Robotics

1

Robotics
Robotics is the branch of technology that deals with the design, construction, operation and application of robots [1] and computer systems for their control, sensory feedback, and information processing. These technologies deal with automated machines that can take the place of humans, in hazardous or manufacturing processes, or simply just resemble humans. Many of today's robots are inspired by nature contributing to the field of bio-inspired robotics. The concept in creation of machines that could 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.[2] Throughout history, robotics has been often seen to mimic human behavior, and often manage tasks in a similar fashion. Today, robotics is a rapidly growing field, as we continue to research, design, and build new robots that serve various practical purposes, whether domestically, commercially, or militarily. Many robots do jobs that are hazardous to people such as defusing bombs, exploring shipwrecks, and mines.

The Shadow robot hand system

Etymology
The word robotics was derived from the word robot, which was introduced to the public by Czech writer Karel Čapek in his play R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots), which premiered in 1921.[3] The word robot comes from the Slavic word robota, which is used to refer forced labor. 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).[4][5] However, the original publication of "Liar!" predates that of "Runaround" by five months, so the former is generally cited as the word's origin.

History
Stories of artificial helpers and companions and attempts to create them have a long history. The word robot was introduced to the public by the Czech writer Karel Čapek in his play R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots), published in 1920.[3] The play begins in a factory that makes artificial people called robots creatures who can be mistaken for humans – though they are closer to the modern ideas of androids. Karel Čapek 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

A scene from Karel Čapek's 1920 play R.U.R., showing three robots

Čapek as its actual originator.[3]

Robotics In 1927 the Maschinenmensch ("machine-human") gynoid humanoid robot (also called "Parody", "Futura", "Robotrix", or the "Maria impersonator") was the first and perhaps the most memorable depiction of a robot ever to appear on film was played by German actress Brigitte Helm in Fritz Lang's film Metropolis. In 1942 the science fiction writer Isaac Asimov formulated his Three Laws of Robotics and, in the process of doing so, coined the word "robotics" (see details in "Etymology" section above). In 1948 Norbert Wiener formulated the principles of cybernetics, the basis of practical robotics. Fully autonomous robots 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, or more accurately and reliably, than humans. They are also employed in jobs which are too dirty, dangerous, or dull to be suitable for humans. Robots are widely used in manufacturing, assembly, packing and packaging, transport, earth and space exploration, surgery, weaponry, laboratory research, safety, and the mass production of consumer and industrial goods.[6]
Date Third century B.C. and earlier Significance One of the earliest descriptions of automata appears in the Lie Zi text, on a much earlier encounter between King Mu of Zhou (1023–957 BC) and a mechanical engineer known as Yan Shi, an 'artificer'. The latter allegedly presented the king with a life-size, human-shaped figure of his mechanical [7] handiwork. Descriptions of more than 100 machines and automata, including a fire engine, a wind organ, a coin-operated machine, and a steam-powered engine, in Pneumatica and Automata by Heron of Alexandria Robot Name Inventor Yan Shi

2

First century A.D. and earlier c. 420 B.C.E 1206

Ctesibius, Philo of Byzantium, Heron of Alexandria, and others

A wooden, steam propelled bird, which was able to fly

Archytas of Tarentum

Created early humanoid automata, programmable automaton band

[8]

Robot band, hand-washing [9] automaton, automated [10] moving peacocks Mechanical knight Digesting Duck Teleautomaton Rossum's Universal Robots Elektro

Al-Jazari

1495 1738 1898 1921

Designs for a humanoid robot Mechanical duck that was able to eat, flap its wings, and excrete Nikola Tesla demonstrates first radio-controlled vessel. First fictional automatons called "robots" appear in the play R.U.R.

Leonardo da Vinci Jacques de Vaucanson Nikola Tesla Karel Čapek

1930s

Humanoid robot exhibited at the 1939 and 1940 World's Fairs

Westinghouse Electric Corporation William Grey Walter George Devol

1948 1956

Simple robots exhibiting biological behaviors

[11]

Elsie and Elmer

First commercial robot, from the Unimation company founded by George Devol Unimate [12] and Joseph Engelberger, based on Devol's patents First installed industrial robot. First industrial robot with six electromechanically driven axes [13] [14] Unimate Famulus IRB 6

