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Robots interact with the world and come in many shapes and sizes.
Robots perform tasks originally carried out by humans.
Robots are most useful when, for humans, the task is
- too boring (factory assembly work)
- too dangerous (bomb disposal or industrial spray painting)
- too strenuous (assembling trucks) or
- too intricate (microsurgery).
Some Real World Examples
For each of the examples below, consider what the inputs, processes and outputs are.
- What sensors are needed for the input devices?
- How is the information processed?
- What are the output devices?
- How is the robot position controlled?
Here is a general purpose fixed robot. This would be used for assembly work, welding or perhaps painting. The gripping "hand" can be replaced with different tools and the robot can be re-programmed to carry out different tasks.
This driverless car was able to navigate over complex terrain including mountain roads.
Here is a medical robot used to perform keyhole surgery.
Asimo is quite well known.
Dangerous Work - The robot is working with molten metal.
Robotic Snakes - Surveying drains perhaps?
More Robotic Problems
- cleaning swimming pools
- mowing lawns
- vacuum cleaning houses - roomba official site - Yawn roomba kittens - ROFL
- performing brain surgery
- de-fusing bombs
- handling molten metal
- children's toys
- chemical and genetic analysis
- offensive weapons like cruise missiles and
- defensive weapons like aircraft drones used for surveillance.
Robots v.s. Machines
- Robots can be re-programmed to perform different tasks.
- Machines can only perform the task they were originally designed for.
- The most advanced robots can learn from experience. Machines can not.
Robots have ...
- Sensors are needed to
- smell or even
- taste the environment.
- position sensing - robots may need to know where they are to function correctly.
- Humans have five main senses.
- Robots can be equipped with many more so they can perform tasks a human would find difficult. For example
- infra-red vision to allow operation in zero light or thick smoke.
- ultrasound proximity sensing.
- Computing power is used to
- process inputs,
- make decisions and
- send output signals to control actions.
- This can be based on simple
- logic circuits,
- neural networks or
- more complex conventional computers.
- Robots can perform many tasks originally carried out by people. They can
- navigate and
- sing and this list is far from complete.
A wide range of output devices is needed to cover this list.
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