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Mechatronics ;حول هندسة الميكاترونيكس ومشتركاتها مع الاقسام الهندسية " اضف للموضوع"

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  1. [1]
    الصورة الرمزية حسن هادي
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    Mechatronics ;حول هندسة الميكاترونيكس ومشتركاتها مع الاقسام الهندسية " اضف للموضوع"

    انطلاقا من مبدأ المساهمة ومن القواسم المشتركة بين الاقسام الهندسية نقدم هذا الموضوع البسيط والمتواضع لرفد الاخوة بما وجدناه رغبة في ان يطلع الاعضاء على ما اطلعنا عليه من معلومات متواضعة حول الميكاترونكس *مع التقدير
    اخوكم حسن العراقي
    ************************************************** ****

    تحياتنا لكل الاخوة اعضاء الملتقى *

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    حسن هادي
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    Mechatronics is the synergistic combination of mechanical engineering, electronic engineering and software engineering. The purpose of this interdisciplinary engineering field is the study of automata from an engineering perspective and serves the purposes of controlling advanced hybrid systems. The word itself is a portmanteau of 'Mechanics' and 'Electronics'.
    الروابط فعالة مع التقدير

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    حسن هادي
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    عضو متميز
    الصورة الرمزية حسن هادي


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    Description
    Mechatronics is centred on mechanics, electronics and computing which, combined, make possible the generation of simpler, more economical, reliable and versatile systems. The portmanteau "Mechatronics" was first coined by Mr. Tetsuro Mori, a senior engineer of the Japanese company Yaskawa, in 1969. Mechatronics may alternatively be referred to as "electromechanical systems" or less often as "control and automation engineering".
    Engineering cybernetics deals with the question of control engineering of mechatronic systems. It is used to control or regulate such a system; see control theory. Through collaboration the mechatronic modules perform the production goals and inherit flexible and agile manufacturing properties in the production scheme. Modern production equipment consists of mechatronic modules that are integrated according to a control architecture. The most known architectures involve hierarchy, polyarchy, heterarchy and hybrid. The methods for achieving a technical effect are described by control algorithms, which may or may not utilize formal methods in their design. Hybrid-systems important to Mechatronics include production systems, synergy drives, planetary exploration rovers, automotive subsystems such as anti-lock braking systems, spin-assist and every day equipment such as autofocus cameras, video, hard disks, CD-players, washing machines, etc.
    A typical mechatronic engineering degree would involve classes in engineering mathematics, mechanics, machine component design, mechanical design, thermodynamics, circuits and systems, electronics and communications, control theory, programming, digital signal processing, power engineering, robotics and usually a final year thesis.

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    عضو متميز
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    نسقوم بالاضافة ان شاء الله

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    بعض الصور نعرضها لكم عن الروبوت
    **************************************************



    تحياتنا لكم

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    حسن هادي
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    عضو متميز
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    الاخوة الاعزاء بعد المشاركة رقم 5# ننعطف بكم حول الروبوتات وبامكانكم استخدام الروابط للدخول للموضوع الذي تريدونه ومن خلال موسوعة الويكابيديا مع كل التقدير *
    ************************************************** *****************************
    Robot

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


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    For other uses, see robot (disambiguation).

    ASIMO, a humanoid robot manufactured by Honda.


    A robot is a mechanical or virtual, artificial agent. It is usually an electromechanical system, which, by its appearance or movements, conveys a sense that it has intent or agency of its own. The word robot can refer to both physical and virtual software agents, but the latter are usually referred to as bots to differentiate.[1]
    While there is still discussion[2][3][4] about which machines qualify as robots, a typical robot will have several, though not necessarily all of the following properties:

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    [edit] Defining characteristics

    The last property (above), the appearance of agency, is important when people are considering whether to call a machine a robot. In general, the more a machine has the appearance of agency, the more it is considered a robot.

    KITT is mentally anthropomorphic


    Mental agency
    For robotic engineers, the physical appearance of a machine is less important than the way its actions are controlled.[6] The more the control system seems to have agency of its own, the more likely the machine is to be called a robot. An important feature of agency is the ability to make choices. So the more a machine could feasibly choose to do something different, the more agency it has. For example:
    • a clockwork car is never considered a robot[7]
    • a remotely operated vehicle is sometimes considered a robot[8] (or telerobot).
    • a car with an onboard computer, like Bigtrak, which could drive in a programmable sequence might be called a robot.
    • a self-controlled car, like the 1990s driverless cars of Ernst Dickmanns, or the entries to the DARPA Grand Challenge, which could sense its environment, and make driving decisions based on this information would quite likely be called robot.
    • a sentient car, like the fictional KITT, which can take decisions, navigate freely and converse fluently with a human, is usually considered a robot.