1961 1973 1974

George Devol KUKA Robot Group ABB Robot Group

The world’s first microcomputer controlled electric industrial robot, IRB 6 from ASEA, was delivered to a small mechanical engineering company in southern Sweden. The design of this robot had been patented already 1972. Programmable universal manipulation arm, a Unimation product

1975

PUMA

Victor Scheinman

such designs are often mechanically complex and need fuel. this design does come with the drawback of constantly having a cable connected to the robot. IRC5 ABB Robot Group 2004 Components Power source Further information: Power supply and Energy storage At present mostly (lead-acid) batteries are used as a power source. Designing a battery powered robot needs to take into account factors such as safety. often some type of internal combustion engine. animal). However. A tether connecting the robot to a power supply would remove the power supply from the robot entirely. Many different types of batteries can be used as a power source for robots. This has the advantage of saving weight and space by moving all power generation and storage components elsewhere. which can be difficult to manage. a completely new ergonomically-designed Windows CE interface unit (touch screen) to speed up programming. Generators. cycle lifetime and weight. can also be used. require heat dissipation and are relatively heavy. However.Robotics 3 Launch of IRC5 It sets new standards with its modular concept.[15] Potential power sources could be: • • • • • pneumatic (compressed gases) hydraulics (liquids) flywheel energy storage organic garbage (through anaerobic digestion) faeces (human. may be interesting in a military context as faeces of small combat groups may be reused for the energy requirements of the robot assistant (see DEKA's project Slingshot Stirling engine on how the system would operate) . They range from lead acid batteries which are safe and have relatively long shelf lives but are rather heavy to silver cadmium batteries that are much smaller in volume and are currently much more expensive.

[22] fly. particularly walking humanoid robots. It has been used in various robots. and have been used in facial muscles and arms of humanoid robots. whereby tiny piezoceramic elements.[19][20] Electroactive polymers EAPs or EPAMs are a new plastic material that can contract substantially (up to 380% activation strain) from electricity. speed. By far the most popular actuators are electric motors that spin a wheel or gear. often brushed and brushless DC motors in portable robots or AC motors in industrial robots and CNC machines. Linear actuators Various types of linear actuators move in and out instead of by spinning. and where the predominant form of motion is rotational.[21] and to allow new robots to float. vibrating many thousands of times per second. and often have quicker direction changes. Series elastic actuators A robotic leg powered by air muscles A spring can be designed as part of the motor actuator. the parts which convert stored energy into movement.Robotics 4 Actuation Actuators are like the "muscles" of a robot. These work on a fundamentally different principle. They have been used for some small robot applications.[23] Piezo motors Recent alternatives to DC motors are piezo motors or ultrasonic motors. are special tubes that contract (typically up to 40%) when air is forced inside them. one type uses the vibration of the piezo elements to walk the motor in a circle or a straight line. is a material that contracts slightly (typically under 5%) when electricity runs through it. swim or walk.[26][27] . chemicals. to allow improved force control. Electric motors The vast majority of robots use electric motors. Nitinol or Flexinol Wire. They are typically powered by compressed air (pneumatic actuator) or an oil (hydraulic actuator). cause linear or rotary motion. They have been used for some robot applications. These motors are often preferred in systems with lighter loads. The advantages of these motors are nanometer resolution.[24] Another type uses the piezo elements to cause a nut to vibrate and drive a screw. But there are some recent advances in alternative types of actuators. and linear actuators that control industrial robots in factories. and available force for their size. powered by electricity.[25] These motors are already available commercially. There are different mechanisms of operation. or compressed air.[17][18] Muscle wire Muscle wire. also known as Shape Memory Alloy. particularly when very large forces are needed such as with industrial robotics.[16] Air muscles Pneumatic artificial muscles. and being used on some robots. also known as air muscles.

