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Robotics is the engineering science and technology of robots, and their design , manufacture, application, and structural disposition. These are re- programmable , multifutional manipulater designed to move material , parts, tools or specialized device through various programmed motion for the performance of a variety of task.
The word "robot" originates from the Czech word for forced labor, or serf. It was introduced by playwright Karel Capek, whose fictional robotic inventions were much like Dr.rankenstein's monster - creatures created by chemical and biological, rather than mechanical, methods. But the current mechanical robots of popular culture are not much different from these fictional biological creations.
Basically a robots consists of:
A mechanical device, such as a wheeled platform, arm, or other construction, capable of interacting with its environment
Sensors on or around the device that are able to sense the environment and give useful feedback to the device
Systems that process sensory input in the context of the device's current situation and instruct the device to perform actions in response to the situation
From military technology and space exploration to the health industry and commerce, the advantages of using robots have been realized to the point that they are becoming a part of our collective experience and every day lives.
They function to relieve us from danger-:
Safety: Robotics have been developed to handle nuclear and radioactive chemicals for many different uses including nuclear weapons, power plants, environmental cleanup, and the processing of certain drugs.
Unpleasantness: Robots perform many tasks that are tedious and unpleasant, but necessary, such as welding or janitorial work.
Repetition and precision: Assembly line work has been one of the mainstays of the robotics industry. Robots are used extensively in manufacturing and, more glamorously, in space exploration, where minimum maintenance requirements are emphasized.
HISTORY of ROBOTICS
The word 'robotics' was first used in Runaround, a short story published in 1942, by Isaac Asimov (born Jan. 2, 1920, died Apr. 6, 1992). I, Robot, a collection of several of these stories, was published in 1950.
One of the first robots Asimov wrote about was a robotherapist. A modern counterpart to Asimov's fictional character is Eliza. Eliza was born in 1966 by a Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor Joseph Weizenbaum who wrote Eliza -- a computer program for the study of natural language communication between man and machine.
She was initially programmed with 240 lines of code to simulate a psychotherapist by answering questions with questions.
Some robot and name of Inventors who invented them is given below-:
In,1206 "Robot name-: Boat with 4 musician"
In, 1495 "Robot name-: Mechanical knight"
"Inventor-: Leonardo da Vinci"
In,1738 "Robot name -: Digesting duck"
"Inventor -: Jacques de vaucanson"
In,1800 "Robot name-: Karakuri Toys"
"Inventor-: Tanaka hisashige"
In,1930 "Robot name-:Electro"
"Inventor-:Westinghouse electric corporation"
In, 1961 "Robot Name -: Unimate"
"Inventor -: George Devol"
In,1973 "Robot name -: Famulus"
"Inventor -: KUKA robot group"
COMPONENT OF ROBOTS
Structure -: The structure of a robot is usually mostly mechanical and can be called a kinematic chain .The chain is formed of links which can be called its bone , actuators its muscles, and joints which can allow it to make more movements . 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, are made up of closed parallel kinematical chain. Other structures, such as those that mimic the mechanical structure of humans, various animals, and insects, are found rare. However, the development 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.
Power Source -:
At present lead-acid batteries are used , but some other power sources could also be used be:
flywheel energy storage
pneumatic (compressed gases)
hydraulics (compressed liquids)
organic garbages (through anaerobic digestion)
feces (human, animal):- may be interesting in a military context as feces of small combat groups may be reused for the energy requirements of the robot assistant.
radioactive source (such as with the proposed Ford car of the '50)
Robots which must work in the real world require some way to manipulate objects; pick up, modify, destroy, or otherwise have an effect. Thus the 'hands' of a robot are often referred to as end effectors, while the arm is referred to as a manipulator.Most robot arms have replaceable effectors, each allowing them to perform some small range of tasks. Some have a fixed manipulator which cannot be replaced, while a few have one very general purpose manipulator, for example a humanoid hand.
Mechanical Grippers: One of the most common effectors is the gripper. In its simplest manifestation it consists of just two fingers which can open and close to pick up and let go of a range of small objects.
Vacuum Grippers: Pick and place robots for electronic components and for large objects like car windscreens, will often use very simple vacuum grippers. These are very simple astrictive devices, but can hold very large loads provided the prehension surface is smooth enough to ensure suction.
General purpose effectors: Some advanced robots are beginning to use fully humanoid hands, like the Shadow Hand, MANUS and the Schunk hand. These highly dexterous manipulators, with as many as 20 degrees of freedom and hundreds of tactile sensors.
Kismet can produce a range of facial expressions
If robots are to work effectively in homes and other non-industrial environments, the way they are instructed to perform their jobs, and especially how they will be told to stop will be of critical importance. The people who interact with them may have little or no training in robotics, and so any interface will need to be extremely intuitive. Science fiction authors also typically assume that robots will eventually be capable of communicating with humans through speech, gestures, and facial expressions, rather than a command-line interface.
Speech recognition: Interpreting the continuous flow of sounds coming from a human , in real time, is a difficult task for a computer, mostly because of the great variability of speech.
Gestures: One can imagine, in the future, explaining to a robot chef how to make a pastry, or asking directions from a robot police officer. On both of these occasions, making hand gestures would aid the verbal descriptions.
