Thursday, November 12, 2009

The History of Robots

Robotics means general study of electro-mechanic machine. It includes the manufacturing, design and testing of these virtual creations. The term “robotics” was originally coined by Isaac Asimov in his printed short story Liar! In 1941.A robot is an electrical device that serves as a virtual assistant. The term was coined by a Czech playwright Karel Capek in the 1920’s.

The very first robot to be manufactured and programmed to perform manual task was the Ultimate. In 1961 it was made to assist in lifting hot metal pieces from a machine. They were designed intentionally to perform too odd, too heavy and too dangerous jobs instead of humans

Robot Parts

Robots have been patterned after the human body. The physical make up consists of links which serves as bones, muscles for robots are known as actuators, a robot moves because of its muscles, which translates energy to movement, these are known as the actuators. The joints give flexibility of movement so most modern day robots functions like a human arm.

Unlike the human structure however, robots cannot function by themselves. For them to function, lead acid batteries serve as power sources. Other sources may include, compressed gases, compressed liquids, organic garbage and of course electricity.

The Effectors

Robots are created to help in human tasks. Therefore, hand reception must not be taken for granted. Sensitive sensors and electronic receptors are installed in the robot’s hand. These hands are known as effectors. The effectors function is to manipulate objects, or to drop, pick up, or grip certain objects. Mechanical grippers have only two fingers that close and open to take hold of things while vacuum grippers enable heavy equipment lifting. General Purpose effectors are highly sensitive effectors with tactile sensors; they have the closest reception to the human hand.

Robotic Movement

To maximize the robots function, they have to move from one place to another. Robots have been made to walk on two legs, apart from walking they can perform dynamic movement such as running, climbing up stairs and jumping.

In order for robots to perform sensitive tasks, they should be able to interact with human beings. Presently robots can process up to 160 words per minute with more or less 95% accuracy.

Human hand gestures can be recognized to signal new tasks or for confirmation. Facial expressions have been a focus in robot advancement. Soon enough they will be able to read these expressions and translate it to actions.

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