In most practical computer vision applications. Electrodes are mounted on the surface of the rigid core and are connected to an impedance-measuring device within the core. some of the learning-based methods developed within computer vision have their background in biology. 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. Such compact "muscle" might allow future robots to outrun and outjump humans. Scientists from several European countries and Israel developed a prosthetic hand in 2009. such as video sequences and views from cameras. . type on a keyboard. The absence of defects in carbon nanotubes enables these filaments to deform elastically by several percent. When the artificial skin touches an object the fluid path around the electrodes is deformed. the computers are pre-programmed to solve a particular task. As a scientific discipline. There is a subfield within computer vision where artificial systems are designed to mimic the processing and behavior of biological systems. and also adjust to variations in light intensities. Sophisticated image sensors even require quantum mechanics to provide a complete understanding of the image formation process. producing impedance changes that map the forces received from the object. The process by which light propagates and reflects off surfaces is explained using optics.Robotics Elastic nanotubes Elastic nanotubes are a promising artificial muscle technology in early-stage experimental development. Like human eyes. and to provide real time information of the task it is performing.[31] Vision Computer vision is the science and technology of machines that see. to give the robots warnings about safety or malfunctions. The researchers expect that an important function of such artificial fingertips will be adjusting robotic grip on held objects. which functions like a real one—allowing patients to write with it. Also. The prosthesis has sensors which enable the patient to sense real feeling in its fingertips. or internal components. Recent research has developed a tactile sensor array that mimics the mechanical properties and touch receptors of human fingertips. but methods based on learning are now becoming increasingly common. called SmartHand. Touch Current robotic and prosthetic hands receive far less tactile information than the human hand. at different levels of complexity. play piano and perform other fine movements. with energy storage levels of perhaps 10 J/cm3 for metal nanotubes. computer vision is concerned with the theory behind artificial systems that extract information from images. Human biceps could be replaced with an 8 mm diameter wire of this material. This is essential for robots to perform their tasks. and act upon any changes in the environment to calculate the appropriate response.[29][30] The sensor array is constructed as a rigid core surrounded by conductive fluid contained by an elastomeric skin.[28] 5 Sensing Sensors allow robots to receive information about a certain measurement of the environment. The sensors are designed using solid-state physics. robots' "eyes" must also be able to focus on a particular area of interest. They are used for various forms of measurements. The image data can take many forms. Robots can also be equipped with multiple vision sensors to be better able to compute the sense of depth in the environment.

with as many as 20 degrees of freedom and hundreds of tactile sensors. and usage consult the book "Robot Grippers". their design. RADAR and SONAR. 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. including friction and encompassing jaws. Friction jaws use all the force of the gripper to hold the object in place using friction.[36] . 6 Manipulation Further information: Mobile manipulator Robots need to manipulate objects.[32] while the "arm" is referred to as a manipulator. Pick and place robots for electronic components and for large objects like car windscreens. each allowing them to perform some small range of tasks. destroy. For the definitive guide to all forms of robot end-effectors. using less friction. often use very simple vacuum grippers. modify. pick up. or otherwise have an effect..[33] Most robot arms have replaceable effectors. like the Shadow Hand. Thus the "hands" of a robot are often referred to as end effectors. for example a humanoid hand. Hands that are of a mid-level complexity include the Delft hand.Robotics Other Other common forms of sensing in robotics use LIDAR. Encompassing jaws cradle the object in place.[40] and the Schunk hand. while a few have one very general purpose manipulator. General purpose effectors Some advanced robots are beginning to use fully humanoid hands.[35] Hands that resemble and work more like a human hand include the Shadow Hand. MANUS.[37][38] Mechanical grippers can come in various types. the Robonaut hand. Some have a fixed manipulator which cannot be replaced.[41] These are highly dexterous manipulators. Fingers can for example be made of a chain with a metal wire run through it.[34] Mechanical grippers KUKA industrial robot operating in a foundry One of the most common effectors is the gripper.. Vacuum grippers Vacuum grippers are very simple astrictive[39] devices. but can hold very large loads provided the prehension surface is smooth enough to ensure suction.[42] .

[46] Because of the long.Robotics 7 Locomotion Rolling robots For simplicity most mobile robots have four wheels or a number of continuous tracks. to counterbalance the fall at hundreds of times per second. when used as such Segway refer to them as RMP (Robotic Mobility Platform).[44] While the Segway is not commonly thought of as a robot. thin shape and ability to maneuver in tight spaces.[48][49] or by rotating the outer shells of the sphere. it can be thought of as a component of a robot. Several one-wheeled balancing robots have been designed recently. Tracked robots Segway in the Robot museum in Nagoya.[47] Spherical orb robots Several attempts have been made in robots that are completely inside a spherical ball. either by spinning a weight inside the ball.[45] One-wheeled balancing robots 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. such as Carnegie Mellon University's "Ballbot" that is the approximate height and width of a person. Some researchers have tried to create more complex wheeled robots with only one or two wheels. and Tohoku Gakuin University's "BallIP". based on the dynamics of an inverted pendulum.[50][51] These have also been referred to as an orb bot [52] or a ball bot.[43] Many different balancing robots have been designed.[53][54] Six-wheeled robots Using six wheels instead of four wheels can give better traction or grip in outdoor terrain such as on rocky dirt or grass. as well as allowing a robot to navigate in confined places that a four wheeled robot would not be able to. An example of this use has been as NASA's Robonaut that has been mounted on a Segway. they have the potential to function better than other robots in environments with people. . These can have certain advantages such as greater efficiency and reduced parts. Two-wheeled balancing robots Balancing robots generally use a gyroscope to detect how much a robot is falling and then drive the wheels proportionally in the opposite direction.