    ASIMO is physically anthropomorphic


    Physical agency
    However, for many laymen, if a machine looks anthropomorphic or zoomorphic (e.g. ASIMO and Aibo), especially if it is limb-like (e.g. a simple robot arm), or has limbs, or can move around, it would be called a robot.
    For example, even if the following examples used the same control architecture:
    Interestingly, while a 3-axis CNC milling machine may have a very similar or identical control system to a robot arm, it is the arm which is almost always called a robot, while the CNC machine is usually just a machine. Having a limb can make all the difference. Having eyes too gives people a sense that a machine is aware (the eyes are the windows of the soul). However, simply being anthropomorphic is not sufficient for something to be called a robot. A robot must do something, whether it is useful work or not. So, for example, a rubber dog chew, shaped like ASIMO, would not be considered a robot.

    [edit] Official definitions and classifications of robots

    Countries have different definitions of what it means to be a robot.
    The Robotics Institute of America (RIA) officially recognizes four classes of robot:
    • A: Handling devices with manual control
    • B: Automated handling devices with predetermined cycles
    • C: Programmable, servo-controlled robots with continuous of point-to-point trajectories
    • D: Capable of Type C specifications, and also acquires information from the environment for intelligent motion
    In contrast, the Japanese Industrial Robot Association[12] (JIRA) recognizes as many as six classes:[13]
    • 1: Manual - Handling Devices actuated by an operator
    • 2: Fixed Sequence Robot
    • 3: Variable-Sequence Robot with easily modified sequence of control
    • 4: Playback Robot, which can record a motion for later playback
    • 5: Numerical Control Robots with a movement program to teach it tasks manually
    • 6: Intelligent robot: that can understand its environment and able to complete the task despite changes in the operation conditions

    Such variation makes it difficult to compare numbers of robots in different countries. Japan has so many robots partly because it counts more machines as robots. For this reason, the International Standards Organization gives a single definition to be used when counting the number of robots in each country.[14] International standard ISO 8373 defines a "robot" as:
    An automatically controlled, reprogrammable, multipurpose, manipulator programmable in three or more axes, which may be either fixed in place or mobile for use in industrial automation applications.[15]

    [edit] Other definitions of robot

    There is no one definition of robot which satisfies everyone, and many people have their own. [16] For example,
    Joseph Engelberger, a pioneer in industrial robotics, once remarked:
    I can't define a robot, but I know one when I see one.[17]
    The Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary defines "robot" as:
    A machine used to perform jobs automatically, which is controlled by a computer[18]

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    History

    Cadmus Sowing the Dragon's teeth, by Maxfield Parrish, 1908



    [edit] Ancient developments

    The idea of artificial people dates at least as far back as the ancient legends 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, included recipes for creating artificial snakes, scorpions, and humans in his coded Book of Stones. Jewish legend tells of the Golem, a clay creature 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.
    In ancient China, a curious account on automata is found in the Lie Zi text, written in the 3rd century BC. Within it there is a description of a much earlier encounter between King Mu of Zhou (1023-957 BC) and a mechanical engineer known as Yan Shi, an 'artificer'. The latter proudly presented the king with a life-size, human-shaped figure of his mechanical handiwork.
    The king stared at the figure in astonishment. It walked with rapid strides, moving its head up and down, so that anyone would have taken it for a live human being. The artificer touched its chin, and it began singing, perfectly in tune. He touched its hand, and it began posturing, keeping perfect time...As the performance was drawing to an end, the robot winked its eye and made advances to the ladies in attendance, whereupon the king became incensed and would have had Yen Shih [Yan Shi] executed on the spot had not the latter, in mortal fear, instantly taken the robot to pieces to let him see what it really was. And, indeed, it turned out to be only a construction of leather, wood, glue and lacquer, variously coloured white, black, red and blue. Examining it closely, the king found all the internal organs complete—liver, gall, heart, lungs, spleen, kidneys, stomach and intestines; and over these again, muscles, bones and limbs with their joints, skin, teeth and hair, all of them artificial...The king tried the effect of taking away the heart, and found that the mouth could no longer speak; he took away the liver and the eyes could no longer see; he took away the kidneys and the legs lost their power of locomotion. The king was delighted.[19]
    Concepts akin to a robot can be found as long ago as the 4th century BC, when the Greek mathematician Archytas of Tarentum postulated a mechanical bird he called "The Pigeon" which was propelled by steam. Yet another early automaton was the clepsydra, made in 250 BC by Ctesibius of Alexandria, a physicist and inventor from Ptolemaic Egypt.[20] Hero of Alexandria (10-70 AD) made numerous innovations in the field of automata, including one that allegedly could speak.

