based methods developed within computer vision have their background in biology.

Other common forms of sensing in robotics use lidar, radar, and sonar.[52]

Robots need to manipulate objects; pick up, modify, destroy, or otherwise have an effect. Thus the “hands” of a robot are often referred to as end effectors,[53] while the “arm” is referred to as a manipulator.[54] Most robot arms have replaceable effectors, each allowing them to perform some small range of tasks. Some have a fixed manipulator which cannot be replaced, while a few have one very general purpose manipulator, for example, a humanoid hand.[55]Learning how to manipulate a robot often requires a close feedback between human to the robot, although there are several methods for remote manipulation of robots.[56]

One of the most common effectors is the gripper. In its simplest manifestation, it consists of just two fingers which can open and close to pick up and let go of a range of small objects. Fingers can for example, be made of a chain with a metal wire run through it.[57] Hands that resemble and work more like a human hand include the Shadow Hand and the Robonaut hand.[58] Hands that are of a mid-level complexity include the Delft hand.[59][60] Mechanical grippers can come in various types, including friction and encompassing jaws. Friction jaws use all the force of the gripper to hold the object in place using friction. Encompassing jaws cradle the object in place, using less friction.

Vacuum grippers are very simple astrictive[61] devices that can hold very large loads provided the prehension surface is smooth enough to ensure suction.

Pick and place robots for electronic components and for large objects like car windscreens, often use very simple vacuum grippers.

Some advanced robots are beginning to use fully humanoid hands, like the Shadow Hand, MANUS,[62] and the Schunk hand.[63] These are highly dexterous manipulators, with as many as 20 degrees of freedom and hundreds of tactile sensors.[64]

For simplicity, most mobile robots have four wheels or a number of continuous tracks. Some researchers have tried to create more complex wheeled robots with only one or two wheels. These can have certain advantages such as greater efficiency and reduced parts, as well as allowing a robot to navigate in confined places that a four-wheeled robot would not be able to.

Balancing robots generally use a gyroscope to detect how much a robot is falling and then drive the wheels proportionally in the same direction, to counterbalance the fall at hundreds of times per second, based on the dynamics of an inverted pendulum.[65] Many different balancing robots have been designed.[66] While the Segway is not commonly thought of as a robot, it can be thought of as a component of a robot, when used as such Segway refer to them as RMP (Robotic Mobility Platform). An example of this use has been as NASA’s Robonaut that has been mounted on a Segway.[67]

A one-wheeled balancing robot is an extension of a two-wheeled balancing robot so that it can move in any 2D direction using a round ball as its only wheel. Several one-wheeled balancing robots have been designed recently, such as Carnegie Mellon University’s “Ballbot” that is the approximate height and width of a person, and Tohoku Gakuin University’s “BallIP”.[68] Because of the long, thin shape and ability to maneuver in tight spaces, they have the potential to function better than other robots in environments with people.[69]

Several attempts have been made in robots that are completely inside a spherical ball, either by spinning a weight inside the ball,[70][71] or by rotating the outer shells of the sphere.[72][73] These have also been referred to as an orb bot[74] or a ball bot.[75][76]

Using six wheels instead of four wheels can give better traction or grip in outdoor terrain such as on rocky dirt or grass.

Tank tracks provide even more traction than a six-wheeled robot. Tracked wheels behave as if they were made of hundreds of wheels, therefore are very common for outdoor and military robots, where the robot must drive on very rough terrain. However, they are difficult to use indoors such as on carpets and smooth floors. Examples include NASA’s Urban Robot “Urbie”.[77]

Walking is a difficult and dynamic problem to solve. Several robots have been made which can walk reliably on two legs, however, none have yet been made which are as robust as a human. There has been much study on human inspired walking, such as AMBER lab which was established in 2008 by the Mechanical Engineering Department at Texas A&M University.[78] Many other robots have been built that walk on more than two legs, due to these robots being significantly easier to construct.[79][80] Walking robots can be used for uneven terrains, which would provide better mobility and energy efficiency than other locomotion methods. Hybrids too have been proposed in movies such as I, Robot, where they walk on two legs and switch to four (arms+legs) when going to a sprint. Typically, robots on two legs can walk well on flat floors and can occasionally walk up stairs. None can walk over rocky, uneven terrain. Some of the methods which have been tried are:

The zero moment point (ZMP) is the algorithm used by robots such as Honda’s ASIMO. The robot’s onboard computer tries to keep the total inertial forces (the combination of Earth’s gravity and the acceleration and deceleration of walking), exactly opposed by the floor reaction force (the force of the floor pushing back on the robot’s foot). In this way, the two forces cancel out, leaving no moment (force causing the robot to rotate and fall over).[81] However, this is not exactly how a human walks, and the difference is obvious to human observers, some of whom have pointed out that ASIMO walks as if it needs the lavatory.[82][83][84] ASIMO’s walking algorithm is not static, and some dynamic balancing is used (see below). However, it still requires a smooth surface to walk on.

Several robots, built in the 1980s by Marc Raibert at the MIT Leg Laboratory, successfully demonstrated very dynamic walking. Initially, a robot with only one leg, and a very small foot could stay upright simply by hopping. The movement is the same as that of a person on a pogo stick. As the robot falls to one side, it would jump slightly in that direction, in order to catch itself.[85] Soon, the algorithm was generalised to two and four legs. A bipedal robot was demonstrated running and even performing somersaults.[86] A quadruped was also demonstrated which could trot, run, pace, and bound.[87] For a full list of these robots, see the MIT Leg Lab Robots page.[88]

A more advanced way for a robot to walk is by using a dynamic balancing algorithm, which is potentially more robust than the Zero Moment Point technique, as it constantly monitors the robot’s motion, and places the feet in order to maintain stability.[89] This technique was recently demonstrated by Anybots’ Dexter Robot,[90] which is so stable, it can even jump.[91] Another example is the TU Delft Flame.

Perhaps the most promising approach utilizes passive dynamics where the momentum of swinging limbs is used for greater efficiency. It has been shown that totally unpowered humanoid mechanisms can walk down a gentle slope, using only gravity to propel themselves. Using this technique, a robot need only supply a small amount of motor power to walk along a flat surface or a little more to walk up a hill. This technique promises to make walking robots at least ten times more efficient than ZMP walkers, like ASIMO.[92][93]

A modern passenger airliner is essentially a flying robot, with two humans to manage it. The autopilot can control the plane for each stage of the journey, including takeoff, normal flight, and even landing.[94] Other flying robots are uninhabited and are known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). They can be smaller and lighter without a human pilot on board, and fly into dangerous territory for military surveillance missions. Some can even fire on targets under command. UAVs are also being developed which can fire on targets automatically, without the need for a command from a human. Other flying robots include cruise missiles, the Entomopter, and the Epson micro helicopter robot. Robots such as the Air Penguin, Air Ray, and Air Jelly have lighter-than-air bodies, propelled by paddles, and guided by sonar.

Several snake robots have been successfully developed. Mimicking the way real snakes move, these robots can navigate very confined spaces, meaning they may one day be used to search for people trapped in collapsed buildings.[95] The Japanese ACM-R5 snake robot[96] can even navigate both on land and in water.[97]

A small number of skating robots have been developed, one of which is a multi-mode walking and skating device. It has four legs, with unpowered wheels, which can either step or roll.[98] Another robot, Plen, can use a miniature skateboard or roller-skates, and skate across a desktop.[99]

Several different approaches have been used to develop robots that have the ability to climb vertical surfaces. One approach mimics the movements of a human climber on a wall with protrusions; adjusting the center of mass and moving each limb in turn to gain leverage. An example of this is Capuchin,[100] built by Dr. Ruixiang Zhang at Stanford University, California. Another approach uses the specialized toe pad method of wall-climbing geckoes, which can run on smooth surfaces such as vertical glass. Examples of this approach include Wallbot[101] and Stickybot.[102] China’s Technology Daily reported on November 15, 2008, that Dr. Li Hiu Yeung and his research group of New Concept Aircraft (Zhuhai) Co., Ltd. had successfully developed a bionic gecko robot named “Speedy Freelander”. According to Dr. Li, the gecko robot could rapidly climb up and down a variety of building walls, navigate through ground and wall fissures, and walk upside-down on the ceiling. It was also able to adapt to the surfaces of smooth glass, rough, sticky or dusty walls as well as various types of metallic materials. It could also identify and circumvent obstacles automatically. Its flexibility and speed were comparable to a natural gecko. A third approach is to mimic the motion of a snake climbing a pole.[103]