[56] Many other robots have been built that walk on more than two legs. Typically.[60][61][62] ASIMO's walking algorithm is not static. Tracked wheels behave as if they were made of hundreds of wheels. could stay upright simply by hopping. where they walk on 2 legs and switch to 4 (arms+legs) when going to a sprint. However. this is not exactly how a human walks. see the MIT Leg Lab Robots [66] page. and a very small foot. . Initially. the algorithm was generalised to two and four legs. As the robot falls to one side. however none have yet been made which are as robust as a human. uneven terrain. run.[55] Walking applied to robots TALON military robots used by the United States Army Walking is a difficult and dynamic problem to solve. due to these robots being significantly easier to construct. The movement is the same as that of a person on a pogo stick. robots on 2 legs can walk well on flat floors and can occasionally walk up stairs. and some dynamic balancing is used (see below).[57][58] Walking robots can be used for uneven terrains. Some of the methods which have been tried are: ZMP Technique The Zero Moment Point (ZMP) is the algorithm used by robots such as Honda's ASIMO. There has been much study on human inspired walking. which would provide better mobility and energy efficiency than other locomotion methods.[65] For a full list of these robots. exactly opposed by the floor reaction force (the force of the floor pushing back on the robot's foot). Hybrids too have been proposed in movies such as I. 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). leaving no moment (force causing the robot to rotate and fall over). it still requires a smooth surface to walk on. However. in order to catch itself. pace.[59] However.[64] A quadruped was also demonstrated which could trot. therefore are very common for outdoor and military robots. and bound. Examples include NASA's Urban Robot "Urbie". some of whom have pointed out that ASIMO walks as if it needs the lavatory. successfully demonstrated very dynamic walking. such as AMBER lab which was established in 2008 by the Mechanical Engineering Department at Texas A&M University. and the difference is obvious to human observers. built in the 1980s by Marc Raibert at the MIT Leg Laboratory. they are difficult to use indoors such as on carpets and smooth floors. a robot with only one leg. None can walk over rocky. it would jump slightly in that direction.Robotics 8 Tank tracks provide even more traction than a six-wheeled robot. A bipedal robot was demonstrated running and even performing somersaults. In this way. Several robots have been made which can walk reliably on two legs. the two forces cancel out.[63] Soon. Hopping Several robots. where the robot must drive on very rough terrain. Robot.

