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The Robotics Wiki Book

Robotics brings together several very different engineering areas. First there is wood/metal/plastic working for the body. Then there is mechanics for mounting the wheels on the axles, connecting them to the motors and keeping the body in balance. Next you have electronics to power the motors and connect the sensors to the µcontrollers. At last you have the software to understand the sensors and drive the robot around. This Wikibook tries to cover all the key areas of robotics as a hobby. When possible examples from industrial robots will be addressed too. You'll notice very few "exact" values in these texts. Instead, vague terms like "small", "heavy" and "light" will be used. This is because most of the

time you'll have a lot of freedom in picking these values, and all robot projects are unique in available materials. Contents [hide]
• • • • • • • • •

1 An Introduction to Robotics 2 Design Basics 3 Physical Construction 4 Components 5 Computer Control 6 Sensors 7 Navigation 8 Exotic Robots 9 Resources

9.1 Other Wikibooks

10 Contributors

[edit] An Introduction to Robotics Robotics is defined as the science or study of the technology associated with the design, fabrication, theory, and application of robots. All robots have three main components:
1. 2.

Sensors, which detect the state of the environment Actuators, which modify the state of the environment


A control system, which controls the actuators based on the environment as depicted by the sensors

In terms of Building and Design of a robot, all of these components can be found in the general definition of Mechatronics. There is no widely accepted definition of the term robot, but most proposed definitions require these components. Some definitions require mobility, autonomy, sentience, or sapience, while others do not. The various types of robot are usually classified by their capabilities. A device with autonomy does its thing "on its own" without a human directly guiding it moment-by-moment. What is a "robot" in this book? There isn't one exact definition, but there are 2 examples that capture most of what we see as a "robot". 1. Machine Pet: A machine, capable of moving in some way, that can sense its surroundings and can act on what it senses autonomously. Most of these robots have no real useful purpose, other than to entertain and challenge. These are also commonly used for experimenting with sensors, artificial intelligence, actuators and more. Most of this book covers this type of robot. 2. Autonomous Machine: A machine with sensors and actuators that can do some sort of work "on its own". This includes things like robotic lawmowers and vaccuum cleaners, and also self-operating construction machines such as CNC cutters. Most industrial and commercial robots fall in this category. What isn't considered a "robot" in this book? Pretty much everything you see on RobotWars; those are remote-controlled vehicles without any form

of autonomy. These devices use the same technologies decribed in this book, but aren't really in the scope of it. In short: If it has autonomy it's a robot (in this book). If it's remote controlled, it isn't. [edit] Design Basics Note to potential contributors: this section could be used to discuss the basics of robot design/construction.
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

What you should know Physical Design Design software Tools and Equipment Electronic Components Mechanical Components Building materials Basic Programming

[edit] Physical Construction This section could be used to discuss various means through which robots are constructed.
1. 2. 3.

The Platform Construction Techniques Resourcefulness

[edit] Components

This section could be used to discuss components used in robotics or the making of robots.
1. 2.

Power Sources Actuation Devices
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Motors Shape Memory Alloys Air muscle Linear Electromagnetic Piezoelectric Actuators Pneumatics/Hydraulics Miniature internal combustion engines

3. 4. 5.

Grippers Audio Video

[edit] Computer Control This section could be used to discuss the things involved with controlling robots via computers.

Control Architectures
1. 2.

Reactive Systems Sense-Plan-Act


Brooks' Subsumption Architecture ( w:Subsumption architecture )

4. 2.

Hybrid Systems

The Interface
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Computers Single Board Computers and multichip modules Microcontrollers Remote Control Networks

[edit] Sensors Sensors that a robot uses generally fall into three different categories:
1. 2. 3.

Environment sensors tell the robot what is happening around it Feedback sensors tell the robot what it is actually doing, and Communication sensors allow a human or computer to provide a robot other information.

Sensors aren't perfect. When you use a sensor on your robot there will be a lot of times where the sensors acts funny. It could miss an obstacle, or see one where none is. Key to successfuly using sensors is knowing how they function and what they really measure.

Real World Sensors

[edit] Navigation


1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Localization Collision Avoidance Exploration Mapping Trajectory Planning

[edit] Exotic Robots This section could be used to cover "special" robots.
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Special Robot brains BEAM Cooperating Robots Modular and fractal Robots The LEGO World
1. 2. 3.

LEGO Robots Introduction to the RCX Programming the RCX

[edit] Resources

Wikipedia has more about this subject:


Wikipedia has more about this subject: Microbotics

Wikipedia has more about this subject: Mechatronics

Comp.robotics.misc News group covering homebuilt robots. Large user base. Reasonable Signal to noise ratio. Archived at the comp.robotics.misc Google news group archive.

McComb, Gordon 2000 "The Robot Builder's bonanza 2nd ed." ISBN 0-07-136296-7 -- One of, if not the, best book on home build mobile robotics.

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Papers on various robot related subjects, University and College sites on Robotics Dictionary of Robotics Terminology list of robot clubs

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"Controlling The Real World With Computers" by Joe Reeder Erik Zoltán: Wireless Robotics

"Wireless Robotics: A recipe for success in wireless robotics" (Why bottom-up is better than top-down in robotics)


"Wireless Robotics: how to drive your wireless Robot" ("Robot subsystem dependencies": pick the
physical computer hardware first -- everything else is picked to support it; "Modify a servo for continuous rotation")


"Wireless Robotics: Fast Robot Prototyping" ("Materials for fast prototyping": claims it is faster build the chassis twice -first with cardboard and hot glue, easy to modify and tweak, then transfer the design to thin aluminum sheet metal and erector parts and acrylic -- than it is to try to start with difficult-to-tweak metal and acrylic.)

• •

"Get Started in Robotics" provides reviews and links to information for hobby roboticists.

[edit] Other Wikibooks
• • •

Electronics Embedded Systems Theoretical Mechanics

[edit] Contributors

T.R. Darr - responsible for the (almost) complete reformat. If I knew anything about robotics, then I'd have contributed to the content as well.

J.D. Cox - Attempting to fill in certain areas with basic information.

Omegatron - I've built a handful of short-lived little robots, and since then I went and got myself an electronics degree. I'll probably just add to and clarify things that other people have contributed. I tend to only contribute to things that are already active, so be active!

Patrik - As time permits I'm adding more info I've found to be missing in many other sources. I've got a degree in electronics and I've designed and build several robots.

E. Sumner - Active member of the Dallas Personal Robotics Group; Trying to flesh things out a bit here.

• •

Mr Dom - just added my two cents worth DavidCary - degree in electrical engineering. So in theory I ought to know :-).

Magnus Persson - studying for Master of Science in Automation Engineering, added sections on PLCs and wireless communications.

Piyoosh Mukhija - Degree in Electronics & Communication Engineering. Working on Autonomous Robotics Research at L&T Infotech. Attempting to fill in some missing things I believe I know about.

Retrieved from "" Categories: Computer Science | Robotics

Robot From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

(Redirected from Robotics) Jump to: navigation, search Editing of this article by unregistered or newly registered users is currently disabled. Such users may discuss changes, request unprotection, log in, or create an account. For other uses, see Robot (disambiguation). ASIMO, a humanoid robot manufactured by Honda.A robot is an electromechanical or bio-mechanical device or group of devices that can perform autonomous or preprogrammed tasks. A telerobot may act under the direct control of a human, such as the robotic arm on a space shuttle, or autonomously under the control of a programmed computer. Robots may be used to perform tasks that are too dangerous or difficult for humans, such as radioactive waste clean-up, or may be used to automate mindless repetitive tasks that should be performed with more precision by a robot than by a human, such as automobile production. Contents [hide] 1 Definition 2 Contemporary uses 3 History 4 Current developments 5 Dangers and fears 6 Literature 7 Robotics 8 Robots and Human-Machine interfaces 9 Competitions

10 See also 10.1 Classes 10.2 Research areas 10.3 Additional topics 11 References 12 External links

Definition The word robot is used to refer to a wide range of machines, the common feature of which is that they are all capable of movement and can be used to perform physical tasks. Robots take on many different forms, ranging from humanoid, which mimic the human form and way of moving, to industrial, whose appearance is dictated by the function they are to perform. Robots can be grouped generally as mobile robots (eg. autonomous vehicles), manipulator robots (eg. industrial robots) and self reconfigurable robots, which can conform themselves to the task at hand. Robots may be controlled directly by a human, such as remotelycontrolled bomb-disposal robots and robotic arms; or may act according to their own decision making ability, provided by artificial intelligence. However, the majority of robots fall in-between these extremes, being controlled by pre-programmed computers. Such robots may include feedback loops such that they can interact with their environment, but do not display actual intelligence. The word "robot" is also used in a general sense to mean any machine that mimics the actions of a human (biomimicry), in the physical sense or

in the mental sense. It comes from the Slavic word robota, labour or work (also used in a sense of a serf). The word robot first appeared in Czech writer Karel Čapek's science fiction play R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots) in 1921, and according to Čapek, was coined by the author's brother, painter Josef Čapek. The word was brought into popular Western use by famous science fiction writer Isaac Asimov.

Contemporary uses Main articles: Industrial robot and Domestic robot A boy watches an robotic assembly line at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry. Industrial robots doing vehicle underbody assembly (KUKA)[1].Robots are growing in complexity and their use in industry is becoming more widespread. The main use of robots has so far been in the automation of mass production industries, where the same, definable tasks must be performed repeatedly in exactly the same fashion. Car production is the primary example of the employment of large and complex robots for producing goods. Robots are used in that process for the painting, welding and assembly of the cars. Robots are good for such tasks because the tasks can be accurately defined and must be performed the same every time, with little need for feedback to control the exact process being performed. Industrial robots can be manufactured in a wide range of sizes and so can handle more tasks requiring heavy lifting than a human could. They are also useful in environments which are unpleasant or dangerous for humans to work in, for example bomb disposal, work in space (eg.

Canadarm2) or underwater, in mining, and for the cleaning of toxic waste. Robots are also used for patrolling these toxic areas, robots equipped for this job are e.g. the Robowatch OFRO, and Robowatch MOSRO. Often this is referred to as the "Three D's: Dull, Dirty and Dangerous" work. Hundreds of bomb disposal robots such as the iRobot Packbot and the Foster-Miller TALON are being used in Iraq and Afghanistan by the U.S. military to defuse roadside bombs, or improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in an activity known as Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD). Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) are movable robots that are used in large facilities such as warehouses hospitals and container ports, for the movement of goods, or even for safety and security patrols. Such vehicles follow wires, markers or laser-guidance to navigate around the location and can be programmed to move between places to deliver goods or patrol a certain area. Top manufacturers include Egemin, Transbotics, FMC and Jervis B Webb makes AGV "brains" used in freely moving autonomous vehicles that do not require fixed paths as earlier AGVs have done. One robot being used in the United States is the Tug robot by Aethon Inc, an automated delivery system for hospitals. This robot travels around hospitals to deliver medical supplies, medication, food trays, or just about anything to nursing stations. Once it is finished it goes back to its charging station and waits for its next task. Domestic robots are now available that perform simple tasks such as vacuum cleaning and grass cutting. By the end of 2004 over 1,000,000

vacuum cleaner units had been sold [2]. Examples of these domestic robots are the Scooba and Roomba robots from iRobot Corporation, Friendly Robotics' Robomower, Electrolux's Automower, and Samsung. Other domestic robots have the aim of providing companionship (social robots) or play partners (ludobots) to people. Examples are Sony's Aibo, a commercially successful robot pet dog, Paro, a robot baby seal intended to soothe nursing home patients, and Wakamaru, a humanoid robot intended for elderly and disabled people. Other humanoid robots are in development with the aim of being able to provide robotic functions in a form that may be more aesthetically pleasing to customers, thereby increasing the likelihood of them being accepted in society. Robots perform in arts festivals and at museums with works such as James Seawright's House Plants, 1983, in which an artificial flower opens in response to viewer interaction or Ken Rinaldo's Autotelematic Spider Bots, 2006 [3] where robots that appear like spiders, see like bats and act like ants interact with the public and structure each others behaviors through bluetooth communication. One of the earliest electronic art robots is Jim Pallas' 1976 Blue Wazoo[4] which, using TTL IC devices, responds to sound and light with a repertoire of LED patterns, movements, inflations, deflations, whirs, clicks and jiggles. For education in schools and high schools and mechatronics training in companies robot kits are becoming more and more popular. On the schools side there exists kits from LEGO , Parallax, Inc or Fischertechnik made of plastics components, Microbric[5], which uses its mainboard as a chassis & on the more professional side there exists e.g. the qfix robot kit and VexLABS robotics kit made of aluminium parts.

History The idea of artificial people dates at least as far back as the ancient legend of Cadmus, who sowed dragon teeth that turned into soldiers, and the myth of Pygmalion, whose statue of Galatea came to life. In Greek mythology, the deformed god of metalwork (Vulcan or Hephaestus) created mechanical servants, ranging from intelligent, golden handmaidens to more utilitarian three-legged tables that could move about under their own power. Medieval Persian alchemist Jabir ibn Hayyan, inventor of many basic processes still used in chemistry today, included recipes for creating artificial snakes, scorpions, and humans in his coded Book of Stones. Jewish legend tells of the Golem, a clay statue animated by Kabbalistic magic. Similarly, in the Younger Edda, Norse mythology tells of a clay giant, Mökkurkálfi or Mistcalf, constructed to aid the troll Hrungnir in a duel with Thor, the God of Thunder. The word robot was introduced by Czech writer Karel Čapek in his play R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots) which was written in 1920 (See also Robots in literature for details of the play). However, the verb robotovat, meaning "to work" or "to slave", and the noun robota (meaning corvée) used in the Czech and Slovak languages, has been used since the early 10th century. It was suggested that the word robot had been coined by Karel Čapek's brother, painter and writer Josef Čapek.