It is calculated that when swimming some fish can achieve a propulsive efficiency greater than 90%.[104] Furthermore, they can accelerate and maneuver far better than any man-made boat or submarine, and produce less noise and water disturbance. Therefore, many researchers studying underwater robots would like to copy this type of locomotion.[105] Notable examples are the Essex University Computer Science Robotic Fish G9,[106] and the Robot Tuna built by the Institute of Field Robotics, to analyze and mathematically model thunniform motion.[107] The Aqua Penguin,[108] designed and built by Festo of Germany, copies the streamlined shape and propulsion by front “flippers” of penguins. Festo have also built the Aqua Ray and Aqua Jelly, which emulate the locomotion of manta ray, and jellyfish, respectively.

In 2014 iSplash-II was developed by PhD student Richard James Clapham and Prof. Huosheng Hu at Essex University. It was the first robotic fish capable of outperforming real carangiform fish in terms of average maximum velocity (measured in body lengths/ second) and endurance, the duration that top speed is maintained.[109] This build attained swimming speeds of 11.6BL/s (i.e. 3.7m/s).[110] The first build, iSplash-I (2014) was the first robotic platform to apply a full-body length carangiform swimming motion which was found to increase swimming speed by 27% over the traditional approach of a posterior confined waveform.[111]

Sailboat robots have also been developed in order to make measurements at the surface of the ocean. A typical sailboat robot is Vaimos[112] built by IFREMER and ENSTA-Bretagne. Since the propulsion of sailboat robots uses the wind, the energy of the batteries is only used for the computer, for the communication and for the actuators (to tune the rudder and the sail). If the robot is equipped with solar panels, the robot could theoretically navigate forever. The two main competitions of sailboat robots are WRSC, which takes place every year in Europe, and Sailbot.

Though a significant percentage of robots in commission today are either human controlled or operate in a static environment, there is an increasing interest in robots that can operate autonomously in a dynamic environment. These robots require some combination of navigation hardware and software in order to traverse their environment. In particular, unforeseen events (e.g. people and other obstacles that are not stationary) can cause problems or collisions. Some highly advanced robots such as ASIMO and Mein robot have particularly good robot navigation hardware and software. Also, self-controlled cars, Ernst Dickmanns’ driverless car, and the entries in the DARPA Grand Challenge, are capable of sensing the environment well and subsequently making navigational decisions based on this information. Most of these robots employ a GPS navigation device with waypoints, along with radar, sometimes combined with other sensory data such as lidar, video cameras, and inertial guidance systems for better navigation between waypoints.

The state of the art in sensory intelligence for robots will have to progress through several orders of magnitude if we want the robots working in our homes to go beyond vacuum-cleaning the floors. If robots are to work effectively in homes and other non-industrial environments, the way they are instructed to perform their jobs, and especially how they will be told to stop will be of critical importance. The people who interact with them may have little or no training in robotics, and so any interface will need to be extremely intuitive. Science fiction authors also typically assume that robots will eventually be capable of communicating with humans through speech, gestures, and facial expressions, rather than a command-line interface. Although speech would be the most natural way for the human to communicate, it is unnatural for the robot. It will probably be a long time before robots interact as naturally as the fictional C-3PO, or Data of Star Trek, Next Generation.

Interpreting the continuous flow of sounds coming from a human, in real time, is a difficult task for a computer, mostly because of the great variability of speech.[113] The same word, spoken by the same person may sound different depending on local acoustics, volume, the previous word, whether or not the speaker has a cold, etc.. It becomes even harder when the speaker has a different accent.[114] Nevertheless, great strides have been made in the field since Davis, Biddulph, and Balashek designed the first “voice input system” which recognized “ten digits spoken by a single user with 100% accuracy” in 1952.[115] Currently, the best systems can recognize continuous, natural speech, up to 160 words per minute, with an accuracy of 95%.[116]With the help of artificial intelligence, machines nowadays can use people’s voice to identify their emotions such as satisfied or angry[117]