and the Epson micro helicopter robot [74].[70][71] Other methods of locomotion Flying A modern passenger airliner is essentially a flying robot. with unpowered wheels. Ltd.[80] built by Stanford University. these robots can navigate very confined spaces. can use a miniature skateboard or rollerskates.[77] Skating A small number of skating robots have been developed. without the need for a command from a human. Left one has 64 motors (with 2 degrees of freedom per segment). and fly into dangerous territory for military surveillance missions. One approach mimics the movements of a human climber on a wall with protrusions. which can either step or roll. This technique promises to make walking robots at least ten times more efficient than ZMP walkers. using only gravity to propel themselves. Li Hiu Yeung and his research group have recently successfully developed the bionic gecko robot "Speedy Freelander". Mimicking the way real snakes move. meaning they may one day be used to search for people trapped in collapsed buildings.[67] This technique was recently demonstrated by Anybots' Dexter Robot. They can be smaller and lighter without a human pilot on board. The autopilot can control the plane for each stage of the journey. and are known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Passive dynamics Perhaps the most promising approach utilizes passive dynamics where the momentum of swinging limbs is used for greater efficiency. like ASIMO. and even landing.[82] China's "Technology Daily" November 15.. adjusting the center of mass and moving each limb in turn to gain leverage. with two humans to manage it. . one of which is a multi-mode walking and skating device.[72] Other flying robots are uninhabited. It has been shown that totally unpowered humanoid mechanisms can walk down a gentle slope. Some can even fire on targets under command. and skate across a desktop. propelled by paddles. 2008 reported New Concept Aircraft (ZHUHAI) Co. UAVs are also being developed which can fire on targets automatically. An example of this is Capuchin. normal flight. Dr. According to 9 Two robot snakes. Air Ray. Examples of this approach include Wallbot [81] and Stickybot. Another approach uses the specialized toe pad method of wall-climbing geckoes.[69] Another example is the TU Delft Flame. 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. California. which can run on smooth surfaces such as vertical glass. including takeoff. the right one 10.[75] The Japanese ACM-R5 snake robot[76] can even navigate both on land and in water. Snaking Several snake robots have been successfully developed. Other flying robots include cruise missiles. and guided by sonar. as it constantly monitors the robot's motion. and places the feet in order to maintain stability. the Entomopter [73].[68] which is so stable. and Air Jelly have lighter-than-air bodies.Robotics Dynamic balancing (controlled falling) 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.[79] Climbing Several different approaches have been used to develop robots that have the ability to climb vertical surfaces. Robots such as the Air Penguin. Plen. Using this technique. it can even jump.[78] Another robot. It has four legs.

video cameras. or operate in a static environment.g. rough or sticky dust walls as well as the various surface of metallic materials and also can automatically identify obstacles. Festo have also built the Aqua Ray and Aqua Jelly. Therefore. Ernst Dickmanns' driverless car. GPS. Some highly advanced robots such as ASIMO. designed and built by Festo of Germany. In particular unforeseen events (e. there is an increasing interest in robots that can operate autonomously in a dynamic environment.[87] The Aqua Penguin [88]. Its flexibility and speed are comparable to the natural gecko. people and other obstacles that are not stationary) can cause problems or collisions.[83] Furthermore. sometimes combined with other sensory data such as LIDAR. LIDAR. ground and vertical wall fissure or walking upside down on the ceiling. this gecko robot can rapidly climbing up and down in a variety of building walls. self-controlled cars.[84] Notable examples are the Essex University Computer Science Robotic Fish. are all combined to provide proper navigation and obstacle avoidance (vehicle developed for 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge) . Most of these robots employ a GPS navigation device with waypoints. 10 Environmental interaction and navigation Though a significant percentage of robots in commission today are either human controlled. These robots require some combination of navigation hardware and software in order to traverse their environment. Swimming (like a fish) It is calculated that when swimming some fish can achieve a propulsive efficiency greater than 90%. .Robotics Dr. and jellyfish. along with radar. and the entries in the DARPA Grand Challenge. circumvent the bypass and flexible and realistic movements. Also. to analyze and mathematically model thunniform motion. are capable of sensing the environment well and subsequently making navigational decisions based on this information. many researchers studying underwater robots would like to copy this type of locomotion. which emulate the locomotion of manta ray. copies the streamlined shape and propulsion by front "flippers" of penguins. Li introduction. RADAR..[85] and the Robot Tuna built by the Institute of Field Robotics [86]. they can accelerate and maneuver far better than any man-made boat or submarine. it is able to adapt on smooth glass. and produce less noise and water disturbance. and Meinü robot have particularly good robot navigation hardware and software. and inertial guidance systems for better navigation between waypoints.. respectively. A third approach is to mimick the motion of a snake climbing a pole.