Roboraptor, a robotic dinosaur from Wowee toysConcepts akin to today's robot can be found as long ago as 450 BC when the Greek mathematician Archytas of Tarentum postulated a mechanical bird he called "The

Pigeon" which was propelled by steam. Heron of Alexandria (10AD70AD) made numerous innovations in the field of automata, including (allegedly) one that could speak. Al-Jazari (1136-1206) an Ortoqid (Artuk) Arab inventor designed and constructed automatic machines such as water clocks, kitchen appliances and musical automats powered by water (See one of his works at [6]). One of the first recorded designs of a humanoid robot was made by Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) in around 1495. Da Vinci's notebooks, rediscovered in the 1950s, contain detailed drawings of a mechanical knight able to sit up, wave its arms and move its head and jaw. The design is likely to be based on his anatomical research recorded in the Vitruvian Man. It is not known whether he attempted to build the robot (see: Leonardo's robot). An early automaton was created 1738 by Jacques de Vaucanson, who created a mechanical duck that was able to eat grain, flap its wings, and excrete. Many consider the first robot in the modern sense to be a teleoperated boat, similar to a modern ROV, devised by Nikola Tesla and demonstrated at an 1898 exhibition in Madison Square Garden. Based on his patents 613,809, 723,188 and 725,605 for "teleautomation", Tesla hoped to develop the "wireless torpedo" into an automated weapon system for the US Navy. (Cheney 1989) Tesla also proposed but did not build remotely operated war planes and ground vehicles. He also predicted these remote controlled machines were merely precursors of "machines possessed of their own intelligence" (Cheney 1989). See also

the PBS website article (with photos) : Tesla - Master of Lightning: Race of Robots In the 1930s, Westinghouse made a humanoid robot known as Elektro. It was exhibited at the 1939 and 1940 World's Fairs while the first electronic autonomous robots were created by W. Grey Walter at Bristol University, England in 1948. The first human to be killed by a robot was 37 year-old Kenji Urada, a Japanese factory worker, in 1981. According to the, Urada "climbed over a safety fence at a Kawasaki plant to carry out some maintenance work on a robot. In his haste, he failed to switch the robot off properly. Unable to sense him, the robot's powerful hydraulic arm kept on working and accidentally pushed the engineer into a grinding machine."

Current developments Robotic manipulators can be very precise, but only when a task can be fully described.The development of a robot with a natural human or animal gait is incredibly difficult and requires a large amount of computational power [7]. Now that background technologies of behavior, navigation and path planning have been solved using basic wheeled robots, roboticists are moving on to develop walking robots (eg. SIGMO, QRIO, ASIMO & Hubo). One approach to walk control is Passive dynamics, where the robot's geometry is such that it will almost walk without active control.

Initial work has focused on multi-legged robots (eg. Aibo), such as hexapods [8], as they are statically stable and so are easier to work with, whereas a bipedal robot must be able to balance. The balancing problem is taken to an extreme by the Robotic unicycle. A problem with the development of robots with natural gaits is that human and animal bodies utilize a very large number of muscles in movement and replicating all of those mechanically is very difficult and expensive. This field of robot research has become known as Biomorphic robotics. Progress is being made in the field of feedback and tactile sensors which allow a robot to sense their actions and adjust their behavior accordingly. This is vital to enable robots to perform complex physical tasks that require some active control in response to the situation. Medical robotics is a growing field and regulatory approval has been granted for the use of robots in minimally invasive procedures. Robots are being used in performing highly delicate, accurate surgery, or to allow a surgeon who is located remotely from their patient to perform a procedure using a robot controlled remotely. More recently, robots can be used autonomously in surgery [9]. Experimental winged robots and other examples exploiting biomimicry are also in early development. So-called "nanomotors" and "smart wires" are expected to drastically simplify motive power, while in-flight stabilization seems likely to be improved by extremely small gyroscopes. A significant driver of this work is military research into spy technologies.

Serving robot at the "Ubiquitous Dream" exhibition in Seoul, Korea on June 24, 2005.Energetically autonomous robots, is a field of study under the category of biologically inspired robotics, which aims to develop artificial agents that can remain self-sustainable in natural environments with minimum human intervention. This field of research spreads further into the fields of alternative energy sources and waste management, as it integrates the Microbial Fuel Cell technology with robotics, and allows for waste or food waste to be the 'fuel'. This class of robots is at the very early stages of development, however with great impact in applications such as the aforementioned unpleasant or dangerous for humans environments. Two examples of energetically autonomous robots that exist today are EcoBots I and II. Internet bots, also known as web robots, are automated internet applications controlled by software agents. The word "bot" in the term is a reference to the "robotic", mundane, repetitive tasks that the applications perform.[citation needed]Tactile sensors and skin are close to providing robots with a human-like sense of touch. The South Korean government has set a goal of having a robot in every South Korean home by 2015-2020 [10].Robot News gives current news in robotic developments and Talking Robots Podcast contains interviews with robotics professionals.

Dangers and fears Although robots have not developed to the stage where they pose any threat or danger to society [11], fears and concerns about robots have been repeatedly expressed in a wide range of books and films. The principal theme is the robots' intelligence and ability to act could exceed

that of humans, that they could develop a conscience and a motivation to take over or destroy the human race. (See The Terminator) Frankenstein (1818), sometimes called the first science fiction novel, has become synonymous with the theme of a robot or monster advancing beyond its creator. Probably the best known author to work in this area is Isaac Asimov who has placed robots and their interaction with society at the center of many of his works. Of particular interest are Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics. Asimov also coined the term "Robotics" as the science or study of the technology associated with robots. Currently, malicious programming or unsafe use of robots may be the biggest danger. Although industrial robots may be smaller and less powerful than other industrial machines, they are just as capable of inflicting severe injury on humans. However, since a robot can be programmed to move in different trajectories depending on its task, its movement can be unpredictable for a person standing in its reach. Therefore, most industrial robots operate inside a security fence which separates them from human workers. Manuel De Landa has theorized that humans are at a critical and significant juncture where humans have allowed robots, "smart missiles," and autonomous bombs equipped with artificial perception to make decisions about killing us. He believes this represents an important and dangerous trend where humans are transferring more of our cognitive structures into our machines.[1] Even without malicious programming, a robot, especially a future model moving freely in a human environment, is potentially dangerous because of its large moving masses, powerful actuators and unpredictably complex behavior. A robot falling on someone or just stepping on his foot by mistake could cause much more damage to the victim than a human

being of the same size. Designing and programming robots to be intrinsically safe and to exhibit safe behavior in a human environment is one of the great challenges in robotics. Some people suggest that developing a robot with a conscience may be helpful in this regard.

Literature Main article: Robots in literature See also: List of fictional robots and androids Robots have frequently appeared as characters in works of literature and the first use of the word "robot" in literature can be found in Karel Capek's play R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots), written in 1920. Isaac Asimov has written many volumes of science fiction focusing on robots in numerous forms and guises [12]. Asimov contributed greatly to reducing the Frankenstein complex, which dominated early works of fiction involving robots. His three laws of robotics have become particularly well known for codifying a simple set of behaviors for robots to remain at the service of their human creators. Numerous words for different types of robots are now used in literature. Robot has come to mean mechanical humans, while android is a generic term for artificial humans. Cyborg or "bionic man" is used for a human form that is a mixture of organic and mechanical parts. Organic artificial humans have also been referred to as "constructs" (or "biological constructs").


According to the Wiktionary, robotics is the science and technology of robots, their design, manufacture, and application. Robotics requires a working knowledge of electronics, mechanics, and software and a person working in the field has become known as a roboticist. The word robotics was first used in print by Isaac Asimov, in his science fiction short story "Runaround" (1941). Although the appearance and capabilities of robots vary vastly, all robots share the features of a mechanical, movable structure under some form of control. The structure of a robot is usually mostly mechanical and can be called a kinematic chain (its functionality being akin to the skeleton of a body). The chain is formed of links (its bones), actuators (its muscles) and joints which can allow one or more degrees of freedom. Most contemporary robots use open serial chains in which each link connects the one before to the one after it. These robots are called serial robots and often resemble the human arm. Some robots, such as the Stewart platform, use closed parallel kinematic chains. Other structures, such as those that mimic the mechanical structure of humans, various animals and insects, are comparatively rare. However, the development and use of such structures in robots is an active area of research (e.g. biomechanics). Robots used as manipulators have an end effector mounted on the last link. This end effector can be anything from a welding device to a mechanical hand used to manipulate the environment. 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). Using strategies from the field of control theory, this

information is processed to calculate the appropriate signals to the actuators (motors) which move the mechanical structure. The control of a robot involves various aspects such as path planning, pattern recognition, obstacle avoidance, etc. More complex and adaptable control strategies can be referred to as artificial intelligence. Any task involves the motion of the robot. The study of motion can be divided into kinematics and dynamics. 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.

Robots and Human-Machine interfaces Robotics has also application in the design of virtual reality interfaces. Specialized robots are in widespread use in the haptic research community. These robots, called "haptic interfaces" allow touch-enabled user interaction with real and virtual environments. Robotic forces allow simulating the mechanical properties of "virtual" objects, which users can experience through their sense of touch (see the MIT Technology review article "The Cutting Edge of Haptics").

Competitions See also: Robot competition, FIRST, FIRST Lego League, and FIRST Vex™ Challenge A robot practising for RobocupBotball is a LEGO-based competition between fully autonomous robots. There are two divisions. The first is for high-school and middle-school students, and the second (called "Beyond Botball") is for anyone who chooses to compete at the national tournament. Teams build, program, and blog about a robot for five weeks before they compete at the regional level. Winners are awarded scholarships to register for and travel to the national tournament. Botball is a project of the KISS Institute for Practical Robotics, based in Norman, Oklahoma. The FIRST Robotics Competition is a multinational competition that teams professionals and young people to solve an engineering design problem. These teams of mentors (corporate, teachers, or college students) and high school students collaborate in order to design and

build a robot in six weeks. This robot is designed to play a game that is developed by FIRST and changes from year to year. FIRST, or For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, is an organization that was founded by inventor Dean Kamen in 1992 as a way of getting high school students involved in and excited about engineering and technology. For more information visit FIRST's website or The Saint Louis Regional website. The FIRST Vex™ Challenge (FVC) is a mid-level robotics competition targeted toward high-school aged students. It offers the traditional challenge of a FIRST competition but with a more accessible and affordable robotics kit. The ultimate goal of FVC is to reach more young people with a lower-cost, more accessible opportunity to discover the excitement and rewards of science, technology, and engineering. For more information visit The FIRST Vex Challenge website or The Saint Louis Regional website. FIRST Lego League (also known by its acronym FLL) is a robotics competition for elementary and middle school students (ages 9-14, 9-16 in Europe), arranged by the FIRST organization. Each year the contest focuses on a different topic related to the sciences. Each challenge within the competition then revolves around that theme. The students then work out solutions to the various problems that they're given and meet for regional tournaments to share their knowledge and show off their ideas. For more information visit First Lego League's website or The Saint Louis Regional website. Competitions for talha robots are gaining popularity and competitions now exist catering for a wide variety of robot builders ranging from

schools [13] to research institutions. Robots compete at a wide range of tasks including combat, fire-fighting [14], playing games [15], maze solving, performing tasks [16] and navigational exercises (eg. DARPA Grand Challenge) [17] [18] Most recently, Duke University announcd plans to host the Duke Annual Robo-Climb Competition (DARC) aimed to challenge students to create innovative wall-climbing robots that can autonomously ascend vertical surfaces. For more information visit DARC's Website A competition that has existed for several years is the DARPA Grand Challenge, pitting driverless cars against each other in an obstacle course across the desert.

Robot software From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search Robot software is the coded commands that tell a mechanical device (known as robots) what tasks to perform and control it's actions. Robot software is used to perform tasks and automate tasks to be performed. Programming robots is a non-trivial task. Many software systems and frameworks have been proposed to make programming robots easier. Some robot software aims at developing intelligent mechanical devices. Though common in science fiction stories, such programs are yet to become common-place in reality and much development is yet required in the field of artificial intelligence before they even begin to approach

the science fiction possibilities. Pre-programmed hardware may include feedback loops such that they can interact with their environment, but do not display actual intelligence. Currently, malicious programming of robots is of some concern, particularly where large industrial robots. The power and size of industrial robots means they are capable of inflicting severe injury if programmed incorrectly or used in an unsafe manner. One such incident occurred on 21 July 1984 when a man was crushed to death by an industrial robot. That incident was an accident, but shows the potential risks of working with robots. In science fiction, the Three Laws of Robotics were developed for robot to obey and avoid malicious actions.

What is DROS? DROS stands for Dave's Robotic Operating System and it is basic software modules needed for robotics. At the moment, the framework consists mainly of support functions for modular programming and modules for mobile robots. However, in the future the scope should expand and, of course, contributions are most welcome.