Other hurdles exist when allowing the robot to use voice for interacting with humans. For social reasons, synthetic voice proves suboptimal as a communication medium,[118] making it necessary to develop the emotional component of robotic voice through various techniques.[119][120]

One can imagine, in the future, explaining to a robot chef how to make a pastry, or asking directions from a robot police officer. In both of these cases, making hand gestures would aid the verbal descriptions. In the first case, the robot would be recognizing gestures made by the human, and perhaps repeating them for confirmation. In the second case, the robot police officer would gesture to indicate “down the road, then turn right”. It is likely that gestures will make up a part of the interaction between humans and robots.[121] A great many systems have been developed to recognize human hand gestures.[122]

Facial expressions can provide rapid feedback on the progress of a dialog between two humans, and soon may be able to do the same for humans and robots. Robotic faces have been constructed by Hanson Robotics using their elastic polymer called Frubber, allowing a large number of facial expressions due to the elasticity of the rubber facial coating and embedded subsurface motors (servos).[123] The coating and servos are built on a metal skull. A robot should know how to approach a human, judging by their facial expression and body language. Whether the person is happy, frightened, or crazy-looking affects the type of interaction expected of the robot. Likewise, robots like Kismet and the more recent addition, Nexi[124] can produce a range of facial expressions, allowing it to have meaningful social exchanges with humans.[125]

Artificial emotions can also be generated, composed of a sequence of facial expressions and/or gestures. As can be seen from the movie Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, the programming of these artificial emotions is complex and requires a large amount of human observation. To simplify this programming in the movie, presets were created together with a special software program. This decreased the amount of time needed to make the film. These presets could possibly be transferred for use in real-life robots.

Many of the robots of science fiction have a personality, something which may or may not be desirable in the commercial robots of the future.[126] Nevertheless, researchers are trying to create robots which appear to have a personality:[127][128] i.e. they use sounds, facial expressions, and body language to try to convey an internal state, which may be joy, sadness, or fear. One commercial example is Pleo, a toy robot dinosaur, which can exhibit several apparent emotions.[129]

The Socially Intelligent Machines Lab of the Georgia Institute of Technology researches new concepts of guided teaching interaction with robots. The aim of the projects is a social robot that learns task and goals from human demonstrations without prior knowledge of high-level concepts. These new concepts are grounded from low-level continuous sensor data through unsupervised learning, and task goals are subsequently learned using a Bayesian approach. These concepts can be used to transfer knowledge to future tasks, resulting in faster learning of those tasks. The results are demonstrated by the robot Curi who can scoop some pasta from a pot onto a plate and serve the sauce on top.[130]

The mechanical structure of a robot must be controlled to perform tasks. The control of a robot involves three distinct phases perception, processing, and action (robotic paradigms). Sensors give information about the environment or the robot itself (e.g. the position of its joints or its end effector). This information is then processed to be stored or transmitted and to calculate the appropriate signals to the actuators (motors) which move the mechanical.

The processing phase can range in complexity. At a reactive level, it may translate raw sensor information directly into actuator commands. Sensor fusion may first be used to estimate parameters of interest (e.g. the position of the robot’s gripper) from noisy sensor data. An immediate task (such as moving the gripper in a certain direction) is inferred from these estimates. Techniques from control theory convert the task into commands that drive the actuators.

At longer time scales or with more sophisticated tasks, the robot may need to build and reason with a “cognitive” model. Cognitive models try to represent the robot, the world, and how they interact. Pattern recognition and computer vision can be used to track objects. Mapping techniques can be used to build maps of the world. Finally, motion planning and other artificial intelligence techniques may be used to figure out how to act. For example, a planner may figure out how to achieve a task without hitting obstacles, falling over, etc.

Control systems may also have varying levels of autonomy.

Another classification takes into account the interaction between human control and the machine motions.

Much of the research in robotics focuses not on specific industrial tasks, but on investigations into new types of robots, alternative ways to think about or design robots, and new ways to manufacture them. Other investigations, such as MIT’s cyberflora project, are almost wholly academic.