    Al-Jazari's programmable humanoid robots.



    [edit] Medieval developments

    Al-Jazari (1136-1206), an Arab Muslim inventor during the Artuqid dynasty, designed and constructed a number of automatic machines, including kitchen appliances, musical automata powered by water, and the first programmable humanoid robot in 1206. Al-Jazari's robot was a boat with four automatic musicians that floated on a lake to entertain guests at royal drinking parties. His mechanism had a programmable drum machine with pegs (cams) that bump into little levers that operate the percussion. The drummer could be made to play different rhythms and different drum patterns by moving the pegs to different locations.[21]
    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. [22] 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).

    [edit] Early modern developments

    The word robot was introduced by Czech writer Karel Čapek in his play R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots) premiered in 1920 (see also Robots in literature for details of the play; its robots were biological in nature, corresponding to the modern term android).[22] However, Čapek named his brother Josef Čapek, a painter and a writer, as the true inventor of the word.[23] The word is derived from the noun robota, meaning "forced labour, corvée, drudgery" in the Czech language and being the general root for work in other Slavic languages. (See Karel Čapek for more details).
    An early automaton was created 1738 by Jacques de Vaucanson, who created a mechanical duck that was able to eat and digest grain, flap its wings, and excrete. [22]
    The Japanese craftsman Hisashige Tanaka, known as "Japan's Edison," created an array of extremely complex mechanical toys, some of which were capable of serving tea, firing arrows drawn from a quiver, or even painting a Japanese kanji character. The landmark text Karakuri Zui (Illustrated Machinery) was published in 1796. (T. N. Hornyak, Loving the Machine: The Art and Science of Japanese Robots [New York: Kodansha International, 2006])
    In 1898 Nikola Tesla publicly demonstrated a radio-controlled (teleoperated) boat, similar to a modern ROV. Based on his patents U.S. Patent 613,809, U.S. Patent 723,188 and U.S. Patent 725,605 for "teleautomation", Tesla hoped to develop the "wireless torpedo" into a weapon system for the US Navy. (Cheney 1989) See also the PBS website article (with photos): Tesla - Master of Lightning

    [edit] Modern Developments

    In the 1930s, Westinghouse Electric Corporation made a humanoid robot known as Elektro, exhibited at the 1939 and 1940 World's Fairs.
    The first electronic autonomous robot was created by William Grey Walter at Bristol University, England in 1948. It was named Elsie, or the Bristol Tortoise. This robot could sense light and contact with external objects, and use these stimuli to navigate. [20]

    Unimate's PUMA arm



    George C. Devol circa 1982


    The first truly modern robot, digitally operated, programmable, and teachable, was invented by George Devol in 1954 and was ultimately called the Unimate. It is worth noting that not a single patent was cited against his original robotics patent (U.S. Patent 2,988,237). The first Unimate was personally sold by Devol to General Motors in 1960 and installed in 1961 in a plant in Trenton, New Jersey to lift hot pieces of metal from a die casting machine and stack them.[20]

    [edit] Robot Fatalities

    The first human to be killed by a robot was Robert Williams who died at a casting plant in Flat Rock, MI (Jan. 25, 1979). [24]
    A better known case is that of 37 year-old Kenji Urada, a Japanese factory worker, in 1981. Urada was performing routine maintenance on the robot, but neglected to shut it down properly, and was accidentally pushed into a grinding machine.[25]

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    Contemporary uses

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    Main articles: Industrial robot and Domestic robot
    Robots can be placed into roughly two categories based on the type of job they do:
    • Jobs which a robot can do better than a human. Here, robots can increase productivity, accuracy, and endurance.
    • Jobs which a human could do better than a robot, but it is desirable to remove the human for some reason. Here, robots free us from dirty, dangerous and dull tasks.
    [edit] Increased productivity, accuracy, and endurance