In both of these cases. Science fiction authors also typically assume that robots will eventually be capable of communicating with humans through speech. the previous word. in real time. For social reasons.Robotics 11 Human-robot interaction If robots are to work effectively in homes and other non-industrial environments. making hand gestures would aid the verbal descriptions. robots like Kismet and the more recent addition.[94][95] Gestures Further information: Gesture recognition One can imagine. up to 160 words per minute. spoken by the same person may sound different depending on local acoustics.[100] . It becomes even harder when the speaker has a different accent. Robotic faces have been constructed by Hanson Robotics using their elastic polymer called Frubber. the robot would be recognizing gestures made by the human. Speech recognition Kismet can produce a range of facial Interpreting the continuous flow of sounds coming from a human. allowing a large number of facial expressions due to the elasticity of the rubber facial coating and embedded subsurface motors (servos). and perhaps repeating them for confirmation. mostly because of the great variability of speech. the best systems can recognize continuous. Biddulph. Likewise. etc.[92] Robotic voice Other hurdles exist when allowing the robot to use voice for interacting with humans. A robot should know how to approach a human.[90] Nevertheless.[97] Facial expression Further information: Facial expression Facial expressions can provide rapid feedback on the progress of a dialog between two humans.. It is likely that gestures will make up a part of the interaction between humans and robots. Whether the person is happy. whether or not the speaker has a cold. The people who interact with them may have little or no training in robotics. and Balashek designed the first "voice input system" which recognized "ten digits spoken by a single user with 100% accuracy" in 1952. frightened. and especially how they will be told to stop will be of critical importance. explaining to a robot chef how to make a pastry. In the first case. in the future. or asking directions from a robot police officer. It will probably be a long time before robots interact as naturally as the fictional C-3PO. allowing it to have meaningful social exchanges with humans. and facial expressions. or crazy-looking affects the type of interaction expected of the robot. and soon may be able to do the same for humans and robots. it is unnatural for the robot. Nexi[99] can produce a range of facial expressions. is a difficult task for a computer. with an accuracy of 95%. synthetic voice proves suboptimal as a communication medium. great strides have been made in the field since Davis. expressions. Although speech would be the most natural way for the human to communicate.[89] The same word. the way they are instructed to perform their jobs. gestures.[91] Currently. then turn right". and so any interface will need to be extremely intuitive. volume. natural speech. judging by their facial expression and body language.[93] making it necessary to develop the emotional component of robotic voice through various techniques. rather than a command-line interface.[96] A great many systems have been developed to recognize human hand gestures. In the second case.[98] The coating and servos are built on a metal skull. the robot police officer would gesture to indicate "down the road.

For example.Robotics Artificial emotions Artificial emotions can also be generated. which can exhibit several apparent emotions. and how they interact.[101] Nevertheless. Pattern recognition and computer vision can be used to track objects. sadness. motion planning and other artificial intelligence techniques may be used to figure out how to act. The processing phase can range in complexity. researchers are trying to create robots which appear to have a personality:[102][103] i. a toy robot dinosaur. Mapping techniques can be used to build maps of the world. the position of the robot's gripper) from noisy sensor data. they use sounds.g. Personality Many of the robots of science fiction have a personality. Puppet Magnus. As can be seen from the movie Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within.e. Finally. At longer time scales or with more sophisticated tasks. composed of a sequence of facial expressions and/or gestures. Cognitive models try to represent the robot. The control of a robot involves three distinct phases – perception. This decreased the amount of time needed to make the film. the position of its joints or its end effector). An immediate task (such as moving the gripper in a certain direction) is inferred from these estimates. facial expressions. which may be joy. a planner may figure out how to achieve a task without hitting obstacles. This information is then processed to calculate the appropriate signals to the actuators (motors) which move the mechanical. Sensors give information about the environment or the robot itself (e. Techniques from control theory convert the task into commands that drive the actuators. it may translate raw sensor information directly into actuator commands.[104] 12 Control Further information: Control system The mechanical structure of a robot must be controlled to perform tasks. and body language to try to convey an internal state. the robot may need to build and reason with a "cognitive" model. falling over. or fear. the programming of these artificial emotions is complex and requires a large amount of human observation. something which may or may not be desirable in the commercial robots of the future. At a reactive level. processing. presets were created together with a special software program. a robot-manipulated marionette with complex control systems . To simplify this programming in the movie.g. and action (robotic paradigms). etc. the world. These presets could possibly be transferred for use in real-life robots. One commercial example is Pleo. Sensor fusion may first be used to estimate parameters of interest (e.