A first particular new innovation in robot design is the open sourcing of robot-projects. To describe the level of advancement of a robot, the term “Generation Robots” can be used. This term is coined by Professor Hans Moravec, Principal Research Scientist at the Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Institute in describing the near future evolution of robot technology. First generation robots, Moravec predicted in 1997, should have an intellectual capacity comparable to perhaps a lizard and should become available by 2010. Because the first generation robot would be incapable of learning, however, Moravec predicts that the second generation robot would be an improvement over the first and become available by 2020, with the intelligence maybe comparable to that of a mouse. The third generation robot should have the intelligence comparable to that of a monkey. Though fourth generation robots, robots with human intelligence, professor Moravec predicts, would become possible, he does not predict this happening before around 2040 or 2050.[132]

The second is evolutionary robots. This is a methodology that uses evolutionary computation to help design robots, especially the body form, or motion and behavior controllers. In a similar way to natural evolution, a large population of robots is allowed to compete in some way, or their ability to perform a task is measured using a fitness function. Those that perform worst are removed from the population and replaced by a new set, which have new behaviors based on those of the winners. Over time the population improves, and eventually a satisfactory robot may appear. This happens without any direct programming of the robots by the researchers. Researchers use this method both to create better robots,[133] and to explore the nature of evolution.[134] Because the process often requires many generations of robots to be simulated,[135] this technique may be run entirely or mostly in simulation, using a robot simulator software package, then tested on real robots once the evolved algorithms are good enough.[136] Currently, there are about 10 million industrial robots toiling around the world, and Japan is the top country having high density of utilizing robots in its manufacturing industry.[citation needed]

The study of motion can be divided into kinematics and dynamics.[137] Direct kinematics refers to the calculation of end effector position, orientation, velocity, and acceleration when the corresponding joint values are known. Inverse kinematics refers to the opposite case in which required joint values are calculated for given end effector values, as done in path planning. Some special aspects of kinematics include handling of redundancy (different possibilities of performing the same movement), collision avoidance, and singularity avoidance. Once all relevant positions, velocities, and accelerations have been calculated using kinematics, methods from the field of dynamics are used to study the effect of forces upon these movements. Direct dynamics refers to the calculation of accelerations in the robot once the applied forces are known. Direct dynamics is used in computer simulations of the robot. Inverse dynamics refers to the calculation of the actuator forces necessary to create a prescribed end-effector acceleration. This information can be used to improve the control algorithms of a robot.

In each area mentioned above, researchers strive to develop new concepts and strategies, improve existing ones, and improve the interaction between these areas. To do this, criteria for “optimal” performance and ways to optimize design, structure, and control of robots must be developed and implemented.

Bionics and biomimetics apply the physiology and methods of locomotion of animals to the design of robots. For example, the design of BionicKangaroo was based on the way kangaroos jump.

There has been some research into whether robotics algorithms can be run more quickly on quantum computers than they can be run on digital computers. This area has been referred to as quantum robotics.[138]

Robotics engineers design robots, maintain them, develop new applications for them, and conduct research to expand the potential of robotics.[139] Robots have become a popular educational tool in some middle and high schools, particularly in parts of the USA,[140] as well as in numerous youth summer camps, raising interest in programming, artificial intelligence, and robotics among students. First-year computer science courses at some universities now include programming of a robot in addition to traditional software engineering-based coursework.[56]

Universities offer bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees in the field of robotics.[141] Vocational schools offer robotics training aimed at careers in robotics.

The Robotics Certification Standards Alliance (RCSA) is an international robotics certification authority that confers various industry- and educational-related robotics certifications.

Several national summer camp programs include robotics as part of their core curriculum. In addition, youth summer robotics programs are frequently offered by celebrated museums and institutions.

There are lots of competitions all around the globe. The SeaPerch curriculum is aimed as students of all ages. This is a short list of competition examples; for a more complete list see Robot competition.

The FIRST organization offers the FIRST Lego League Jr. competitions for younger children. This competition’s goal is to offer younger children an opportunity to start learning about science and technology. Children in this competition build Lego models and have the option of using the Lego WeDo robotics kit.

One of the most important competitions is the FLL or FIRST Lego League. The idea of this specific competition is that kids start developing knowledge and getting into robotics while playing with Lego since they are 9 years old. This competition is associated with National Instruments. Children use Lego Mindstorms to solve autonomous robotics challenges in this competition.

