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Introduction to Robotics “Robot”s – A historical perspective What is in a name? How does one define ROBOT? Oxford American Dictionary: A machine capable of carrying out a complex series of actions automatically, especially one programmed by a computer Merriam-Webster Dictionary: 1. A machine that looks and acts like a human being. 2. An efficient but insensitive person. 3. A device that automatically performs repetitive tasks. 4. Something guided by automatic controls. What is in a name? The robot rage currently is BIOMIMICRY. Biomimicry is the study of nature’s designs and processes in search of inspiration for creating machines and process that solves human problems. So does copying nature DEFINE what robots are? Robot Institute of America RIA presents its definition of a robot as: A reprogrammable, multifunctional manipulator designed to move material, parts, tools, or specialized devices through various programmed functions for the performance ofa variety of tasks. Japanese Industrial Robot Association (JIRA) JIRA’s chiefly concerned with industrial robots but has created a robot classification system. Manipulators (Manual, Sequential, Programmable) Numerically Controlled Sensate Adaptive Smart Intelligent mechantronic Manipulators Manual – Machines slaved to a human operator Sequential – Device that perform a series of tasks in the same sequence every time they are activated. (Phone switching system) Programmable – An assembly line robotic arm Numerically Controlled These are also known as Playback robots. Robots that are instructed to perform tasks through the receipts of information on sequences and positions in the form of numerical data. These types of robots are often used to make precision machinery. Sensate Robots Robots that incorporate senor feedback into their circuitry – touch sensors, proximity sensors, vision systems, and so forth. The HelpMate trackless robotic hospital courier uses sensors to deliver materials within a hospital or medical facility so that the staff can focus on patient care instead of running around taking care of errands. It includes laser scanners for object detection and touch bumper sensors for movement control. Adaptive Robots Robots that can change the way they function in response to their environment. KASPAR (Kinesics and This program works with Synchronization in Personal children who are prevented Assistant Robotics) is a child-sized from playing, either due to humanoid robot . This robot has cognitive, developmental or been used to investigate the physical impairments which possible use of robotic systems as affect their playing skills, and is therapeutic or educational tools to investigating how robotic toys encourage social interaction skills can empower children with disabilities to discover the range in children with Autism. of play styles from solitary to social and cooperative play. Smart Robots Robots that are considered to possess Artificial Intelligence (AI). Whether or not AI exists is still debated. Frontline and White Box Robotics has created a robots called PC-BOT. The idea is based on collaboration. Teams of these small robots can be used at factories, plants, & shopping malls. The software is designed in layers where the first controls the movement of the robot and its own sensor function which looks for anomalies in its environment. Once an anomaly is detected a second layer of programming has the team of robots communicating, converging on location, sharing information, and assigning a robot leader. Intelligent-Mechatronic Systems “Mechatronics” a fancy word coined by the Japanese refers to the intersection of Mechanical/Electrical and computer control systems. It refers to “smart devices” that are embedded into systems already in place. iLane™ An intelligent, portable device that lets you control your smartphone using simple voice commands when you're inside your vehicle. Now you can open, listen to, and respond to email entirely hands-free simply by speaking aloud. So how would you respond if you were asked what is a robot? Carlo Bertocchini (Battlebots Champion) –”Deciding if a machine is or is not a robot is like trying to decide if a certain shade of greenish blue is truly blue or not blue”. Roger Gilbertson (owner of THE ROBOT STORE) – “I define a robot as any autonomous sensor-processor-actuator system that functions in a specific world.” Fred G. Martin ( professor of computer science a UMASS) – “The term „robot‟, while accurate, is too mentally confining.” Rodney Brooks (Director of MIT’s AI lab) – “A robot is a machine which senses the world, computes, and then decides on some action in the world which has a physical reach beyond itself.” Gordon McComb (amateur robotics guru) –” I can‟t really define robot. I just know one when I see it.” So why the confusion? Part of what constitutes a robot has to do with the many types of popular media which has led robots to infamy. The term ROBOT comes to us from the Czech word , robota, which means forced labor or servitude. The term was first introduced in Karel Capek’s play R.U.R (Rossum’s Universal Robots). Written in 1920, it centers around a mad-scientist type who tries to usurp the powers of God by proving that man has acquired the technology and intelligence to create life. R.U.R In the play, Rossum’s industrialist nephew sees the artificial humans as the perfect worker, a tireless laborer who doesn’t complain, doesn’t need health insurance, and doesn’t demand a paycheck Karel himself didn’t coin the term robot but rather his brother, Josef. Prior to 1920, the term automaton was used. Issac Asimov Throughout the 1940’s , Issac, wrote many short stories depicting robots for various popular sci-fi magazines. In 1950, I-Robot was published. In 1942, he used the word Robotics in a short story called Runaround and is therefore credited as the author of the word. Engleberger meets Devol In 1956, Joseph Engleberger, an aerospace engineer met George Devol, an inventor and entrepreneur, for cocktails. They discovered they both loved the stories of Asimov and sci-fi. Devol told Engleberger about a patent he was trying to get involving a programmable manipulator. Engleberger immediately saw the potential and founded UNIMATION with Devol, the worlds first robot maker. UNIMATION Universal Automation was born ad General Motors became the first company to install a UNIMATE in 1962. The Unimate was a robotic arm used to extract hot parts from a die-casting machine, a Significant moment in dangerous job for a robot history #1 human worker. Dr. W. Grey Walter In 1948, Grey conducted some experiments on a mobile, autonomous robot. He was interested if they could model brain functions. He built 2 small robots he called tortoises and named them Elmer and Elsie. They were crude by today’s standards but a marvel of the day. Elmer and Elsie The most revolutionary thing about Elmer and Elsie is that they didn’t have any brains or pre- programming. They had basic analog circuits, 2 vacuum tubes, a touch Significant moment in sensor, a light sensor, robot history #2 and they could even recharge their own batteries. SRI’s Intelligent Robot In the late 1960’s, researchers at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) began work on the first “intelligent robot”. The robot, named SHAKEY, was designed to be mobile and reason on it’s own. It was built on a 4 wheel base with 2 wheel drive. It had a tall camera, laser range finders, and a radio mast where it received information over a radio link from computers. SHAKEY Shakey was the world first mobile, autonomous, & programmable robot in that its programming used 3 layers. 1. Basic moving, turning, and navigating. 2. Information it strung together to build routines 3. Receive instructions and plan the best course of action to execute the plan. Significant moment in Problem: SHAKEY took TOO much time robot history #3 to contemplate the action needed (hours). When it finally moved it swayed and shaked to do its task.
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