DROS is open source and is distributed under the GNU Public License. This license was chosen because we want to advance the progress of robotics research and would like people all to contribute to the science of robotics by releasing their code.

List of basic robotics topics From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search Robotics is the science and technology of designing, making, and applying robots, including theory from many contributing fields. A robot is an automated machine which follows instructions or which by design autonomously performs the actions expected of it without an operator. Instructions may be in the form of preprogramming, direct commands communicated in almost any form, or signals from an attached or remote controller

Category:Robots From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search

This category covers various types of robots as well as specific seriallyproduced or one-of-a-kind robots. For concepts in robotics, see the parent category of robotics. Subcategories There are 10 subcategories to this category shown below (more may be shown on subsequent pages). S F C
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Pages in category "Robots" There are 187 pages in this section of this category.

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Robot Robot dog Kim JongHwan Hybrot

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AIBO ActivM edia Robotic s Actroid Adept Technol ogy Aerobot Albert Hubo Albert One Alice mobile robot Analog robot Android

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Pivot joint From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (Redirected from Rotary joint) Jump to: navigation, search Pivot joint



eichnung01.jpg 1: Ball and socket joint; 2: Condyloid joint (Ellipsoid); 3: Saddle joint; 4 Hinge joint; 5: Pivot joint; Latin articulatio trochoidea Gray's subject #70 285 Dorlands/Elsevier a_64/12161674 Pivot joint (trochoid joint, rotary joint): Where the movement is limited to rotation, the joint is formed by a pivot-like process turning

within a ring, or a ring on a pivot, the ring being formed partly of bone, partly of ligament. In the proximal radioulnar articulation, the ring is formed by the radial notch of the ulna and the annular ligament; here, the head of the radius (bone) rotates within the ring. In the articulation of the odontoid process of the axis with the atlas the ring is formed in front by the anterior arch, and behind by the transverse ligament of the atlas; here, the ring rotates around the odontoid process.

Sidewinder Product Information The Robot Power Sidewinder is a compact high-performance dual channel brushed motor speed control. Each of its output channels is capable of handling motors up to about 2kW (80A) at 24V. It is designed for combat (Battlebots®), military, police, research and hobby ground vehicles and robots. I'd like to say thank you for your help in setting up the Sidewinder. I had the opportunity to test it last weekend in my 100 kg (220 lbs) heavyweight robot powering 2 motors on 36V (that are rated 800W @ 24V) and the Sidewinder performed perfectly. I've had several speed controllers before, (4QD NCC 70, OSMC 3.2, 4QD Pro 120) but none of them where so easy to install and calibrate. I'd like to encourage everyone that is looking for a cheap, small, and easy to use dual motor speed controller, to give the Sidewinder a try. It will be worth it. I'll probably buy another set or 2 in the foreseeable future... Customer Leo M. from The Netherlands

Checked the Sidewinder out this evening. It's fully functional both sides forward and back... This [type of motor failure] is what toasted my RS80D. It was hot enough to smoke the windings in the motor (the flames and smoke) so I can't ask for better than that. Hats off! Customer Bill B. from Seattle, WA USA I thought you would like to know that my 100kg, 220lb, machine ran flawlessly (in fact far better than ever) this weekend with a single sidewinder replacing the original 4qd pro300's, and even survived a locked gearbox. People were stunned. Customer James B. from the UK The Sidewinder is designed to pack the highest power handling capability in the smallest package. Its tough extruded Aluminum case and lack of cooling fans make it suitable for many demanding industrial or outdoor applications.

The Robot Power Sidewinder front isometric view

Features • Size: 108mm x 82mm x 28mm (4.25" x 3.23" x 1.1") without optional mounting brackets • Weight: 365 grams (13 oz.) as shown • Voltage: 14V to 48V Supply voltage (50V absolute max, down to 6V with external 12V supply) • Current: 80A continuous each channel (150A peak 5 seconds) • Current Limiting: Adjustable from 10A to 130A (sets the limit for both channels) • Over Temp Limiting: fixed at 200F or 93C each channel independently sensed • Four quadrant operation with regenerative braking • Thermal Control: MOSFETs mounted to 0.5" Aluminum bars bolted to case (see below). No fans required. • Indicator LEDs: Speed and direction of each motor channel and general signal status • Receiver battery eliminator circuit (BEC) standard – may be disabled. Provides up to 100 mA of current at 5V to the RC receiver and other attached electronic circuits • Command Format: R/C pulse standard, TTL serial optional • Calibrate button to match Sidewinder to radio or other R/C signal source • R/C Inputs: Left/Steer, Right/Throttle, Flip (inverts steering response when activated) • Drive Modes selected via jumpers:

• Left/Right Mix (default - right input acts as steering and left as throttle) • Mixed Mirror Left (left mixed output command sent to both output channels) • Mixed Mirror Right • Left/Right independent (Tank) • Mirror (both outputs mirror a single input) • Failsafe shuts off motor if R/C signal is lost • Six high-current wires (2 battery, 2 each motor) may be soldered or attached via #8 bolt and ring terminals • Expansion header for planned on-board radio tranceiver and single axis gyro (future). May be used for other special add-ons • FLASH-based microcontroller with upgradeable software via incircuit programming header. Software may be customized for unique applications. Contact us if you have special needs for your application. Click here to order your Sidewinder in the Robot Power Web store or read on for more details on this exciting product.

The Sidewinder is constructed on a 4-layer circuit board with thick copper to handle high current. Extensive use of surface mount components insures reliability and long life in high-vibration situations. The power MOSFETs are secured to the large heatsink bars for both structural integrity and efficient heat dissipation. The large filter

capacitors are secured with double-sided tape. They may be further secured by a silicone based glue such as "Shoe Goo®" (hot glue is not recommended.)

Sidewinder circuit board with heat sink bars

Solder pad locations are provided for a remote on/off switch which allows the Sidewinder to be switched on or off while the main battery wires are connected. This can either be a physical switch or electronic switch allowing for easy integration of the Sidewinder as an intelligent subsystem in a complex vehicle under the control of a master computer.

Additional solder pads allow direct connection to the 12V supply of the Sidewinder. This may be used when the battery voltage is lower than 14V by directly supplying 12V to the Sidewinder bypassing the internal regulator. Only a stable filtered 12V supply should be used here. Other uses of the 12V supply are for a power indicator light or to switch on a control solenoid. Current from this output is limited to 100mA. Both of these solder pads are spaced to allow the installation of a standard 3.5mm screw terminal block at these locations.

Sidewinder circuit board showing remote on/off switch and auxiliary 12V supply locations. Also shown are the locations for the operating mode setting jumpers and the calibrate button.

High current motor and battery connections are provided by large wire pads with holes sized to allow #8 (~4mm) bolts. Thus up to 8 AWG wires may be soldered to the pads or ring terminals may be used or a combination of both.

Mirror Mode is a special mode where both output channels are locked together. This allows the Sidewinder to control a single large motor with twice the capacity of each individual output. Two smaller motors that are slaved together may also be controlled by one of the mirror modes. Also, motors with four leads can make use of mirror mode to connect each brush lead to a solder pad on the Sidewinder. On-board mixing is supported in Mix Mirror mode by using a "Y" cabled to split the R/C input signals to two Sidewinders. Thus an external mixer will not be needed if running two Sidewinders in Mix Mirror Mode. Standard Mirror mode may be used with two Sidewinders with independent inputs and only requires a single input cable. These modes allow great flexibility in handling a variety of load sizes and configurations.

Sidewinder circuit board showing large power wirepads and a #8 bolt.

The Sidewinder enclosure is made of anodized Aluminum and features

slots in the rear with rubber grommets to protect the power lead insulation from chafing. Shown here are 10 AWG (~5mm) wires for the two motors and 8 AWG (~6mm) for the battery leads.

Sidewinder rear showing power leads and grommets in the enclosure rear plate.

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Vibra-Metrics designs and manufactures vibration sensing products including world class accelerometers (vibration sensors), accelerometer power supplies, accelerometer switch boxes, online Condition Based Management Systems, and accelerometer accessories. Vibra-Metrics' patented Sensor HighwayTM based monitoring systems offer you fully automated, unattended remote data acquisition and alarm reporting. Accelerometer Selection Guide Find the vibration sensor that's right for you Choose a specific application (gearboxes, cooling towers, seismic etc.) then select from a list of models that are suited to that category. Enter your environment and frequency requirements, and we will recommend accelerometer models which best satisfy your needs. A list of all Vibra-Metrics accelerometers by model. Use this if you already know the model number of the vibration sensor you are looking for.

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Optional mounting brackets may be ordered that slide into slots in the sides of the case . They may be permanently attached to the case via #4 sheet metal screws or they may be left loose to allow the Sidewinder to be removed from its mounting if needed. Solid mounting of the Sidewinder to the vehicle frame is not recommended for high shock or vibration applications. The recommended mounting method is to enclose the Sidewinder in foam rubber on all sides and secure that to the vehicle frame as needed. Since the Sidewinder does not normally need cooling air flow this works well to protect it from shock and vibration.

Sidewinder with optional mounting brackets installed. Remote Manipulator System From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (Redirected from Canadarm) Jump to: navigation, search

/wiki/Image:Canada_arm.jpg m.jpg


/wiki/Image:Canada_arm.jpg/wiki/Image:Canada_arm.jpgView of the Canadarm during a Space Shuttle mission. The Shuttle Remote Manipulator System (SRMS) or Canadarm (Canadarm 1) on the Space Shuttle, is a mechanical arm that maneuvers a

payload from the payload bay of the space shuttle orbiter to its deployment position and then releases it. It can also grapple a free-flying payload, maneuver it to the payload bay of the orbiter and berth it in the orbiter. It was first used on the second Space Shuttle mission STS-2, launched November 13, 1981. Since the destruction of Space Shuttle Columbia during STS-107, NASA has outfitted the SRMS with the Orbiter Boom Sensor System - a boom containing instruments to inspect the exterior of the shuttle for damage to the thermal protection system. It is expected the SRMS will play this role in all future shuttle missions. Contents [hide]
• • • • • •

1 Specifications 2 Capabilities 3 Development 4 Usage 5 See also 6 External links

[edit] Specifications The SRMS arm is 15 metres (50 ft 3 in) long and 38 centimetres (15 inches) in diameter and has six degrees of freedom. It weighs 410 kg (905 pounds), and the total system weighs 450 kg (994 lb). The SRMS has six joints that correspond roughly to the joints of the human arm, with shoulder yaw and pitch joints; an elbow pitch joint; and wrist pitch, yaw, and roll joints. The end effector is the unit at the end of the wrist that actually grabs, or grapples, the payload. The two lightweight boom segments are called the upper and lower arms. The upper boom connects the shoulder and elbow joints, and the lower boom connects the elbow

and wrist joints. The SRMS arm attaches to the orbiter payload bay longeron at the shoulder manipulator positioning mechanism. Power and data connections are located at the shoulder MPM.

[edit] Capabilities

/wiki/Image:STS-115_Truss_Handoff.jpg /wiki/Image:STS-115_Truss_Handoff.jpg /wiki/Image:STS-115_Truss_Handoff.jpg/wiki/Image:STS115_Truss_Handoff.jpgThe SRMS on Atlantis hands the P3/P4 Truss segment to the Canadarm2 on the International Space Station during STS-115. The SRMS is capable of deploying or retrieving payloads weighing up to 29 metric tonnes (65,000 pounds) in space, though the arm motors are unable to move the arm's own weight when on the ground. The SRMS can also retrieve, repair and deploy satellites; provide a mobile extension ladder for extravehicular activity crew members for work stations or foot

restraints; and be used as an inspection aid to allow the flight crew members to view the orbiter's or payload's surfaces through a television camera on the SRMS. The basic SRMS configuration consists of a manipulator arm; an SRMS display and control panel, including rotational and translational hand controllers at the orbiter aft flight deck flight crew station; and a manipulator controller interface unit that interfaces with the orbiter computer. Most of the time the arm operators see what they are doing by looking at the Advanced Space Vision System screen next to the controllers. One flight crew member operates the SRMS from the aft flight deck control station, and a second flight crew member usually assists with television camera operations. This allows the SRMS operator to view SRMS operations through the aft flight deck payload and overhead windows and through the closed-circuit television monitors at the aft flight deck station.

[edit] Development Spar Aerospace Ltd., a Canadian company, designed, developed, tested and built the SRMS. (Spar was later acquired by Richmond-based MacDonald Dettwiler & Associates.) The main controls algorithms were subcontracted to Dynacon Inc. of Toronto. CAE Electronics Ltd. in Montreal provides electronic interfaces, servoamplifiers and power conditioners. Dilworth, Secord, Meagher and Associates Ltd. in Toronto is responsible for the SRMS end effector. Rockwell International's Space Transportation Systems Division designed, developed, tested and built the systems used to attach the SRMS to the payload bay of the orbiter.

