Prof. T. Shivanandam
Robotics, computer-controlled machine that is a programmable machine that
imitates the actions or appearance of an intelligent creature–usually a human.
To qualify as a robot, a machine has to be able to do two things:
1) get information from its surroundings, and
2) do something physical–such as move or manipulate objects.
It was first used in the 1921 play R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal
Robots) by the Czech novelist and playwright Karel Capek.
Robots are able to perform repetitive tasks more quickly,
cheaply, and accurately than humans.
The word robot has been used since to refer to a machine
that performs work to assist people or work that humans find
difficult or undesirable.
Robots really work for people and perform tasks for them
that may be dangerous.
The notion of putting
machines to work for us
to perform routine tasks on
command can be credited to
great thinkers like Aristotle
13th – 15th Century
Inventors were busy developing real automatons that
mimicked human mannerisms. This first generation of
robots were clock controlled ornaments with self-moving
An automated rooster erected on top of the cathedral in
Strasbourg in 1350 is a good example. It was designed to
flap its wings and crow every day at noon.
In 1774 inventors Pierre and
unveiled the ―Automatic
Scribe”. This lifelike figure of
a boy could draw and write
any message up to 40
characters long. A robot
woman playing a piano was
another one of their great
Unlike the toy automatons of18th
century, robots of the 800s were chiefly
designed to meet the growing demands of
a flourishing industrial society.
A good example is this Textile Machine.
Operated by punch cards, this
programmable Loom was capable of mass
production and is one of the earliest
machines to store a programme designed
to control its entire operation.
19th Century (cont.)
1890: Thomas Edison used a
condensed version of his
phonograph invention in the design of
the famous talking doll.
1898: Nikola Tesla, a famous
inventor, patents the first
remote controlled device. The
'teleautomaton' was a crewless
boat that was controlled from a
distance without wires.
1921: The first reference to the word robot is
made in a play by Czech writer Karel
Capek (1890 - 1938) - R.U.R (Rossum's
Universal Robots). The word comes from the
Czech ―robota‖ which means serf or one in
In the play, the Czech robot is defined as "a
worker of forced labour". After this Play,
electromechanical automatons were
referred to as robots.
20th Century (cont.)
1968: SRI International, formerly known
as the Stanford Research Institute, builds
and tests the first mobile robot with
vision capability. 'Shakey' was equipped
with a television camera, a range finder
Shakey was the first mobile robot
that could think and respond to the
world around it.
20th Century (cont.)
1968: The General Electric
Walking Truck was the
first manual controlled
20th Century (cont.)
1969: Stanford University develop the first
electrically powered computer controlled
robotic arm. This becomes standard for
1974: Professor Sheinman, of Stanford Arm
fame, forms Vicarm Inc. to market a version of
the arm controlled by microcomputer for
industrial applications. This robotic arm,
known as the Silver Arm performs small-parts
assembly using touch sensitive sensors.
CHARACTERISTICS OF ROBOTS
A machine that looks like a human being and performs
various complex acts of a human being.
A device that automatically performs complicated often
A mechanism guided by automatic controls.
HOW ROBOTS WORK
The inspiration for the design of a robot manipulator is the
human arm, but with some differences. For example, a robot
arm can extend by telescoping—that is, by sliding cylindrical
sections one over another to lengthen the arm.
Grippers, or end effectors, are designed to mimic the function
and structure of the human hand. Many robots are equipped
with special purpose grippers to grasp particular devices such
as a rack of test tubes or an arc-welder.
The joints of a robotic arm are usually driven by electric
A computer calculates the joint angles needed to move the
gripper to the desired position in a process known as inverse
kinematics. Some multi-jointed arms are equipped with servo,
or feedback, controllers that receive input from a computer.
Any robot designed to move in an unstructured or unknown
environment will require multiple sensors and controls, such as
ultrasonic or infrared sensors, to avoid obstacles.
TYPES OF ROBOTS & THEIR
(1) Industrial Robots:
Cartesian robot /Gantry robot: Used for pick and place work, application of
sealant, assembly operations, handling machine tools and arc welding. It's a robot
whose arm has three prismatic joints, whose axes are coincident with a Cartesian
Cylindrical robot: Used for assembly operations, handling at machine tools, spot
welding, and handling at die casting machines. It's a robot whose axes form a
cylindrical coordinate system.
Spherical/Polar robot: Used for handling at machine tools, spot welding, die
casting, fettling machines, gas welding and arc welding. It's a robot whose axes form
a polar coordinate system.
SCARA robot: Used for pick and place work, application of sealant, assembly
operations and handling machine tools. It's a robot which has two parallel rotary
joints to provide compliance in a plane.
Articulated robot: Used for assembly operations, die casting, fettling machines,
gas welding, arc welding and spray painting. It's a robot whose arm has at least three
Parallel robot: One use is a mobile platform handling cockpit flight simulators. It's
a robot whose arms have concurrent prismatic or rotary joints.
(2) Other Robots:
Demeter : A robot agricultural harvester which is a model for commercializing
mobile robotics technology.
Pioneer robot is a remote reconnaissance system for structural analysis of the
Chornobyl Unit 4 reactor building. Such robots are used to investigate hazardous
and dangerous environments.
Robotic underwater rovers are used to explore and gather information about
many facets of our marine environment.
IMPACT OF ROBOTS
Higher quality and lower cost to the manufacturing
Loss to the unskilled jobs but create new jobs for skilled
people in software and sensor development.
Machines have to be maintained and people will have to
be trained on there repair.
FUTURE OF ROBOTICS
Machines are being developed that can perform cognitive tasks, such as strategic planning and
learning from experience.
Increasingly, diagnosis of failures in aircraft or satellites, the management of a battlefield, or the
control of a large factory will be performed by intelligent computers.
Mobile robots which would run around outside the class room but be controlled by the
students in the class.
Hydroponics Garden which would be a living, growing garden controlled by robotics.
Scanning the Skies which you could set times and locations for pictures from these robots,
sent to you over the computer.
The sense of automation as an activity without direct presence of
human has been changing in the course of development of human activity.
Recently there has been a
stabilization of the spectrum of motifs of automation, mainly of
production processes in the following order: rapid reaction to the change
of market (tempo of products innovation), decreasing the dispersal of
quality, increasing the effectivity, flexibility (quick and effective functional
adjustment in relation to required change of product). Those motifs
considerably influence recent state of art of robotics as well as the trends
of further development.