The FIRST Tech Challenge is designed for intermediate students, as a transition from the FIRST Lego League to the FIRST Robotics Competition.

The FIRST Robotics Competition focuses more on mechanical design, with a specific game being played each year. Robots are built specifically for that year’s game. In match play, the robot moves autonomously during the first 15 seconds of the game (although certain years such as 2019’s Deep Space change this rule), and is manually operated for the rest of the match.

The various RoboCup competitions include teams of teenagers and university students. These competitions focus on soccer competitions with different types of robots, dance competitions, and urban search and rescue competitions. All of the robots in these competitions must be autonomous. Some of these competitions focus on simulated robots.

AUVSI runs competitions for flying robots, robot boats, and underwater robots.

The Student AUV Competition Europe [142] (SAUC-E) mainly attracts undergraduate and graduate student teams. As in the AUVSI competitions, the robots must be fully autonomous while they are participating in the competition.

The Microtransat Challenge is a competition to sail a boat across the Atlantic Ocean.

RoboGames is open to anyone wishing to compete in their over 50 categories of robot competitions.

Federation of International Robot-soccer Association holds the FIRA World Cup competitions. There are flying robot competitions, robot soccer competitions, and other challenges, including weightlifting barbells made from dowels and CDs.

Many schools across the country are beginning to add robotics programs to their after school curriculum. Some major programs for afterschool robotics include FIRST Robotics Competition, Botball and B.E.S.T. Robotics.[143] Robotics competitions often include aspects of business and marketing as well as engineering and design.

The Lego company began a program for children to learn and get excited about robotics at a young age.[144]

Robotics is an essential component in many modern manufacturing environments. As factories increase their use of robots, the number of roboticsrelated jobs grow and have been observed to be steadily rising.[145] The employment of robots in industries has increased productivity and efficiency savings and is typically seen as a long term investment for benefactors. A paper by Michael Osborne andCarl Benedikt Freyfound that 47 per cent of US jobs are at risk to automation “over some unspecified number of years”.[146] These claims have been criticized on the ground that social policy, not AI, causes unemployment.[147]

A discussion paper drawn up by EU-OSHA highlights how the spread of robotics presents both opportunities and challenges for occupational safety and health (OSH).[148]

The greatest OSH benefits stemming from the wider use of robotics should be substitution for people working in unhealthy or dangerous environments. In space, defence, security, or the nuclear industry, but also in logistics, maintenance, and inspection, autonomous robots are particularly useful in replacing human workers performing dirty, dull or unsafe tasks, thus avoiding workers’ exposures to hazardous agents and conditions and reducing physical, ergonomic and psychosocial risks. For example, robots are already used to perform repetitive and monotonous tasks, to handle radioactive material or to work in explosive atmospheres. In the future, many other highly repetitive, risky or unpleasant tasks will be performed by robots in a variety of sectors like agriculture, construction, transport, healthcare, firefighting or cleaning services.[149]

Despite these advances, there are certain skills to which humans will be better suited than machines for some time to come and the question is how to achieve the best combination of human and robot skills. The advantages of robotics include heavy-duty jobs with precision and repeatability, whereas the advantages of humans include creativity, decision-making, flexibility and adaptability. This need to combine optimal skills has resulted in collaborative robots and humans sharing a common workspace more closely and led to the development of new approaches and standards to guarantee the safety of the “man-robot merger”. Some European countries are including robotics in their national programmes and trying to promote a safe and flexible co-operation between robots and operators to achieve better productivity. For example, the German Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) organises annual workshops on the topic “human-robot collaboration”.

In future, co-operation between robots and humans will be diversified, with robots increasing their autonomy and human-robot collaboration reaching completely new forms. Current approaches and technical standards[150][151] aiming to protect employees from the risk of working with collaborative robots will have to be revised.