[edit] Usage


/wiki/Image:STS-116_Payload_%28NASA_S116-E05364%29.jpg /wiki/Image:STS-116_Payload_%28NASA_S116-E05364%29.jpg/wiki/Image:STS-116_Payload_%28NASA_S116-E05364%29.jpgThe SRMS in action on the Space Shuttle Discovery during STS-116. Since its first usage during STS-2 in 1981 on Columbia, the SRMS has been used on over 50 shuttle missions. It was first flown on Challenger during STS-7 in 1983. Then in 1985 it was first used aboard Discovery during STS-51-C. The SRMS onboard Challenger was lost during the Challenger disaster in 1986. It was used on Atlantis first during STS-27, and on Endeavour during STS-49 (her first flight). Since the installation of the Canadarm2 on the International Space Station, the two arms have been used to hand over segments of the station for assembly from the SRMS to the Canadarm2; the use of both elements

in tandem has earned the nickname of 'Canadian Handshake' in the media. Following the Columbia disaster, the SRMS has been used on every space shuttle flight to inspect the heat shield for damage that may have been caused during launch. It is likely that the arm will be a part of all future shuttle missions.

Control theory From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search For the sociological theory of deviant behavior, see control theory (sociology). For the application to living systems, see perceptual control theory. In engineering and mathematics, control theory deals with the behavior of dynamical systems. The desired output of a system is called the reference. When one or more output variables of a system need to follow a certain reference over time, a controller manipulates the inputs to a system to obtain the desired effect on the output of the system.

Contents [hide]
• • • • • •

1 An example 2 History 3 Classical control theory: the closed-loop controller 4 Stability 5 Controllability and observability 6 Control specifications

6.1 Model identification and robustness
• • •

6.1.1 System identification 6.1.2 Analysis 6.1.3 Constraints

7 Main control strategies
• • • • •

7.1 PID controllers 7.2 Direct pole placement 7.3 Optimal control 7.4 Adaptive control 7.5 Non-linear control systems

• •

8 Further reading 9 See also

[edit] An example Consider an automobile's cruise control, which is a device designed to maintain a constant vehicle speed. The output variable of the system is vehicle speed. The input variable is the engine's torque output, which is regulated by the throttle. A simple way to implement cruise control is to lock the throttle position when the driver engages cruise control. However, on hilly terrain, the

vehicle will slow down going uphill and accelerate going downhill. This type of controller is called an open-loop controller because there is no direct connection between the output of the system and its input. In a closed-loop control system, a feedback control monitors the vehicle's speed and adjusts the throttle as necessary to maintain the desired speed. This feedback compensates for disturbances to the system, such as changes in slope of the ground or wind speed.

[edit] History Although control systems of various types date back to antiquity, a more formal analysis of the field began with a dynamics analysis of the centrifugal governor, conducted by the physicist James Clerk Maxwell in 1868 entitled On Governors. This described and analyzed the phenomenon of "hunting," in which lags in the system can lead to overcompensation and unstable behavior. This generated a flurry of interest in the topic, during which Maxwell's classmate Edward John Routh generalized the results of Maxwell for the general class of linear systems. This result is called the Routh-Hurwitz Criterion. A notable application of dynamic control was in the area of manned flight. The Wright Brothers made their first successful test flights on December 17, 1903 and were distinguished by their ability to control their flights for substantial periods (more so than the ability to produce lift from an airfoil, which was known). Control of the airplane was necessary for safe flight. By World War II, control theory was an important part of fire-control systems, guidance systems, and electronics. The Space Race also depended on accurate spacecraft control. However, control theory also saw an increasing use in fields such as economics and sociology.

For a list of active and historical figures who have made a significant contribution to control theory, see People in systems and control.

[edit] Classical control theory: the closed-loop controller To avoid the problems of the open-loop controller, control theory introduces feedback. A closed-loop controller uses feedback to control states or outputs of a dynamical system. Its name comes from the information path in the system: process inputs (e.g. voltage applied to an electric motor) have an effect on the process outputs (e.g. velocity or torque of the motor), which is measured with sensors and processed by the controller; the result (the control signal) is used as input to the process, closing the loop. Closed-loop controllers have the following advantages over open-loop controllers: • disturbance rejection (such as unmeasured friction in a motor)

guaranteed performance even with model uncertainties, when the model structure does not match perfectly the real process and the model parameters are not exact unstable processes can be stabilized

• reduced sensitivity to parameter variations • improved reference tracking performance The only disadvantage of closed-loop control over open-loop control is that the closed-loop system reduces the overall gain of the system. To obtain good performance, closed-loop and open-loop are used simultaneously; open-loop improves set-point (the value desired for the output) tracking. A common closed-loop controller architecture is the PID controller.

The output of the system y(t) is fed back to the reference value r(t), through a sensor measurement. The controller C then takes the error e (difference) between the reference and the output to change the inputs u to the system under control P. This is shown in the figure. This kind of controller is a closed-loop controller or feedback controller. This is called a single-input-single-output (SISO) control system; MIMO (i.e. Multi-Input-Multi-Output) systems, with more than one input/output, are common. In such cases variables are represented through vectors instead of simple scalar values. For some distributed parameter systems the vectors may be infinite-dimensional (typically functions).

/wiki/Image:Simple_feedback_control_loop.png /Image:Simple_feedback_control_loop.png If we assume the controller C and the plant P are linear and time-


invariant (i.e.: elements of their transfer function C(s) and P(s) do not depend on time), the systems above can be analysed using the Laplace transform on the variables. This gives the following relations:

Solving for Y(s) in terms of R(s) gives:

The term

is referred to as the transfer function of

the system. The numerator is the forward gain from r to y, and the denominator is one plus the loop gain of the feedback loop. If

, i.e. it has a large norm with each value of s, then

Y(s) is approximately equal to R(s). This means simply setting the reference controls the output.

[edit] Stability Stability (in control theory) often means that for any bounded input over any amount of time, the output will also be bounded. This is known as BIBO stability (see also Lyapunov stability). If a system is BIBO stable then the output cannot "blow up" (i.e., become infinite) if the input remains finite. Mathematically, this means that for a causal linear continuous-time system to be stable all of the poles of its transfer function must

lie in the closed left half of the complex plane if the Laplace transform is used (i.e. its real part is less than or equal to zero)


lie on or inside the unit circle if the Z-transform is used (i.e. its modulus is less than or equal to one)

In the two cases, if respectively the pole has a real part strictly smaller than zero or a modulus strictly smaller than one, it is asymptotically stable: the variables of an asymptotically stable control system always decrease from their initial value and do not show permanent oscillations, which are instead present if a pole has a real part exactly equal to zero (or a modulus equal to one). If a simply stable system response neither decays nor grows over time, and has no oscillations, it is marginally stable: in this case it has non-repeated poles along the vertical axis (i.e. their real and complex component is zero). Oscillations are present when poles with real part equal to zero have an imaginary part not equal to zero.

Differences between the two cases are not a contradiction. The Laplace transform is in Cartesian coordinates and the Z-transform is in circular coordinates, and it can be shown that • the negative-real part in the Laplace domain can map onto the interior of the unit circle • the positive-real part in the Laplace domain can map onto the exterior of the unit circle If the system in question has an impulse response of x[n] = 0.5nu[n] and considering the Z-transform (see this example), it yields

which has a pole in z = 0.5 (zero imaginary part). This system is BIBO (asymptotically) stable since the pole is inside the unit circle. However, if the impulse response was x[n] = 1.5nu[n] then the Z-transform is

which has a pole at z = 1.5 and is not BIBO stable since the pole has a modulus strictly greater than one. Numerous tools exist for the analysis of the poles of a system. These include graphical systems like the root locus , Bode plots or the Nyquist plots.

[edit] Controllability and observability Controllability and observability are main issues in the analysis of a system before deciding the best control strategy to be applied. Controllability is related to the possibility of forcing the system into a particular state by using an appropriate control signal. If a state is not controllable, then no signal will ever be able to force the system to reach a level of controllability. Observability instead is related to the possibility of "observing", through output measurements, the state of a system. If a state is not observable, the controller will never be able to correct the closed-loop behaviour if such a state is not desirable. From a geometrical point of view, looking at the states of each variable of the system to be controlled, every "bad" state of these variables must be controllable and observable to ensure a good behaviour in the closed-loop

system. That is, if one of the eigenvalues of the system is not both controllable and observable, this part of the dynamics will remain untouched in the closed-loop system. If such an eigenvalue is not stable, the dynamics of this eigenvalue will be present in the closed-loop system which therefore will be unstable. Unobservable poles are not present in the transfer function realization of a state-space representation, which is why sometimes the latter is preferred in dynamical systems analysis. Solutions to problems of uncontrollable or unobservable system include adding actuators and sensors.

[edit] Control specifications Several different control strategies have been devised in the past years. These vary from extremely general ones (PID controller), to others devoted to very particular classes of systems (especially robotics or aircraft cruise control).

A control problem can have several specifications. Stability, of course, is always present: the controller must ensure that the closed-loop system is stable, regardless of the open-loop stability. A poor choice of controller can even worsen the stability of the open-loop system, which must normally be avoided. Sometimes it would be desired to obtain particular

dynamics in the closed loop: i.e. that the poles have



is a fixed value strictly greater than zero,

instead of simply ask that Re[λ] < 0. Another typical specification is the rejection of a step disturbance; including an integrator in the open-loop chain (i.e. directly before the system under control) easily achieves this. Other classes of disturbances need different types of sub-systems to be included. Other "classical" control theory specifications regard the time-response of the closed-loop system: these include the rise time (the time needed by the control system to reach the desired value after a perturbation), peak overshoot (the highest value reached by the response before reaching the desired value) and others (settling time, quarter-decay). Frequency domain specifications are usually related to robustness (see after). Modern performance assessments use some variation of integrated tracking error (IAE,ISA,CQI).

[edit] Model identification and robustness Main article: System identification A control system must always have some robustness property. A robust controller is such that its properties do not change much if applied to a system slightly different from the mathematical one used for its synthesis. This specification is important: no real physical system truly behaves like

the series of differential equations used to represent it mathematically. Typically a simpler mathematical model is chosen in order to simplify calculations, otherwise the true system dynamics can be so complicated that a complete model is impossible.

[edit] System identification

The process of determining the equations that govern the model's dynamics is called system identification. This can be done off-line: for example, executing a series of measures from which to calculate an approximated mathematical model, typically its transfer function or matrix. Such identification from the output, however, cannot take account of unobservable dynamics. Sometimes the model is built directly starting from known physical equations: for example, in the case of a mass-

spring-damper system we know that

. Even assuming

that a "complete" model is used in designing the controller, all the parameters included in these equations (called "nominal parameters") are never known with absolute precision; the control system will have to behave correctly even when connected to physical system with true parameter values away from nominal. Some advanced control techniques include an "on-line" identification process (see later). The parameters of the model are calculated

("identified") while the controller itself is running: in this way, if a drastic variation of the parameters ensues (for example, if the robot's arm releases a weight), the controller will adjust itself consequently in order to ensure the correct performance.

[edit] Analysis Analysis of the robustness of a SISO control system can be performed in the frequency domain, considering the system's transfer function and using Nyquist and Bode diagrams. Topics include phase margin and amplitude margin. For MIMO and, in general, more complicated control systems one must consider the theoretical results devised for each control technique (see next section): i.e., if particular robustness qualities are needed, the engineer must shift his attention to a control technique including them in its properties.

[edit] Constraints A particular robustness issue is the requirement for a control system to perform properly in the presence of input and state constraints. In the physical world every signal is limited. It could happen that a controller will send control signals that cannot be followed by the physical system: for example, trying to rotate a valve at excessive speed. This can produce undesired behavior of the closed-loop system, or even break actuators or other subsystems. Specific control techniques are available to solve the problem: model predictive control (see later), and anti-wind up systems. The latter consists of an additional control block that ensures that the control signal never exceeds a given threshold.

[edit] Main control strategies Every control system must guarantee first the stability of the closed-loop behaviour. For linear systems, this can be obtained by directly placing the poles. Non-linear control systems use specific theories (normally based on Aleksandr Lyapunov's Theory) to ensure stability without regard to the inner dynamics of the system. The possibility to fulfill different specifications varies from the model considered and the control strategy chosen. Here a summary list of the main control techniques is shown:

[edit] PID controllers Main article: PID controller The PID controller is probably the most-used feedback control design, being the simplest one. "PID" means Proportional-Integral-Derivative, referring to the three terms operating on the error signal to produce a control signal. If u(t) is the control signal sent to the system, y(t) is the measured output and r(t) is the desired output, and tracking error e(t) = r(t) − y(t), a PID controller has the general form

The desired closed loop dynamics is obtained by adjusting the three parameters KP, KI and KD, often iteratively by "tuning" and without

specific knowledge of a plant model. Stability can often be ensured using only the proportional term. The integral term permits the rejection of a step disturbance (often a striking specification in process control). The derivative term is used to provide damping or shaping of the response. PID controllers are the most well established class of control systems: however, they cannot be used in several more complicated cases, especially if MIMO systems are considered.

[edit] Direct pole placement Main article: State space (controls) For MIMO systems, pole placement can be performed mathematically using a State space representation of the open-loop system and calculating a feedback matrix assigning poles in the desired positions. In complicated systems this can require computer-assisted calculation capabilities, and cannot always ensure robustness. Furthermore, all system states are not in general measured and so observers must be included and incorporated in pole placement design.