    Industrial robots doing vehicle under body assembly


    Jobs which require speed, accuracy, reliability or endurance can be performed far better by a robot than a human. Hence many jobs in factories which were traditionally performed by people are now robotized. This has led to cheaper mass-produced goods, including automobiles and electronics. Robots have now been working in factories for more than fifty years, ever since the Unimate robot was installed to automatically remove hot metal from a die casting machine. Since then, factory automation in the form of large stationary manipulators has become the largest market for robots. The number of installed robots has grown faster and faster, and today there are more than 800,000 worldwide (42% in Japan, 40% in the European Union and 18% in the USA).[31]

    Pick and Place robot, Contact Systems C5 Series[32]


    Some examples of factory robots:
    • Car production: This is now the primary example of factory automation. Over the last three decades automobile factories have become dominated by robots. A typical factory contains hundreds of industrial robots working on fully automated production lines - one robot for every ten human workers. On an automated production line a vehicle chassis is taken along a conveyor to be welded, glued, painted and finally assembled by a sequence of robot stations.
    • Packaging: Industrial robots are also used extensively for palletizing and packaging of manufactured goods, for example taking drink cartons from the end of a conveyor belt and placing them rapidly into boxes, or the loading and unloading of machining centers.
    • Electronics: Mass produced printed circuit boards (PCBs) are almost exclusively manufactured by pick and place robots, typically with "SCARA" manipulators, which remove tiny electronic components from strips or trays, and place them on to PCBs with great accuracy.[33] Such robots can place several components per second (tens of thousands per hour), far out-performing a human in terms of speed, accuracy, and reliability.[34]
    • Automated Guided Vehicles: Large mobile robots, following markers or wires in the floor, or using vision[35] or lasers, are used to transport goods around large facilities, such as warehouses, container ports, or hospitals.[36]
    Tasks such as these suit robots perfectly because the tasks can be accurately defined and must be performed the same every time. Very little feedback or intelligence is required, and the robots may need only the most basic of exteroceptors to sense things in their environment, if any at all.

    VersaTrax150 pipe inspection robot reaches inaccessible places



    [edit] Dirty, dangerous, dull or inaccessible tasks

    There are many jobs which a human could perform better than a robot but for one reason or another the human either does not want to do it or cannot be present to do the job. The job may be too boring to bother with, for example domestic cleaning; or be too dangerous, for example exploring inside a volcano[37]. These jobs are known as the "dull, dirty, and dangerous" jobs. Other jobs are physically inaccessible. For example, exploring another planet[38], cleaning the inside of a long pipe or performing laparoscopic surgery.[39]

    The Roomba domestic vacuum cleaner robot does a menial job

    • Robots in the home: As their price falls, and their performance and computational ability rises[40], making them both affordable and sufficiently autonomous, robots are increasingly being seen in the home where they are taking on simple but unwanted jobs, such as vacuum cleaning, floor cleaning and lawn mowing. While they have been on the market for several years, 2006 saw an explosion in the number of domestic robots sold. Currently, more domestic robots have been sold than any other single type of robot.[41] They tend to be relatively autonomous, usually only requiring a command to begin their job. They then proceed to go about their business in their own way. At such, they display a good deal of agency, and are considered true robots.
    • Telerobots: When a human cannot be present on site to perform a job because it is dangerous, far away, or inaccessible, teleoperated robots, or telerobots are used. Rather than following a predetermined sequence of movements a telerobot is controlled from a distance by a human operator. The robot may be in another room or another country, or may be on a very different scale to the operator. A laparoscopic surgery robot such as da Vinci allows the surgeon to work inside a human patient on a relatively small scale compared to open surgery, significantly shortening recovery time.[42] An interesting use of a telerobot is by the author Margaret Atwood, who has recently started using a robot pen (the Longpen) to sign books remotely. This saves the financial cost and physical inconvenience of traveling to book signings around the world.[43] Such telerobots may be little more advanced than radio controlled cars. Some people do not consider them to be true robots because they show little or no agency of their own.

    A laparoscopic robotic surgery machine.