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Robotics – Wikipedia

RIA – Robotics Online – Industrial Robotics

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Most Advanced Robotic OLP Software

Robotmaster is the leading CAM/CAD based offline robot programming software which provides quick and easy programming tools for multiple applications, saving time/money while maximizing your ROI

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Robotics | technology | Britannica.com

Robotics, Design, construction, and use of machines (robots) to perform tasks done traditionally by human beings. Robots are widely used in such industries as automobile manufacture to perform simple repetitive tasks, and in industries where work must be performed in environments hazardous to humans. Many aspects of robotics involve artificial intelligence; robots may be equipped with the equivalent of human senses such as vision, touch, and the ability to sense temperature. Some are even capable of simple decision making, and current robotics research is geared toward devising robots with a degree of self-sufficiency that will permit mobility and decision-making in an unstructured environment. Todays industrial robots do not resemble human beings; a robot in human form is called an android.

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Robotics | technology | Britannica.com

What is robotics? – Definition from WhatIs.com

Robotics is a branch of engineering that involves the conception, design, manufacture, and operation of robots. This field overlaps with electronics, computer science, artificial intelligence, mechatronics, nanotechnology and bioengineering.

Science-fiction author Isaac Asimov is often given credit for being the first person to use the term robotics in a short story composed in the 1940s. In the story, Asimov suggested three principles to guide the behavior of robots and smart machines. Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics, as they are called, have survived to the present:

1. Robots must never harm human beings.2. Robots must follow instructions from humans without violating rule 1.3. Robots must protect themselves without violating the other rules.

See Rodney Brooks’ Ted talk, “Why we will depend on robots”

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What is robotics? – Definition from WhatIs.com

Robotics for Kids & Teens 2019 | Summer Robotics Camps …

Machine learning is the way of 21st century life and the field of robotics is booming. Everything from cars and smartphones to thermostats and gaming consoles are tied to robotics and mechanical engineering. Whether you dream of becoming a Hardware Designer at Apple or an Aerospace Technician at NASA, your robotics path starts here!

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Robotics for Kids & Teens 2019 | Summer Robotics Camps …

Robotics Software Engineer | Udacity

Learn Core Robotics Skills

Learn probabilistic robotics algorithms such as Localization, Mapping, Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM), Path Planning, and Navigation, and implement them using C++, the Robot Operating System (ROS), and Gazebo.

Build five interactive projects using C++ and ROS, and use them to demonstrate your skills in probabilistic robotics algorithms to recruiters and hiring managers.

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Robotics Software Engineer | Udacity

Robotics | Definition of Robotics by Merriam-Webster

: technology dealing with the design, construction, and operation of robots in automation Other Words from robotics Examples of robotics in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word ‘robotics.’ Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

1941, in the meaning defined above

Last Updated

18 Apr 2019

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More Definitions for robotics

: technology that is used to design, build, and operate robots

Comments on robotics

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Robotics | Definition of Robotics by Merriam-Webster

Robotics – definition of robotics by The Free Dictionary

The science or study of the technology associated with the design, fabrication, theory, and application of robots.

1. (General Engineering) the science or technology of designing, building, and using robots

n. (used with a sing. v.)

the technology connected with using computer-controlled robots to perform manipulative tasks.

[1941; coined by Isaac Asimov]

roboticist, n.

the application of automated machinery to tasks traditionally done by hand, as in manufacturing.

the application of automated machinery to tasks traditionally done by hand, as in the manufacturing industry.

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robotika

robotiikka

vlmenni

robototechnikarobot technika

robotica

robotika

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Robot Events

VEX Robotics Competition

The VEX Robotics Competition, presented by the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation, is the largest and fastest growing middle school and high school robotics program globally with more than 20,000 teams from 50 countries playing in over 1,700 competitions worldwide. Each year, an exciting engineering challenge is presented in the form of a game. Students, with guidance from their teachers and mentors, build innovative robots and compete year-round. More information…

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Robotics | SRI International

SRI is delivering the promise of state-of-the-art robotics to government and commercial markets. Our robotics teams invent, apply, and commercialize components, software, and systems that are spearheading the robot revolution. Examples of our innovations include:

SRI researchers have a long, rich tradition of pushing the boundaries of robotics. Our heritage includes the foundational intellectual property (IP) used in Shakey the Robot, Intuitive Surgical’s da Vinci surgical system, and the enabling patents for electroactive polymer artificial muscle. Our pioneering developments in robotics have evolved into a solid, comprehensive program that spans multiple disciplines and features expertise in artificial intelligence, algorithm development, sensors research, and product development.

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Robotics | SRI International


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