[edit] Optimal control Main article: Optimal control Optimal control is a particular control technique in which the control signal optimizes a certain "cost index": for example, in the case of a satellite, the jet thrusts needed to bring it to desired trajectory that consume the least amount of fuel. Two optimal control design methods have been widely used in industrial applications, as it has been shown they can guarantee closed-loop stability. These are Model Predictive Control (MPC) and Linear-Quadratic-Gaussian control (LQG). The first

can more explicitly take into account constraints on the signals in the system, which is an important feature in many industrial processes. However, the "optimal control" structure in MPC is only a means to achieve such a result, as it does not optimize a true performance index of the closed-loop control system. Together with PID controllers, MPC systems are the most widely used control technique in process control. See also:
• • •

Model predictive control H infinity Coefficient diagram method

[edit] Adaptive control Main article: Adaptive control Adaptive control uses on-line identification of the process parameters, or modification of controller gains, thereby obtaining strong robustness properties. Adaptive controls were applied for the first time in the aerospace industry in the 1950s, and have found particular success in that field.

[edit] Non-linear control systems Main article: Non-linear control Processes in industries like robotics and the aerospace industry typically have strong non-linear dynamics. In control theory it is sometimes possible to linearize such classes of systems and apply linear techniques: but in many cases it can be necessary to devise from scratch theories permitting control of non-linear systems. These normally take advantage of results based on Lyapunov's theory. Differential geometry has been

widely used as a tool for generalizing well-known linear control concepts to the non-linear case, as well as showing the subtleties that make it a more challenging problem.

Artificial intelligence From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search A / r wi t ki/I i ma f ge: i Por c tal. i svg a l i n t e l l /wi i ki/I g ma e

n c e ge: Por P tal. o svg r t a l

/wiki/Image:HONDA_ASIMO.jpg DA_ASIMO.jpg


/wiki/Image:HONDA_ASIMO.jpg/wiki/Image:HONDA_ASIMO.jpgHo nda's humanoid robot "AI" redirects here. For other uses of "AI" and "Artificial Intelligence", see AI (disambiguation).

Artificial intelligence (AI) can be defined as intelligence exhibited by an artificial (non-natural, manufactured) entity. AI is studied in overlapping fields of computer science, psychology and engineering, dealing with intelligent behavior, learning and adaptation in machines, generally assumed to be computers. Research in AI is concerned with producing machines to automate tasks requiring intelligent behavior. Examples include control, planning and scheduling, the ability to answer diagnostic and consumer questions, handwriting, speech, and facial recognition. As such, the study of AI has also become an engineering discipline, focused on providing solutions to real life problems, software applications, traditional strategy games like computer chess and other video games. For topics relating specifically to full human-like intelligence, see Strong AI.

Contents [hide]
• •

1 Schools of thought 2 History
• • • •

2.1 1950s 2.2 1960s-1970s 2.3 1980s 2.4 1990s & Turn of the Century

• • • • • • • •

3 Challenge & Prize 4 AI in Philosophy 5 AI in business 6 AI in fiction 7 See also 8 Applications 9 References 10 External links

[edit] Schools of thought AI divides roughly into two schools of thought: Conventional AI and Computational Intelligence (CI)[citation needed]. Conventional AI mostly involves methods now classified as machine learning, characterized by formalism and statistical analysis. This is also known as symbolic AI, logical AI, neat AI and Good Old Fashioned Artificial Intelligence (GOFAI). (Also see semantics.) Methods include:

Expert systems: apply reasoning capabilities to reach a conclusion. An expert system can process large amounts of known information and provide conclusions based on them. Case based reasoning

• •

Bayesian networks Behavior based AI: a modular method building AI systems by hand.

Computational Intelligence involves iterative development or learning (e.g. parameter tuning e.g. in connectionist systems). Learning is based on empirical data and is associated with non-symbolic AI, scruffy AI and soft computing. Methods mainly include:

Neural networks: systems with very strong pattern recognition capabilities. Fuzzy systems: techniques for reasoning under uncertainty, have been widely used in modern industrial and consumer product control systems. Evolutionary computation: applies biologically inspired concepts such as populations, mutation and survival of the fittest to generate increasingly better solutions to the problem. These methods most notably divide into evolutionary algorithms (e.g. genetic algorithms) and swarm intelligence (e.g. ant algorithms).

With hybrid intelligent systems attempts are made to combine these two groups. Expert inference rules can be generated through neural network or production rules from statistical learning such as in ACT-R. It is thought that the human brain uses multiple techniques to both formulate and cross-check results. Thus, systems integration is seen as promising and perhaps necessary for true AI.

[edit] History Main article: History of artificial intelligence Early in the 17th century, René Descartes envisioned the bodies of animals as complex but reducible machines, thus formulating the

mechanistic theory, also known as the "clockwork paradigm". Wilhelm Schickard created the first mechanical digital calculating machine in 1623, followed by machines of Blaise Pascal (1643) and Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz (1671), who also invented the binary system. In the 19th century, Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace worked on programmable mechanical calculating machines. Bertrand Russell and Alfred North Whitehead published Principia Mathematica in 1910-1913, which revolutionized formal logic. In 1931 Kurt Gödel showed that sufficiently powerful consistent formal systems contain true theorems unprovable by any theorem-proving AI that is systematically deriving all possible theorems from the axioms. In 1941 Konrad Zuse built the first working program-controlled computers. Warren McCulloch and Walter Pitts published A Logical Calculus of the Ideas Immanent in Nervous Activity (1943), laying the foundations for neural networks. Norbert Wiener's Cybernetics or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine (MIT Press, 1948) popularizes the term "cybernetics".

[edit] 1950s The 1950s were a period of active efforts in AI. In 1950, Alan Turing introduced the "Turing test" as a way of operationalizing a test of intelligent behavior. The first working AI programs were written in 1951 to run on the Ferranti Mark I machine of the University of Manchester: a draughts-playing program written by Christopher Strachey and a chessplaying program written by Dietrich Prinz. John McCarthy coined the term "artificial intelligence" at the first conference devoted to the subject, in 1956. He also invented the Lisp programming language. Joseph Weizenbaum built ELIZA, a chatterbot implementing Rogerian

psychotherapy. The birthdate of AI is generally considered to be July 1956 at the Dartmouth Conference, where many of these people met and exchanged ideas. At the same time, John von Neumann, who had been hired by the RAND Corporation, developed the game theory, which would prove invaluable in the progress of AI research.[citation needed]

[edit] 1960s-1970s During the 1960s and 1970s, Joel Moses demonstrated the power of symbolic reasoning for integration problems in the Macsyma program, the first successful knowledge-based program in mathematics. Leonard Uhr and Charles Vossler published "A Pattern Recognition Program That Generates, Evaluates, and Adjusts Its Own Operators" in 1963, which described one of the first machine learning programs that could adaptively acquire and modify features and thereby overcome the limitations of simple perceptrons of Rosenblatt. Marvin Minsky and Seymour Papert published Perceptrons, which demonstrated the limits of simple neural nets. Alain Colmerauer developed the Prolog computer language. Ted Shortliffe demonstrated the power of rule-based systems for knowledge representation and inference in medical diagnosis and therapy in what is sometimes called the first expert system. Hans Moravec developed the first computer-controlled vehicle to autonomously negotiate cluttered obstacle courses.

[edit] 1980s In the 1980s, neural networks became widely used due to the backpropagation algorithm, first described by Paul Werbos in 1974. The

team of Ernst Dickmanns built the first robot cars, driving up to 55 mph on empty streets.

[edit] 1990s & Turn of the Century The 1990s marked major achievements in many areas of AI and demonstrations of various applications. In 1995, one of Dickmanns' robot cars drove more than 1000 miles in traffic at up to 110 mph. Deep Blue, a chess-playing computer, beat Garry Kasparov in a famous six-game match in 1997. DARPA stated that the costs saved by implementing AI methods for scheduling units in the first Persian Gulf War have repaid the US government's entire investment in AI research since the 1950s. Honda built the first prototypes of humanoid robots like the one depicted above. During the 1990s and 2000s AI has become very influenced by probability theory and statistics. Bayesian networks are the focus of this movement, providing links to more rigorous topics in statistics and engineering such as Markov models and Kalman filters, and bridging the divide between `neat' and `scruffy' approaches. The last few years have also seen a big interest in game theory applied to AI decision making. This new school of AI is sometimes called `machine learning'. After the September 11, 2001 attacks there has been much renewed interest and funding for threat-detection AI systems, including machine vision research and data-mining. However despite the hype, excitment about Bayesian AI is perhaps now fading again as successful Bayesian models have only appeared for tiny statistical tasks (such as finding principal components probabilistically) and appear to be intractable for general perception and decision making.

[edit] Challenge & Prize The DARPA Grand Challenge is a race for a $2 million prize where cars drive themselves across several hundred miles of challenging desert terrain without any communication with humans, using GPS, computers and a sophisticated array of sensors. In 2005 the winning vehicles completed all 132 miles of the course in just under 7 hours. There will be no prize money awarded to the winners of the 2007 race due to a reallocation of DARPA funds through a bill signed by George W. Bush in which Congress switched the authority from DARPA to its boss, the Director of Defense Engineering and Research. [1] In the post-dot com boom era, some search engine websites have sprung using a simple form of AI to provide answers to questions entered by the visitor. Questions such as "What is the tallest building?" Can be entered into the search engine's input form and a list of answers will be returned.

[edit] AI in Philosophy


Mind and Brain Portal /wiki/Image :Portal.svg

Main article: Philosophy of artificial intelligence The strong AI vs. weak AI debate ("can a man-made artifact be conscious?") is still a hot topic amongst AI philosophers. This involves philosophy of mind and the mind-body problem. Most notably Roger Penrose in his book The Emperor's New Mind and John Searle with his "Chinese room" thought experiment argue that true consciousness cannot be achieved by formal logic systems, while Douglas Hofstadter in Gödel, Escher, Bach and Daniel Dennett in Consciousness Explained argue in favour of functionalism. In many strong AI supporters’ opinion, artificial consciousness is considered as the holy grail of artificial intelligence. Edsger Dijkstra famously opined that the debate had little importance: "The question of whether a computer can think is no more interesting than the question of whether a submarine can swim."

Epistemology, the study of knowledge, also makes contact with AI, as engineers find themselves debating similar questions to philosophers about how best to represent and use knowledge and information. (e.g. semantic networks).

[edit] AI in business Banks use artificial intelligence systems to organize operations, invest in stocks, and manage properties. In August 2001, robots beat humans in a simulated financial trading competition (BBC News, 2001).[1] A medical clinic can use artificial intelligence systems to organize bed schedules, make a staff rotation, and to provide medical information. Many practical applications are dependent on artificial neural networks — networks that pattern their organization in mimicry of a brain's neurons, which have been found to excel in pattern recognition. Financial institutions have long used such systems to detect charges or claims outside of the norm, flagging these for human investigation. Neural networks are also being widely deployed in homeland security, speech and text recognition, medical diagnosis (such as in Concept Processing technology in EMR software), data mining, and e-mail spam filtering. Robots have become common in many industries. They are often given jobs that are considered dangerous to humans. Robots have proven effective in jobs that are very repetitive which may lead to mistakes or accidents due to a lapse in concentration, and other jobs which humans may find degrading. General Motors uses around 16,000 robots for tasks such as painting, welding, and assembly. Japan is the leader in using robots in the world. In 1995, 700,000 robots were in use worldwide; over 500,000 of which were from Japan (Encarta, 2006).

[edit] AI in fiction In science fiction AI — almost always strong AI — is commonly portrayed as an upcoming power trying to overthrow human authority as in HAL 9000, Skynet, Colossus and The Matrix or as service humanoids like C-3PO, Marvin, Data, KITT and KARR, the Bicentennial Man, the Mechas in A.I., Cortana from the Halo series or Sonny in I, Robot. A notable exception is Mike in Robert A. Heinlein's The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress: a supercomputer that becomes aware and aids in a local revolution. The inevitability of world domination by out-of-control AI is also argued by some fiction writers like Kevin Warwick. In works such as the Japanese manga Ghost in the Shell, the existence of intelligent machines questions the definition of life as organisms rather than a broader category of autonomous entities, establishing a notional concept of systemic intelligence. See list of fictional computers and list of fictional robots and androids. Some fiction writers, such as Vernor Vinge and Ray Kurzweil, have also speculated that the advent of strong AI is likely to cause abrupt and dramatic societal change. The period of abrupt change is sometimes referred to as "the Singularity". Author Frank Herbert explored the idea of a time when mankind might ban clever machines entirely. His Dune series makes mention of a rebellion called the Butlerian Jihad in which mankind defeats the smart machines of the future and then imposes a death penalty against any who would again create thinking machines. Often quoted from the fictional Orange Catholic Bible, "Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a human mind."

Bomb disposal From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search Bomb disposal is the process by which hazardous explosive devices are rendered safe. "Bomb disposal" is an all encompassing term to describe the separate, but interrelated, fields of military (IEDD, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, EOD), public safety (Public Safety Bomb Disposal, PSBT, Bomb Squad) and civilian (Unexploded Ordnance, UXO) operations.

/wiki/Image:Eod_technician_ireland.jpg Eod_technician_ireland.jpg


/wiki/Image:Eod_technician_ireland.jpg/wiki/Image:Eod_technician_irel and.jpgThe Longest Walk. A British Army ATO approaches a suspect device in Northern Ireland.