Those that perform worst are removed from the population. This is a methodology that uses evolutionary computation to help design robots. Higher levels of autonomy do not necessarily require more complex cognitive capabilities. however. and Japan is the top country having high density of utilizing robots in its manufacturing industry.[106] The second is Evolutionary Robots. Operator-assist modes have the operator commanding medium-to-high-level tasks. For example. Evolutionary robotics. a large population of robots is allowed to compete in some way.[107] and to explore the nature of evolution. Researchers use this method both to create better robots. and new ways to manufacture them but other investigations. and the human has nearly complete control over the robot's motion. played ping pong at [105] Tokyo IREX 2009. Full autonomy. and replaced by a new set. such as MIT's cyberflora project. then tested on real robots once the evolved algorithms are good enough. Principal Research Scientist at the Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Institute in describing the near future evolution of robot technology. with the intelligence maybe comparable to that of a mouse. Teleoperation. Over time the population improves. there are about 1 million industrial robots toiling around the world. Moravec predicts that the second generation robot would be an improvement over the first and become available by 2020. each machine actuator change is specified by the operator. but operate in a fixed pattern. 1. would become possible. 2. 1. and Robotics simulator Much of the research in robotics focuses not on specific industrial tasks. with the robot automatically figuring out how to achieve them. A human controls each movement.[109] this technique may be run entirely or mostly in simulation. The machine will create and complete all its tasks without human interaction. 3. especially the body form. Direct interaction is used for haptic or tele-operated devices. The third generation robot should have the intelligence comparable to that of a monkey. Robotics research Further information: Open-source robotics. Task-level autonomy.[108] Because the process often requires many generations of robots to be simulated. or motion and behavior controllers. 2. First generation robots. To describe the level of advancement of a robot. An autonomous robot may go for extended periods of time without human interaction.Robotics 13 Autonomy levels Control systems may also have varying levels of autonomy. Another classification takes into account the interaction between human control and the machine motions. This term is coined by Professor Hans Moravec. This happens without any direct programming of the robots by the researchers. 3. robots with human intelligence. Supervisory. A human specifies general moves or position changes and the machine decides specific movements of its actuators. should have an intellectual capacity comparable to perhaps a lizard and should become available by 2010. A first particular new innovation in robot design is the opensourcing of robot-projects. which have new behaviors based on those of the winners. 4. In a similar way to natural evolution. TOPIO. Because the first generation robot would be incapable of learning. Moravec predicted in 1997. are almost wholly academic. robots in assembly plants are completely autonomous. Though fourth generation robots. or their ability to perform a task is measured using a fitness function. he does not predict this happening before around 2040 or 2050. professor Moravec predicts. but on investigations into new types of robots. a humanoid robot. Areas of robotics. and eventually a satisfactory robot may appear. The operator specifies only the task and the robot manages itself to complete it.[110] Currently. the term "Generation Robots" can be used. . alternative ways to think about or design robots.

and control of robots must be developed and implemented. In each area mentioned above. Direct dynamics is used in computer simulations of the robot. raising interest in programming. artificial intelligence and robotics among students. and acceleration when the corresponding joint values are known. First-year computer science courses at several universities now include programming of a robot in addition to traditional software engineering-based coursework. Vocational schools offer robotics training aimed at careers in robotics. as done in path planning. Some special aspects of kinematics include handling of redundancy (different possibilities of performing the same movement). methods from the field of dynamics are used to study the effect of forces upon these movements. structure. and conduct research to expand the potential of robotics. collision avoidance. and doctoral degrees in the field of robotics. Once all relevant positions. Summer robotics camp The SCORBOT-ER 4u – educational robot. CA. improve existing ones. Direct dynamics refers to the calculation of accelerations in the robot once the applied forces are known. . Several national summer camp programs include robotics as part of their core curriculum. Inverse kinematics refers to the opposite case in which required joint values are calculated for given end effector values. and singularity avoidance.and educational-related robotics certifications. orientation. Inverse dynamics refers to the calculation of the actuator forces necessary to create a prescribed end effector acceleration. RoboTech. Career training Universities offer bachelors. develop new applications for them. researchers strive to develop new concepts and strategies. In addition. criteria for "optimal" performance and ways to optimize design. and improve the interaction between these areas. velocities. as well as in numerous youth summer camps. To do this. including Digital Media Academy.[111] Robots have become a popular educational tool in some middle and high schools. and Cybercamps. Education and training Robotics engineers design robots. This information can be used to improve the control algorithms of a robot. and accelerations have been calculated using kinematics. just to name a few. masters. Certification The Robotics Certification Standards Alliance (RCSA) is an international robotics certification authority that confers various industry.Robotics 14 Dynamics and kinematics Further information: Kinematics and Dynamics (mechanics) The study of motion can be divided into kinematics and dynamics. youth summer robotics programs are frequently offered by celebrated museums such as the American Museum of Natural History[112] and The Tech Museum of Innovation in Silicon Valley. Direct kinematics refers to the calculation of end effector position. velocity. maintain them.

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