    • Military robots: Teleoperated robot aircraft, like the Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, are increasingly being used by the military. These robots can be controlled from anywhere in the world allowing an army to search terrain, and even fire on targets, without endangering those in control.[44] Currently, these robots are all teleoperated, but others are being developed which can make decisions automatically; choosing where to fly or selecting and engaging enemy targets.[45] Hundreds of robots such as iRobot's 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 Ordnance Disposal (EOD).[46]
    • Elder Care: The population is aging in many countries, especially Japan, meaning that there are increasing numbers of elderly people to care for but relatively fewer young people to care for them.[47][48] Humans make the best carers, but where they are unavailable, robots are gradually being introduced.[49]


    [edit] Current Developments

    After five decades of development, robotics technology is approaching its infancy. Many of the promises of science fiction have yet to be realised, and our imagination still far exceeds our ability to manufacture and program. However, the technology is developing quite rapidly on all fronts, including intelligence, sensing, manipulation and actuation, walking gait and navigation.

    [edit] Components of Robots


    [edit] Actuation


    A robot leg, powered by Air Muscles.


    The actuators are the 'muscles' of a robot; the parts which convert stored energy into movement. By far the most popular actuators are electric motors, but there are many others, some of which are powered by electricity, while others use chemicals, or compressed air.
    • Motors: By far the vast majority of robots use electric motors, of which there are several kinds. DC motors, which are familiar to many people, spin rapidly when an electric current is passed through them. They will spin backwards if the current is made to flow in the other direction.
    • Stepper Motors: As the name suggests, stepper motors don't spin freely like DC motors, they rotate in steps of a few degrees at a time, under the command of a controller. This makes them easier to control, as the controller knows exactly how far they have rotated, without having to use a sensor. Therefore they are used on many robots and CNC machining centres.
    • Piezo Motors: An recent alternative to DC motors are piezo motors, also known as ultrasonic motors. These work on a fundamentally different principle, whereby tiny piezoceramic legs, vibrating many thousands of times per second, walk the motor round in a circle or a straight line.[50] The advantages of these motors are incredible nanometre resolution, speed and available force for their size.[51] These motors are already available commercially, and being used on some robots.[52][53]
    • Air Muscles: The air muscle is a simple yet powerful device for providing a pulling force. When inflated with compressed air, it contracts by up to 40% of its original length. The key to its behaviour is the braiding visible around the outside, which forces the muscle to be either long and thin, or short and fat. Since it behaves in a very similar way to a biological muscle, it can be used to construct robots with a similar muscle/skeleton system to an animal.[54] For example, the Shadow robot hand uses 40 air muscles to power its 24 joints.
    • Electroactive Polymers: These are a class of plastics which change shape in response to electrical stimulation.[55] They can be designed so that they bend, stretch or contract, but so far there are no EAPs suitable for commercial robots, as they tend to have low efficiency or are not robust.[56] Indeed, all of the entrants in a recent competition to build EAP powered arm wrestling robots, were beaten by a 17 year old girl.[57] However, they are expected to improve in the future, where they may be useful for microrobotic applications.[58]

    The Shadow robot hand system holding a lightbulb. Touch sensors in the fingertips allow it to apply gentle pressure.



    [edit] Manipulation

    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[59], while the arm is referred to as a manipulator.[60] Most robot arms have replacable 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.

    A simple gripper

    • Grippers: A common effector is the gripper. Usually 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, but can hold very large loads, and pick up any object with a smooth surface to suck on to.
    • General purpose effectors: Some advanced robots are beginning to use fully humanoid hands, like the Shadow Hand (right), or the Schunk hand.[61] These highly dexterous manipulators, with as many as 20 degrees of freedom and hundreds of tactile sensors[62] can be difficult to control. The computer must consider a great deal of information, and decide on the best way to manipulate an object from many possibilities.


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    Locomotion


    [Rolling Robots


    Segway in the Robot museum in Nagoya.