Contents [hide]

1 History
• • •

1.1 World War I and the interwar period 1.2 World War II 1.3 EOD in low intensity conflicts 2.1 EOD 2.2 PSBT 2.3 UXO 3.1 EOD Equipment

2 Fields of operations
• • •

3 Techniques

• •

4 What Else Do EOD Operators Do? 5 EOD badges
• • •

5.1 British Army 5.2 American 5.3 Israeli

• • • •

6 See also 7 Notes and references 8 Further reading 9 External links

[edit] History

[edit] World War I and the interwar period Bomb Disposal became a formalised field during World War I. The swift mass production of munitions led to many manufacturing defects, and a large proportion of shells fired by both sides were found to be "duds". [1]

These were hazardous to attacker and defender alike. In response, the British dedicated a section of Royal Engineers to handle the growing problem. In 1918, the Germans developed a delayed-action fuze that would later develop into more sophisticated weaponry during the 1930s, as Nazi Germany began its secret course of arms development. These tests led to the development of UXBs (unexploded bombs), pioneered by Herbert Ruehlemann of Rheinmetall, and first employed during the Spanish Civil War of 1936-37. Such delayed-action bombs provoked terror because of the uncertainty of time. The Germans saw that unexploded bombs caused far more chaos and disruption than bombs that exploded immediately. This caused them to increase their use of delayed-action bombs later in World War II. The Germans were also the first to develop and use proximity sensitive fuzing on air dropped bombs. Allied UXO specialists, unaware that movement on or around the fuze caused detonation, took a number of casualties. They believed these fuzes were set at varying time increments in order to cause unpredictable destruction. Allies began calling these proximity devices Variable Time or VT fuzes.[citation needed] This label is still used on many proximity fuzes today. British Royal Engineers would soon face munitions designed to kill civilians and ultimately, themselves. Initially there were no specialised tools, training, or core knowledge available, and as Technicians learned how to safely neutralize one variant of munition, the enemy would add or change parts to make neutralization efforts more hazardous. This trend of cat-and-mouse extends even to the present day, and the techniques used to defuse munitions are held to high standards of secrecy.

[edit] World War II Modern EOD Technicians across the world can trace their heritage to the Battle of Britain, when the United Kingdom stood alone against Nazi Germany. In addition to conventional air raids, unexploded bombs (UXBs) also took their toll on population and morale, paralyzing vital services and communications. These delayed-action explosives provoked terror and uncertainty, with complex fuzes equipped with anti-tampering devices. Royal Engineers responded on the ground by devising methods to inert and remove deadly bombs and anti-personnel mines. These were the first Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technicians. The United States War Department felt the RE Bomb Disposal experience could be a valuable asset, based on reports from U.S. Army, Navy, and Marine Corps observers at Melksham Royal Air Force Base at Wiltshire, England in 1940. The next year, the Office of Civilian Defense (OCD) and War Department both sponsored a Bomb Disposal program, which gradually fell under military governance due to security and technical reasons. OCD personnel continued to train in UXB reconnaissance throughout the war. After Pearl Harbor, the British Royal Engineers sent instructors to Aberdeen Proving Ground, where the U.S. Army would inaugurate a formal Bomb Disposal school under the Ordnance Corps. Lt. Col. Geoffrey Yates (RE) and his British colleagues also helped establish the USN Mine Disposal School at the Naval Gun Factory, Washington, DC. Not to be outdone, the US Navy, under the command of Lieutenant Commander Draper L. Kauffman (who would go on to found the Underwater Demolition Teams -- better known as UDTs or the U.S. Navy Frogmen), created the USN Bomb Disposal School at University Campus, Washington, D.C. U.S. Ordnance and British Royal Engineers would forge a partnership that worked quite effectively in war -- a friendship persisting to this day.

1942 was a banner year for the fledgling EOD program. U.S. Army Lt. Col. Thomas Kane, who began in 1940 as a Bomb Disposal Instructor in the School of Civilian Defense, traveled with eight other troops to the UK for initial EOD training. Kane took over the US Army Bomb Disposal School at Aberdeen Proving Ground. Three members of Kane's training mission later served as Bomb Disposal squad commanders in the battlefield: Ronald L. Felton (12th Bomb Disposal Squad Separate) in Italy, Joseph C. Pilcher (17th Bomb Disposal Squad Separate) in France and Germany, and Richard Metress (209th Bomb Disposal Squad Separate) in the Philippines Islands. Captain Metress and most of his squad were killed in 1945 while dismantling a Japanese IED. Graduates of the Aberdeen School formed the first Army Bomb Disposal companies, starting with the 231st Ordnance Bomb Disposal Company. The now-familiar shoulder emblem for Army EOD Technicians, a red bomb on an oval, black background was approved for them to wear. Following initial deployments in North Africa and Sicily, U.S. Army commanders registered their disapproval of these cumbersome units. In 1943, companies were phased out, to be replaced by mobile seven-man squads in the field. In 1944, Col. Thomas Kane oversaw all European Theater Bomb Disposal operations, starting with reconnaissance training for the U.S. forces engaging the Germans on D-Day. Unfortunately, the Pacific Theater lacked a similar administration. Late in 1942, the first US Navy EOD casualty was recorded. Ensign Howard, USNR, was performing a render-safe procedure against a German moored mine when it detonated. Only a few months later, the first two Army EOD fatalities occurred during the Aleutian Islands campaign. While conducting EOD operations on Attu Island, LT Rodger & T/SGT Rapp (Commander and NCOIC of 5th Ordnance Bomb Disposal Squad) were fatally injured by unexploded ordnance.




sposal_%28EOD%29_divers.jpg /wiki/Image:US_Navy_explosive_ordnance_disposal_%28EOD%29_div ers.jpg/wiki/Image:US_Navy_explosive_ordnance_disposal_%28EOD% 29_divers.jpgUS Navy explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) divers. Overall, about forty Americans were killed outright performing the specialized services of bomb and mine disposal in World War II. Scores more were maimed or injured during combat operations requiring ordnance support. At Schwammanuel Dam in Germany, two Bomb Disposal squads acting as a "T Force" were exposed to enemy mortar and small arms fire. Captain Marshall Crow (18th Squad) took serious wounds, even as his party drove German defenders from their positions.'

Ironically, the only major ordnance attack against the continental U.S. would be handled by the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion, who dealt with the Japanese Fu-Go balloon bomb menace in 1945. The all-black 555th "Smokejumpers" were trained by ordnance personnel to defuse these incendiary bombs before they could kill civilians or start forest fires. Following the war, U.S. Bomb Disposal Technicians continued to clear Nazi and Japanese stockpiles, remove UXO from battlefields, while training host nation (HN) troops to do these tasks. This established a tradition for U.S. EOD services to operate during peace as well as war. Colonel Kane remained in contact with EOD until his retirement in 1955. He urged reforms in the Bomb Disposal organization and training policy. Wartime errors were rectified in 1947 when Army personnel started attending a new school at Indian Head, MD, under U.S. Navy direction. This course was named the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Course, governing training in all basic types of ammunition and projectiles. 1947 also saw the Army Air Corps separate and become the US Air Force, gaining their own EOD branch. That same year, the forerunner of the EOD Technology Center, the USN Bureau of Naval Weapons, charged with research, development, test, and evaluation of EOD tools, tactics and procedures was born. 1949 marked the official end of an era, as Army and Navy Bomb Disposal squads were reclassified into Explosive Ordnance Disposal units. In 1953, reflecting the trend in name changing, the EOD School formally became the Naval School, Explosive Ordnance Disposal (NAVSCOLEOD). Two years later, the Army Bomb Disposal School would close, making Indian Head the sole Joint Service EOD School in the US. That is, until 1985, when work began on the current EOD School at Eglin AF Base, Florida.

The current, most recognizable distinctive item of wear by EOD Technicians, affectionately referred to as the ‘crab’, began uniform wear as the Basic EOD Qualification Badge in 1957. The Master Badge would not appear until 1969. (See picture on the right) On 31 March 2004, the U.S. Army EOD Headquarters at Fort Gillem, Georgia dedicated its new building to Col. Thomas J. Kane (1900-65). Whether Kane Hall remains after the Bush Administration's recent base closure announcement remains to be seen.

[edit] EOD in low intensity conflicts

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/wiki/Image:Andrews-sap1.jpg/wiki/Image:Andrews-sap1.jpgIDF American Andros EOD robot The eruption of low intensity conflicts and terror waves at the beginning of the 21st century caused further development in the techniques and methods of Bomb Disposal. EOD Operators and Technicians had to adapt to rapidly evolving methods of constructing improvised explosive devices

ranging from shrapnel-filled explosive belts to 100-kg IED charges. Since improvised explosives are generally unreliable and very unstable they pose great risk to the public and especially to the EOD Operator, trying to render them safe. Therefore, new methods like greater reliance on remote techniques, such as advanced remotely operated vehicles such as EOD robots or armored bulldozers evolved. The US Army and the Israeli Defence Forces both have remote-control EOD vehicles and EOD bulldozers (the D7 MCAP and the armored D9R respectively). Other developments include using Advanced Electronic Countermeasures to prevent a device from being detonated remotely. The British Armed Forces have become experts in IED disposal after many years of dealing with bombs 'planted' by the IRA. These came in many different forms, particularly car bombs rigged to detonate via a variety of manners. As such the first personnel sent into Iraq in 2003 were, amongst others, British Bomb Disposal experts of 11 EOD Regiment RLC. During the al-Aksa Intifada, Israeli EOD forces have disarmed and detonated thousands of explosive charges, lab bombs and explosive ammunition (such as rockets). Two Israeli EOD teams gained high reputation for leading the efforts in that area: the Army's Israeli Engineering Corps' Sayeret Yaalom and the Israeli Border Guard Gazaarea EOD team. In Iraq, the coalition forces have to face many IEDs (improvised explosive devices) on travel routes. Such charges can easily destroy light vehicles such as the HMMWV but large one can even destroy main battle tank such as the M1A1 Abrams. Side charges caused many casualties and are major threat in Iraq along the car bombs and suicide bombers. These are the main challenge of the EOD forces today.

[edit] Fields of operations

[edit] EOD



/wiki/Image:Mil_EOD.jpg/wiki/Image:Mil_EOD.jpgEOD Operator removes a piece of unexploded ordnance. In the United Kingdom, EOD Operators are primarily known as Ammunition Technicians. In addition to manufactured munitions, Ammunition Technicians also deal with improvised explosive devices (IEDs). They are experts in chemical, biological, incendiary, radiological ("dirty bombs"), and nuclear weapons. They provide support to VIPs, help civilian authorities with bomb problems, teach soldiers about bomb safety, and a variety of other tasks. Sometimes, people confuse engineers

or sappers with Ammunition Technicians. While engineers and sappers do, on occasion, deal with explosive devices, their roles are limited normally to improving the mobility of troops. They are not Ammunition Technicians. All prospective Ammunition Technicians attend a grueling course of instruction at The Army School of Ammunition and the Felix Centre, UK. The timeframe for a Ammunition Technician to complete all necessary courses prior to finally be placed on a EOD team is around 36 months. Ammunition Technicians, having completed their training will be posted to a variety of units involved in IEDD, EOD or plain conventional ammunition duties. Until recent times the most prestigous EOD unit in the world was 321 EOD, that has now been surpassed by 11 EOD Regiment, who not only provides mainland IEDD duties, but also provides detachments for Op TELIC Iraq and Afghanistan

[edit] PSBT

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/wiki/Image:PSBT_guy.jpg/wiki/Image:PSBT_guy.jpgUS Public Safety Bomb Tech inspects a suspicious package. US EOD covers both on and off base calls in the US unless there is a local PSBT or "Public Safety Bomb Technician". Also called a "Hazardous Devices Technician", PSBTs are usually members of a Police department, although there are teams formed by fire departments or emergency management agencies. To be certified, PSBTs must attend the FBI's Hazardous Devices School at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama which is modeled on the International IEDD Training school at The Army School of Ammunition, known as the Felix Centre. This school helps them to become experts in the detection, diagnosis and disposal of hazardous devices. They are further trained to collect evidence in hazardous devices, and present expert witness testimony in court on bombing cases.

[edit] UXO In the quest to build the best, safest munition systems possible, and then train troops to safely utilize them, many acres of government land are currently restricted for bombing ranges. As time goes along, it becomes the best interest of the government to turn these lands back over to the public for reutilization. Before this can occur, specialists in unexploded ordnance (UXO) must be brought in to clear the lands of ordnance and explosive waste. These civilians, usually retired military EOD Technicians, use specialized tools for subsurface examination of the lands. When munitions are found, they safely neutralize them and remove them from the site. While most UXO Technicians are former military, there are schools in the US where civilians can attend to become certified as a Tech I.

[edit] Techniques

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/wiki/Image:Anti_bomb_robot.jpg/wiki/Image:Anti_bomb_robot.jpgBom b disposal robot.