Facial expression: Facial expressions can provide rapid feedback on the progress of a dialog between two humans, and soon it may be able to do the same for humans and robots.
Artificial emotions: Artificial emotions can also be imbedded and are composed of a sequence of facial expressions and/or gestures. As can be seen from the movie
Personality: Many of the robots of science fiction have a personality, something which may or may not be desirable in the commercial robots of the future. Nevertheless, researchers are trying to create robots which appear to have a personality
Locomotion in Robots
Robot locomotion is the study of how to design robot appendages and control mechanisms to allow robots to move fluidly and efficiently. Although wheeled robots are typically quite energy efficient and simple to control, other forms of locomotion may be more appropriate for a number of reasons .
A major goal in this field is in developing capabilities for robots to autonomously decide how, when, and where to move. However, coordinating a large number of robot joints for even simple matters, like negotiating stairs, is difficult. Autonomous robot locomotion is a major technological obstacle for many areas of robotics, such as humanoids .
For simplicity, most mobile robots have four wheels. However, some researchers have tried to create more complex wheeled robots, with only one or two wheels.
Two-wheeled balancing:- While the Segway is not commonly thought of as a robot, it can be thought of as a component of a robot. Several real robots do use a similar dynamic balancing algorithm, and NASA's Robonaut has been mounted on a Segway.
Ballbot:- Carnegie Mellon University researchers have developed a new type of mobile robot that balances on a ball instead of legs or wheels. "Ballbot" is a self-contained, battery-operated, omnidirectional robot that balances dynamically on a single urethane-coated metal sphere.
Walking is a difficult and dynamic problem to solve. Several robots have been made which can walk reliably on two legs , however none have yet been made which are as robust as a human. Many other robots have been built that walk on more than two legs, due to these robots being significantly easier to construct. Hybrids too have been proposed in movies such as , I Robot, where they walk on 2 legs and switch to 4 (arms + legs) when going to a sprint . Typically, robots on 2 legs can walk well on flat floors, and can occasionally walk up stairs . None can walk over rocky, uneven terrain. Some of the methods which have been tried are:
ZMP Technique: The Zero Moment Point (ZMP) is the algorithm used by robots such as Honda's ASIMO. The robot's onboard computer tries to keep the total inertial forces, exactly opposed by the floor reaction force . In this way, the two forces cancel out, leaving no moment. However, this is not exactly how a human walks, and the difference is quite apparent to human observers, some of whom have pointed out that ASIMO walks as if it needs the lavatory. ASIMO's walking algorithm is not static, and some dynamic balancing is used (See below). However, it still requires a smooth surface to walk on.
Hopping: Several robots, built in the 1980s by Marc Raibert at the MIT Leg Laboratory, successfully demonstrated very dynamic walking. Initially, a robot with only one leg, and a very small foot, could stay upright simply by hopping. The movement is the same as that of a person on a pogo stick. As the robot falls to one side, it would jump slightly in that direction, in order to catch itself. Soon, the algorithm was generalised to two and four legs. A bipedal robot was demonstrated running and even performing somersaults . A quadruped was also demonstrated which could trot, run, pace, and bound. For a full list of these robots, see the MIT Leg Lab Robots page.
Dynamic Balancing or controlled falling: A more advanced way for a robot to walk is by using a dynamic balancing algorithm, which is potentially more robust than the Zero Moment Point technique, as it constantly monitors the robot's motion, and places the feet in order to maintain stability. This technique was recently demonstrated by Anybots' Dexter Robot, which is so stable, it can even jump. Another example is the TU Delft Flame.
Passive Dynamics: Perhaps the most promising approach utilizes passive dynamics where the momentum of swinging limbs is used for greater efficiency. It has been shown that totally unpowered humanoid mechanisms can walk down a gentle slope, using only gravity to propel themselves. Using this technique, a robot need only supply a small amount of motor power to walk along a flat surface or a little more to walk up a hill. This technique promises to make walking robots at least ten times more efficient than ZMP walkers, like ASIMO.
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 . Sensors give information about the environment or the robot itself. This information is then processed to calculate the appropriate signals to the actuators which move the mechanical.
The processing phase can range in complexity. At a reactive level, it may translate raw sensor information directly into actuator commands. Sensor fusion may first be used to estimate parameters of interest from noisy sensor data. An immediate task is inferred from these estimates. Techniques from control theory convert the task into commands that drive the actuators.
At longer time scales or with more sophisticated tasks, the robot may need to build and reason with a "cognitive" model. Cognitive models try to represent the robot, the world, and how they interact. Pattern recognition and computer vision can be used to track objects. Mapping techniques can be used to build maps of the world. Finally, motion planning and other artificial intelligence techniques may be used to figure out how to act.
Control system also have varying levels of autonomy.
Operator-assist modes have the operator commanding medium-to-high-level tasks, with the robot automatically figuring out how to achieve them.
An autonomous robot may go for extended periods of time without human interaction. Higher levels of autonomy do not necessarily require more complex cognitive capabilities.
It can be classified as-:
Teleoperation. A human controls each movement, each machine actuator chance is specified by the operator.
Supervisory. A human specifies general moves or positions changes and the machine decides specifics movements of its actuators.
Task-level autonomy. The operator specifies only the task and the robot manage itself to complain for it.
Fully autonomy. The machine will create and complete all its tasks without human interaction