    For simplicity, most mobile robots have 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.[63]
    • 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. It weighs 95 pounds and is the approximate height and width of a person. Because of its long, thin shape and ability to maneuver in tight spaces, it has the potential to function better than current robots can in environments with people. [64]


    [edit] Walking Robots


    iCub robot, designed by the RobotCub Consortium


    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. Typically, these robots can walk well on flat floors, can occasionally walk up stairs. None can walk over rocky, uneven terrain. Some of the methods which have been tried are:
    • Zero Moment Point Technique: is the algorithm used by robots such as Honda's ASIMO. The robot's onboard computer tries to the keep the total inertial forces (the combination of earth's gravity and the acceleration and deceleration of walking), exactly opposed by the floor reaction force (the force of the floor pushing back on the robot's foot). In this way, the two forces cancel out, leaving no moment (force causing the robot to rotate and fall over).[65] 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.[66][67][68] 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.[69] Soon, the algorithm was generalised to two and four legs. A bipedal robot was demonstrated running and even performing somersaults.[70] A quadruped was also demonstrated which could trot, run, pace and bound.[71] For a full list of these robots, see the MIT Leg Lab Robots page.
    • Dynamic Balancing: 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 main stability.[72] This technique was recently demonstrated by Anybots' Dexter Robot,[73] which is so stable, it can even jump.[74]
    • Passive Dynamics: Perhaps the most promising approach being taken is to use the momentum of swinging limbs 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.[75]


    [Other methods of locomotion


    RQ-4 Global Hawk Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. No pilot means no windows.

    • Flying: A modern passenger airliner is essentially a flying robot, with two humans to attend it. The autopilot can control the plane for each stage of the journey, including takeoff, normal flight and even landing.[citation needed] Other flying robots are completely automated, and are known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). They can be smaller and lighter without a human pilot, and fly into dangerous territory for military surveillance missions. Some can even fire on targets under command. UAVs are also being developed which can fire on targets automatically, without the need for a command from a human. Other flying robots include cruise missiles, the Entomopter and the Epson micro helicopter robot.

    Two robot snakes. Left one has 32 motors, the right one 10.

    • Snake: Several snake robots have been successfully developed. Mimicking the way real snakes move, these robots can navigate very confined spaces, meaning they may one day be used to search for people trapped in collapsed buildings.[76] The Japanese ACM-R5ACM-R5 snake robot can even navigate both on land and in water.[77]
    • Skating: A small number of skating robots have been developed, one of which is a multi-mode walking and skating device, Titan VIII. It has four legs, with unpowered wheels, which can either step or roll[78]. Another robot, Plen, can use a miniature skateboard or rollerskates, and skate across a desktop.[79]
    • Swimming: It is calculated that some fish can achieve a propulsive efficiency greater than 90%. [80] Furthermore, they can accelerate and manoeuver far better than any man-made boat or submarine, and produce less noise and water disturbance. Therefore, many researchers studying underwater robots would like to copy this type of locomotion.[81] Notable examples are the Essex University Computer Science Robotic Fish[82], and the Robot Tuna built by the Institute of Field Robotics, to analyse and mathematically model thunniform motion.[83]


    [edit] Human Interaction


    Kismet (robot) 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 communicate with humans by talking, gestures and facial expressions, rather than a command-line interface. Although speech would be the most natural way for the human to communicate, it is quite unnatural for the robot. It will be quite a while before robots interact as naturally as the fictional C3P0.
    • 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. The same word, spoken by the same person may sound different depending on local acoustics, volume, the previous word, whether or not the speaker has a cold, etc.. It becomes even harder when the speaker has a different accent.[84] Nevertheless, great strides have been made in the field since Davis, Biddulph, and Balashek designed the first "voice input system" which recognized "ten digits spoken by a single user with 100% accuracy" in 1952.[85] Currently, the best systems can recognise continuous, natural speech, up to 160 words per minute, with an accuracy of 95%.[86]
    • 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. In the first case, the robot would be recognising gestures made by the human, and perhaps repeating them for confirmation. In the second case, the robot police officer would gesture to indicate "down the road, then turn right". It is quite likely that gestures will make up a part of the interaction between humans and robots.[87] A great many systems have been developed to recognise human hand gestures.[88]
    • 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. A robot should know how to approach a human, judging by their facial expression and body language. Whether the person is happy, frightened or crazy-looking affects the type of interaction expected of the robot. Likewise, a robot like Kismet can produce a range of facial expressions, allowing it to have meaningful social exchanges with humans.[89]
    • Personality: Many of the robots of science fiction have personality, and that is something which may or may not be desirable in the commercial robots of the future.[90] Nevertheless, researchers are trying to create robots which appear to have a personality[91][92]: i.e. they use sounds, facial expressions and body language to try to convey an internal state, which may be joy, sadness or fear. One commercial example is Pleo, a toy robot dinosaur, which can exhibit several apparent emotions.[93]

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