/wiki/Image:Remotely_controlled_bomb_disposal_to ol.JPG /wiki/Image:Remotely_controlled_bomb_disposal_tool.JPG/wiki/Image: Remotely_controlled_bomb_disposal_tool.JPGWheelbarrow remotely controlled bomb disposal tool. Generally EOD render safe procedures (RSP) are a type of tradecraft protected from public dissemination in order to limit access and knowledge, depriving the enemy of specific technical procedures used to render safe ordnance or an improvised device. Many techniques exist for the neutralisation of a bomb or munition. Selection of a technique depends on several variables. The greatest variable is the proximity of the munition or device to people or critical facilities. Explosives in remote localities are handled very differently from those in densely-population areas, for example. Contrary to Hollywood lore, the role of the EOD Operator is to accomplish their task as remotely as possible. Actually laying hands on a

bomb is only done in an extremely life-threatening situation, where the hazards to people and critical structures can't be lessened. Ammunition Technicians have many tools for remote operations, one of which is the RCV, or remotely controlled vehicle, also know as the "wheelbarrow". Outfitted with cameras, microphones, and sensors for chemical, biological, or nuclear agents, the Wheelbarrow can help the Technician get an excellent idea of what the munition or device is. Many of these robots even have hand-like manipulators in case a door needs to be opened, or a munition or bomb requires handling or moving. The first ever wheelbarrow was invented by Lieutenant-Colonel 'Peter' Miller [2] in 1972 and used by Ammunition Technicians in the battle against Provisional IRA IED's. Also of great use are items that allow Ammunition technicians to remotely diagnose the innards of a munition or IED. These include devices similar to the X-ray used by medical personnel, and highperformance sensors that can detect and help interpret sounds, odors, or even images from within the munition or bomb. Once the technicians determine what the munition or device is, and what state it is in, they will formulate a procedure to disarm it. This may include things as simple as replacing safety features, or as difficult as using high-powered explosive-actuated devices to shear, jam, bind, or remove parts of the item's firing train. Preferably, this will be accomplished remotely, but there are still circumstances when a robot won't do, and a technician must put themself at risk by personally going near the bomb. The Technician will don a specialized suit, using flame and fragmentation-resistant material similar to bulletproof vests. Some suits have advanced features such as internal cooling, amplified hearing, and communications back to the control area.

This suit is designed to increase the odds of survival for the Technician should the munition or IED function while they are near it. Rarely, the specifics of a munition or bomb will allow the Technician to first remove it from the area. In these cases, a containment vessel is used. Some are shaped like small water tanks, others like large spheres. Using remote methods, the Technician places the item in the container and retires to a uninhabited area to complete the neutralization. Because of the instability and complexity of modern bombs, this is rarely done. After the munition or bomb has been rendered safe, the Technicians will assist in the removal of the remaining parts so the area can be returned to normal. All of this, called a mission or evolution, can take a great deal of time. Because of the construction of devices, a waiting period must be taken to ensure that whatever render-safe method was used worked as intended. While time is usually not on the EOD Operator's side, rushing usually ends in disaster.

[edit] EOD Equipment

Pigstick, an explosive device using water as the charge to disrupt an IED. Hook & line Portable X-Ray Protective clothing / helmet Electronic countermeasures Endoscope Wire cutters

• • • • • •

[edit] What Else Do EOD Operators Do? In addition to neutralizing munitions or IEDs, conducting training and presenting evidence, Technicians also respond to other problems. They dispose of old or unstable explosives, such as ones used in quarrying or mining, as well as old or unstable fireworks and ammunition. They escort VIP's and dignitaries. They assist SWAT, raid and entry teams with boobytrap detection and avoidance. Another function of a EOD Operator is the conducting of post-blast investigations. The EOD Operators' training and experience with improvised explosive devices (IED's) make them an integral part of any bombing investigation. Another part of a Technician's job involves supporting the US Secret Service. This involves searching all places that the President, Vice President or other protected dignitaries travel, stay or visit.

[edit] EOD badges

/wiki/Image:EOD.JPG The EOD Badge.


/wiki/Image:EOD.gif The EOD Badge.


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/wiki/Image:Sikat-yaalom01.png/wiki/Image:Sikat-yaalom01.pngSayeret Yaalom pin.

[edit] British Army Having been pre-selected and passed the Ammunition Technician course at the Army School of Ammunition, soldiers are entitled to wear the flaming A badge on their uniform.

[edit] American US military EOD Technicians are awarded a specialized badge upon successful completion of school, informally referred to as a 'crab'. Civilian PSBTs have a similar badge. The components of the badge each have a special meaning: • The Wreath: Symbolic of the achievements and laurels gained in minimizing incidents through the ingenuity and devotion to duty of its members. It is in memory of those EOD members who gave their lives while performing EOD duties.

The Bomb: Copied from the design of the World War II Bomb Disposal badge, represents the historic and major objective of the EOD mission, the unexploded bomb. The three fins represent the major areas of nuclear, conventional and chemical/biological interest.

• Lightning Bolts: Symbolizes the potential destructive power of the bomb and the courage and professionalism of EOD personnel. • The Shield: Represents the EOD mission -- to prevent a detonation and protect the surrounding area and property to the utmost.

[edit] Israeli

Behavior From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search For the Pet Shop Boys album of the same name see Behaviour Behavior or behaviour (see spelling differences) refers to the actions or reactions of an object or organism, usually in relation to the environment. Behavior can be conscious or unconscious, overt or covert, and voluntary or involuntary. In animals, behavior is controlled by the endocrine system and the nervous system. The complexity of the behavior of an organism is related to the complexity of its nervous system. Generally, organisms with complex nervous systems have a greater capacity to learn new responses and thus adjust their behavior. Human behavior (and that of other organisms and mechanisms) can be common, unusual, acceptable, or unacceptable. Humans evaluate the acceptability of behavior using social norms and regulate behavior by means of social control. In sociology, behavior is considered as having no meaning, being not directed at other people and thus is the most basic human action. Behavior should not be mistaken with social behavior, which is more advanced action, as social behavior is behavior specifically directed at other people. Animal behavior is studied in comparative psychology, ethology, behavioral ecology and sociobiology. Behavior as used in computer science is an anthropomorphic construct that assigns “life” to the activities carried out by a computer, computer application, or computer code in response to stimuli, such as user input. Also, "a behavior" is a reusable block of computer code or script that, when applied to an object (computer science), especially a graphical one, causes it to respond to user input in meaningful patterns or to operate independently, as if alive.

Navigation From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search This article is about determination of position and direction on or above the surface of the earth. For other uses, see Navigation (disambiguation).





/wiki/Image:Table_of_Geography_and_Hydrography%2C_Cyclopaedia %2C_Volume_1.jpg/wiki/Image:Table_of_Geography_and_Hydrography %2C_Cyclopaedia%2C_Volume_1.jpgTable of geography, hydrography, and navigation, from the 1728 Cyclopaedia. Contents [hide]

1 Modern methods

1.1 Passage planning 2.1 Timekeeping requirement

2 Celestial navigation

• •

3 History 4 Austronesian Navigation

4.1 Polynesian navigation

• • • •

5 "Point system" measure of direction 6 See also 7 Sources 8 External links

[edit] Modern methods There are several different branches of navigation, including but not limited to:

celestial navigation - navigation by observation of the sun, moon, stars, and planets pilotage - using visible natural and man made features such as sea marks and beacons dead reckoning - using course and speed to determine position Off-course navigation - allows for variables in heading by deliberately aiming to the one side of the destination.

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electronic navigation - using electronic equipment such as radio navigation and satellite navigation system to follow a course to a waypoint Also Electronic Chart Display and Information System position fixing - determining current position by visual and electronic means collision avoidance using radar

[edit] Passage planning An important part of the navigator's job aboard a large vessel is planning the voyage. This includes assembling the required charts, calculating tide and current, and laying out track-lines. Once the route is determined, taking into account weather, draft and other elements, the track can be laid out on a small-scale (large-area) chart. The track can then be transferred to large scale charts. When the track-line is laid out attention must be paid to depths, aids to navigation, hazards such as rocks and shoals and traffic separation schemes if any. Once the voyage has begun the progress of the vessel along its planned route must be monitored. This requires that the ship's position be determined. Traditional maritime navigation with a compass uses redundant sources of position information to determine the ship's position. A navigator uses the ship's last known position and dead reckoning, based on the ship's logged compass course and speed, to calculate the current position. If the set and drift, due to tide and wind, can be determined, an estimated position can also be calculated. The navigator needs to confirm the accuracy of the dead reckoning or estimated position calculations using position fixing techniques. This is done by correctly identifying reference points and measuring their bearings from the ship. These lines of position can be plotted on a

nautical chart, with the intersection being the ship's current location. Additional lines of position can be measured in order to validate the results taken against other reference points. This is known as a fix.

[edit] Celestial navigation Main article: Celestial navigation Celestial navigation systems are based on observation of the positions of the Sun, Moon and stars relative to the observer and a known location. In ancient times, the vessel's home port or home capital was used as the known location. With the rise of the British Navy and merchant marine, the Greenwich Meridian or Prime Meridian at Greenwich, England eventually became the starting location for most celestial almanacs. Early navigators could determine their latitude by measuring the angular altitude of Polaris any time that it was visible (excepting, of course, in those southern latitudes from where it cannot be observed). The earliest sailors simply used measurements of hand or finger widths to determine latitude; later cross-staffs and astrolabes were developed to increase the precision of the sighting. Eventually quadrants, octants, and sextants were invented, along with the introduction of printed tables of the positions of the sun, moon, and stars for various times and days of the year. Determining latitude by the sun was more difficult, since the sun's altitude at noon during the year changes for a given location, but it was possible to determine by observing the highest point the sun makes in the sky each day — known as local noon.

[edit] Timekeeping requirement In order to accurately measure longitude, one must accurately record the precise time of a sextant sighting (down to the second, if possible). Time is measured with a chronometer, a quartz watch or a shortwave radio broadcast from an atomic clock. A quartz wristwatch normally keeps time within a half-second per day. If it is worn constantly, keeping it near body heat, rate of drift can be measured with the radio, and by compensating for this drift, a navigator can keep time to better than a second per month. Traditionally, three chronometers are kept in gimbals in a dry room near the center of the ship, and used to set a watch for the actual sight, so that the chronometers themselves do not risk exposure to the elements. Winding the chronometers was a crucial duty of the navigator. The angle is measured with a special optical instrument called a "sextant" (and prior to that with the more limited octant). Sextants use two mirrors to cancel the relative motion of the sextant. During a sight, the user's view of the star and horizon remains steady as the boat rocks. An arm moves a split image of the star relative to the split image of the horizon. When the image of the star touches the horizon, the angle can be read from the sextant's scale. Some sextants create an artificial horizon by reflecting a bubble. Inexpensive plastic sextants are available, though they have less accuracy than the more expensive metal models. The LORAN system is based on measuring the phase shift of radio waves sent simultaneously from a master and slave station. Signals from these two point establish a hyperbolic curve for possible positions. A third source along with dead-reckoning will generally resolve to a single position. Today, the Global Positioning System has largely replaced both celestial and LORAN position-finding systems. GPS fixes one's position in 3D

trilateration based on the timing signals sent by four or more three satellites.

[edit] History The earliest form of navigation was "land navigation". Marine navigation began when pre-historic man attempted to guide his craft, perhaps a log, across the water using a form of piloting which uses familiar landmarks as guides. Dead reckoning was probably next, used to navigate when landmarks were out of sight. While celestial bodies were used to steer by, celestial navigation, as known today, was not used until the motion of the sun and stars was understood. The voyage of Pythease of Massalia, between 350BC and 300 BC is one of the best records of an early voyage. Use of a magnetic compass could allow a course to be maintained. The log and a sand glass could be used to determine distance run. This allowed a dead reckoning estimate of the ship's position to be calculated. When approaching land the lead line was used to assist with landfall. Nautical charts were developed to record new navigational and pilotage information for use by other navigators. The development of accurate celestial navigation for taking lines of position based on the measurement of stars and planets with the sextant allowed ships to more accurately determine position. Most sailors have always been able find absolute north from the stars, which currently rotate around Polaris, or by using a dual sundial called a diptych. When combined with a plumb bob, some diptyches could also determine latitude. Basically, when the diptych's two sundials indicated the same time, the diptych was aligned to the current latitude and true north.

/wiki/Image:Compass_thumbnail.jpg mpass_thumbnail.jpg


/wiki/Image:Compass_thumbnail.jpg/wiki/ gCompass with rose in center Another early invention was the compass rose, a cross or painted panel of wood oriented with the pole star or diptych. This was placed in front of the helmsman. Latitude was determined with a "cross staff" an instrument vaguely similar to a carpenter's angle with graduated marks on it. Most sailors could use this instrument to take sun sights, but master navigators knew that sightings of Polaris were far more accurate, because they were not subject to time-keeping errors involved in finding noon. Time-keeping was by precision hourglasses, filled and tested to ¼ of an hour, turned by the helmsman, or a young boy brought for that purpose. The most important instrument was a navigators' diary, later called a rutter. These were often crucial trade secrets, because they enabled travel to lucrative ports.

The above instruments were a powerful technology, and appear to have been the technique used by ancient Cretan bronze-age trading empire. Using these techniques, masters successfully sailed from the eastern Mediterranean to the south coast of the British Isles. Some time later, around 300, the magnetic compass was invented in China. This let masters continue sailing a course when the weather limited visibility of the sky.



/wiki/Image:Astrolab.JPG/wiki/Image:Astrolab.JPGAstrolabe Around 400, metallurgy allowed construction of astrolabes graduated in degrees, which replaced the wooden latitude instruments for night use. Diptychs remained in use during the day, until shadowing astrolabes were constructed. After Isaac Newton published the Principia, navigation was transformed. Starting in 1670, the entire world was measured using essentially modern latitude instruments and the best available clocks.

In 1730 the sextant was invented and navigators rapidly replaced their astrolabes. A sextant uses mirrors to measure the altitude of celestial objects with regard to the horizon. Thus, its "pointer" is as long as the horizon is far away. This eliminates the "cosine" error of an astrolabe's short pointer. Modern sextants measure to 0.2 minutes of arc, an error that translates to a distance of about 0.2 nautical miles (400 m). At first, the best available "clocks" were the moons of Jupiter, and the calculated transits of selected stars by the moon. These methods were too complex to be used by any but skilled astronomers, but they sufficed to map most of the world. A number of scientific journals during this period were started especially to chronicle geography. Later, mechanical chronometers enabled navigation at sea and in the air using relatively unskilled procedures. In the late 19th century Nikola Tesla invented radio and direction-finding was quickly adapted to navigation. Up until 1960 it was commonplace for ships and aircraft to use radio direction-finding on commercial stations in order to locate islands and cities within the last several miles of error. Around 1960, LORAN was developed. This used time-of-flight of radio waves from antennas at known locations. It revolutionized navigation by permitting semiautomated equipment to locate geographic positions to less than a half mile (800 m). An analogous system for aircraft, VHF omnidirectional range and DME, was developed around the same time. At about the same, TRANSIT, the first satellite-based navigation system was developed. It was the first electronic navigation system to provide global coverage. Other radionavigation systems include:
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Decca Omega, a longwave system developed by the United States Navy Alpha, a longwave system developed by the Soviet Union

In 1974, the first GPS satellite was launched. The GPS system now permits accurate geographic location with an error of only a few metres, and precision timing to less than a microsecond. GLONASS is a positioning system launched by the Soviet Union. It relies on a slightly different geodesic model of the Earth. Galileo is a competing system, that will be placed into service by the European Union. Later developments included the placing of lighthouses and buoys close to shore to act as marine signposts identifying ambiguous features, highlighting hazards and pointing to safe channels for ships approaching some part of a coast after a long sea voyage. The invention of the radio lead to radio beacons and radio direction finders providing accurate landbased fixes even hundreds of miles from shore. These were made obsolete by satellite navigation systems. In the pre-modern history of human migration and discovery of new lands by navigating the oceans, a few peoples have excelled as sea-faring explorers. Prominent examples are the Phoenicians, the Ancient Greeks, the Persians, Arabians, the Norse and the Austronesian peoples including the Malays and especially the Polynesians and the Micronesians of the Pacific Ocean. With the advent of the airplane, the art of aerial navigation, an offshoot of sea navigation, was developed to account for additional effects such as coriolis effect and motion of the observer not experienced by slow-moving ships.

[edit] Austronesian Navigation /wiki/I This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the mage:I subject. nformat Please help recruit one or improve this article yourself. See the talk page ion_ico for details.


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/wiki/I mage:I nformat ion_ico n.svg The Austronesians were some of the early people that crossed vast open seas and settled farflung islands in search of new land to settle. The Austronesian expansion around 2500 BC and onwards is widely considered by some contemporary scholars to be one of the great movements of population in history. [citation needed]

[edit] Polynesian navigation The Polynesian navigators routinely crossed thousands of miles of open ocean, to tiny inhabited islands, using only their own senses and knowledge, passed by oral tradition, from navigator to apprentice. In Eastern Polynesia, navigators, in order to locate directions at various times of day and year, memorized extensive facts concerning:

the motion of specific stars, and where they would rise and set on the horizon of the ocean


• times of travel • wildlife species (which congregate at particular positions) • directions of swells on the ocean, and how the crew would feel their motion • colors of the sea and sky, especially how clouds would cluster at the locations of some islands • angles for approaching harbors These, and outrigger canoe construction methods, were kept as guild secrets. Generally each island maintained a guild of navigators who had very high status, since in times of famine or difficulty, only they could trade for aid or evacuate people. The guild secrets might have been lost, had not one of the last living navigators trained a professional small boat captain so that he could write a book. The first settlers of the Hawaiian Islands were said to have used these navigation methods to sail to the Hawaiian Islands from the Marquesas Islands. In 1973, the Polynesian Voyaging Society was established in Hawaii to research Polynesian navigation methods. They built a replica of an ancient double-hulled canoe called the Hokule'a, whose crew, in 1976, successfully navigated the Pacific Ocean from Hawaii to Tahiti using no instruments.
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Wayfinding Summary Wayfinding Main Page

[edit] "Point system" measure of direction A "point" is defined as one eighth of a right angle, and therefore equals exactly 11.25 degrees. The full circle of 360 degrees contains 32 points. For example, a bearing of northwest by north differs by one point from a

northwest bearing, and by a point from a north-northwest one. Naming the points of the compass from memory is called "boxing the compass"

Robot (camera) From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search Robot is a German imaging company most known for traffic surveillance (Traffipax), bank security and clockwork cameras. Originally created as a brand in 1934 of Otto Berning and Co its, since 1999, part of the JENOPTIK-Gruppe of optical companies. In 2002 the company renamed itself from Robot Foto & Electronic to ROBOT Visual Systems GmbH. We focus in this article on their motorized amateur cameras powered by spring motors. These were made between as early as 1934 and ended with a special limited edition collectors model („Star Classic“) in 1996. Most of the analog Robot cameras used 35 mm film in 24 x 24 mm image format but many supported 18 x 24 mm (so-called half-format) and 24 x 36 mm (standard Leica format) alonside quite exotic formats such as 6 x 24 mm (Recorder 6), 12 x 24 mm (Recorder 12) and 16 x 16 mm (Robot SC).

[edit] History Around 1930 Heinz Kilfitt, a trained watchmaker, designed a new 35 mm film compact camera using a 24x24mm frame format (instead of the

Leica 24x36mm or cine 18x24mm formats). The 24x24mm square frame provided many advantages including allowing for over 50 exposures per standard roll of Leica film instead of 36. Kodak and Agfa rejected the design and it was sold to Hans Berning who set up the Otto Berning firm. Otto Berning got its first Robot patent in 1934. This omitted the spring motor drive as it was originally intended to come in two versions: Robot I, without motor, and Robot II with a spring motor. Its release was delayed and already the first camera "Robot I" included its hallmark spring motor. The first production cameras had a spring drive that could turn at a sensational 4 frame/s. The body of the Robot 1 is Stainless steel. Kilfitt designed a rotary shutter with speeds from 1 to 1/500th second. The camera used proprietary "Type K" cartridges, not the standard 35 mm cartridges--- introduced in the same year by Kodak's Dr. August Nagel Kamerawerk for the Retina--- available today. The camera has no rangefinder. Its does not need one: it was designed for use mostly with short focal length lenses (e.g. 40 mm). The Robot I was quite small, the body measuring only 4.25 inches long, 2.5 inches high, and 1.25 inches deep. A razor sharp, zone focusing f2.8, 3.25 cm Zeiss Tessar lens added only 1/2 inch to the camera depth. It was about the size of an Olympus Stylus although it weighed about 20 ounces, approximately the weight of a modern SLR. The die cast zinc and stamped stainless steel body was crammed with clockwork. A spring motor on the top plate provided the driving force for a rotary behind the lens shutter and a sprocket film drive. The film was loaded into cassettes in a darkroom or changing bag. The cassettes appear to be based on the Agfa Memo cassette design, the now-standard Kodak 35 mm cassette not yet being popular in Germany. In place of the velvet light trap on modern cassettes, the Robot cassette used spring pressure and felt pads to close the film passage. When the camera back was shut, the compression

opened the passage and the film could travel freely from one cassette to another. The rotary shutter and the film drive are like those used in cine cameras. When the photographer's finger pressed the shutter release, a light blocking shield lifted and the shutter disc rotated a full turn exposing the film through its open sector. When the finger was raised, the light blocking shield returned to its position behind the lens, the spring motor advanced the film and recocked the shutter. The action was almost instantaneous. With practice a photographer could take 4 or 5 pictures a second. Each winding of the spring motor was good for about 25 pictures or half a roll of film. Shutter speed was determined by spring tension and mechanical delay since the exposure sector was fixed. The Robot I had an exposure range of 1 to 1/500 s plus the usual provision for time exposures. The camera had other features not specifically related to action photography. The small optical viewfinder could be rotated 90 degrees to permit pictures to be taken in one direction while the photographer was facing in another. When the viewfinder was rotated, the scene was viewed through a deep purple filter similar to those used by cinematographers to judge the black and white contrast of an image. The camera had a built in deep yellow filter which could be positioned behind the lens. In 1938, Berning introduced the Robot II, a slightly larger camera with some significant improvements but still using the basic mechanism. Among the standard objectives were 3cm Zeiss Tessar and a 3 3/4cm Zeiss Tessar in 1:2,8 and 1:3,5 variations, a 1:2,0/40 mm Zeiss Biotar and 1:4/7,5cm Zeiss Sonnar. The film cassette system was redesigned but it was only with the IIa launched in 1951 that film could accept a standard 35 mm cassette. The special Robot cassettes type-N continued their role for take up. A small bakelite box was sold to allow people to rewind

colour film into the original cassettes as demanded by the film processing companies. The camera was synchronized for flash. The swinging viewfinder was retained but now operated by a lever rather than moving the entire housing. Both the deep purple filter and the yellow filter were eliminated in the redesign. Some versions were available with a double wind motor which could expose 50 frames. WWII stopped civilian production of the Robot but it was used as a gun camera by the Luftwaffe. In the 1950s Robot introducted the Robot Star. Film could be now be rewound back into the feed cassette in the camera just like mainstream 35 mm cameras. Robot then introduced the "Junior", an economy model with the quality and almost all the features of the "Star" but without the angle finder and without the rewind mechanism. In the late 50s, the company, now called Robot-Berning, redesigned the Robot Star and created the Vollautomat Star II. The length stayed the same but the height increased by half an inch. The new higher top housing disposed of the right angle finder and instead included an Albada finder with frames for the factory fitted 38/40mm and 75mm lenses. The drive and shutter too were improved. By 1960 the hallmark stamped steel body was replaced by heavier die castings. The camera became with slight changes the Robot Star 25 and Star 50. The Robot Star 25 could expose 25 frames on a single winding, the double motor Robot Star 50 could, naturally, expose 50 frames. Since most cameras by then were sold for industrial use where the camera was fixed in position Robot also introduced versions without a finder-- and even without rewind. Although most production dates from the 50-60s era, essentially the same camera continued to be manufactured into the late 1990s.

During the Cold War, Robots had a large following in the espionage business. The small camera could be concealed in a briefcase or a handbag, the lens poking though a decorative hole. The camera could be activated repeatedly by a cable release concealed in the handle. The company was well aware of this market and produced a variety of accessories which made the camera even more suitable for covert image making. Robot-Berning also produced enlarged versions of the Robot, the Robot Royal 18, 24 and 36, with an incorporated rangefinder and with an autoburst mode of operation capable of shooting 6 frames per second. The camera was about the size of a Leica M3 and weighed almost 2 pounds. It was equipped with a Schneider Xenar 45 mm f2.8 lens. The Robot Royal 36 took a standard size 35 mm picture but was identical to the Royal 24 in all other regards. They retained the behind-the-lens rotary shutter with speeds from 1/2 to 1/500 s. A version for instrumentation (and traffic) was also created on the basis of the Royal design: the Recorder. These cameras were like the Royal but without viewfinder or rangefinder. They, however, included interfaces to motors and had detachable backs to support bulk film cassettes. A special parallel series of the Royal too was available that included these features. While the Royal had only limited market success the Recorder was well accepted. It became centerpiece of their portable document capture, traffic control and security solutions. It continues today to be the standard Robot camera for instrumentation applications. While all agree that the Robots were superb at sequence photography, the shutter that made this possible placed some contraints upon taking objectives and shutter speed. To reach speeds as high as 1/500 second, the inertia of the thin steel shutter disc had to be kept at a minimum. This meant a small-diameter disc with a minimal sector opening. The screw in

lens mount was 26 mm diameter. The clear lens opening was only 20 mm. In contrast, Leica's mount at 39 mm was almost twice as large. Further, to permit lens interchangeability, the shutter was mounted behind the lens so the disc interrupted the expanding light cone. This placed some limits on lens design. While the 75 mm Sonnar could be used with the aperture set to f/22, the Tele-Xenar would show some shutter disc vignetting unless opened more. The maximum focal length lens for general photographic use that could be fitted with acceptable vignetting was 75 mm although telephotos such up to 600 mm were offered. A 150 mm Tele-Xenar were offered supplied for long distance action photography, however they produced a circular image on the 24 x 24 mm frame. The lack of a rangefinder on the Robot and Robot Star required zone focusing of these long lenses. Every shot had to be estimated or premeasured. All of the mechanical movement made for a noisy camera, although not as noisy as some modern motor drives. For an extra fee, Robot-Berning supplied silenced versions with nylon gears for discrete use. Within its limits the Robots did an excellent job of sequence photography. The standard 38 mm f2.8 Xenar lenses were extremely sharp, even by today's standards, and zone focusing worked well on rapid action with short focal length lenses. The reliable motor drive was as fast, if not faster, than current electrical drives and there were no batteries to run down. Flash could be used at any speed. The square frame was big enough, given modern films, for 8 x 10 or greater enlargements and 50 pictures could be taken on a standard 36 exposure roll. The cameras, especially the later ones built to industrial standards, will take much abuse and still keep functioning. They show what precision mechanical equipment is all about.

[edit] References

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