Outline of robotics

Outline of robotics

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to robotics:

Robotics – branch of technology that deals with the design, construction, operation, structural disposition, manufacture and application of robots.[1] Robotics is related to the sciences of electronics, engineering, mechanics, and software.[2] The word "robot" was introduced to the public by Czech writer Karel Čapek in his play R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots), published in 1920. The term "robotics" was coined by Isaac Asimov in his 1941 science fiction short-story "Liar!"[3]


Nature of robotics

Robotics can be described as:

Branches of robotics

Robotics incorporates aspects of many disciplines including electronics, engineering, mechanics, software and arts. Control of robots relies on many areas of robotics, including:[4]

Contributing fields

Additionally, contributing fields include the specific field(s) a particular robot is being designed for. Expertise in surgical procedures and anatomy, for instance would be required for designing robotic surgery applications.

Related fields


Types of robots

  • Aerobot – robot capable of independent flight on other planets.
  • Android – humanoid robot. Robot resembling the shape or form of a human.[5][6]
  • Automaton – early self-operating robot, performing exactly the same actions, over and over.
  • Autonomous vehicle – vehicle equipped with an autopilot system, which is capable of driving from one point to another without input from a human operator.
  • Cruise missile – robot-controlled guided missile that carries an explosive payload.
  • Cyborg – also known as a cybernetic organism, a being with both biological and artificial (e.g. electronic, mechanical or robotic) parts.
  • Explosive ordnance disposal robot – mobile robot designed to assess whether an object contains explosives; some carry detonators that can be deposited at the object and activated after the robot withdraws.[7]
  • Gynoid – humanoid robot designed to look like a human female.
  • Hexapod (walker) – A six-legged walking robot, using a simple insect-like locomotion.
  • Industrial robot – reprogrammable, multifunctional manipulator designed to move material, parts, tools, or specialized devices through variable programmed motions for the performance of a variety of tasks.[8]
  • Insect robot – small robot designed to imitate insect behaviors rather than complex human behaviors.[7]
  • Mobile Robot – self-propelled and self-contained robot that is capable of moving over a mechanically unconstrained course.[8]
  • Prosthetic robot – programmable manipulator or device replacing a missing human limb.[8]
  • Service robots – machines that extend human capabilities.[8]
  • Snakebot – robot or robotic component resembling a tentacle or elephant's trunk, where many small actuators are used to allow continuous curved motion of a robot component, with many degrees of freedom. This is usually applied to snake-arm robots, which use this as a flexible manipulator. A rarer application is the snakebot, where the entire robot is mobile and snake-like, so as to gain access through narrow spaces.
  • Surgical robotremote manipulator used for keyhole surgery
  • Walking robot – robot capable of locomotion by walking. Owing to the difficulties of balance, two-legged walking robots have so far been rare and most walking robots have used insect-like multilegged walking gaits.

By mode of locomotion

Mobile robots may be classified by:

  • The environment in which they travel:
    • Land or home robots. They are most commonly wheeled, but also include legged robots with two or more legs (humanoid, or resembling animals or insects).
    • Aerial robots are usually referred to as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)
    • Underwater robots are usually called autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs)
    • Polar robots, designed to navigate icy, crevasse filled environments
  • The device they use to move, mainly:

Robot components and design features

  • Actuatormotor that translates control signals into mechanical movement. The control signals are usually electrical but may, more rarely, be pneumatic or hydraulic. The power supply may likewise be any of these. It is common for electrical control to be used to modulate a high-power pneumatic or hydraulic motor.[7][8]
  • Delta robot – tripod linkage, used to construct fast-acting manipulators with a wide range of movement.
  • Drive Power – energy source or sources for the robot actuators.[8]
  • End-effector – accessory device or tool specifically designed for attachment to the robot wrist or tool mounting plate to enable the robot to perform its intended task. (Examples may include gripper, spot-weld gun, arc-weld gun, spray- paint gun, or any other application tools.)[8]
  • Forward chaining – process in which events or received data are considered by an entity to intelligently adapt its behavior.[7]
  • Haptic – tactile feedback technology using the operator's sense of touch. Also sometimes applied to robot manipulators with their own touch sensitivity.
  • Hexapod (platform) – movable platform using six linear actuators. Often used in flight simulators and fairground rides, they also have applications as a robotic manipulator.
See Stewart platform
  • Hydraulics – control of mechanical force and movement, generated by the application of liquid under pressure. c.f. pneumatics.
  • Kalman filter – mathematical technique to estimate the value of a sensor measurement, from a series of intermittent and noisy values.
  • Klann linkage – simple linkage for walking robots.
  • Manipulatorgripper. A robotic 'hand'.
  • Muting – deactivation of a presence-sensing safeguarding device during a portion of the robot cycle.[8]
  • Pendant – Any portable control device that permits an operator to control the robot from within the restricted envelope (space) of the robot.[8]
  • Pneumatics – control of mechanical force and movement, generated by the application of compressed gas. c.f. hydraulics.
  • Servo – motor that moves to and maintains a set position under command, rather than continuously moving.
  • Servomechanism – automatic device that uses error-sensing negative feedback to correct the performance of a mechanism.
  • Single Point of Control – ability to operate the robot such that initiation or robot motion from one source of control is possible only from that source and cannot be overridden from another source.[8]
  • Slow Speed Control – mode of robot motion control where the velocity of the robot is limited to allow persons sufficient time either to withdraw the hazardous motion or stop the robot.[8]
  • Stepper motor
  • Stewart platform – movable platform using six linear actuators, hence also known as a Hexapod.
  • Subsumption architecture – robot architecture that uses a modular, bottom-up design beginning with the least complex behavioral tasks.
  • Teach Mode – control state that allows the generation and storage of positional data points effected by moving the robot arm through a path of intended motions.[8]

Specific robots

  • Aura (satellite) – robotic spacecraft launched by NASA in 2004 which collects atmospheric data from Earth.[7]
  • Chandra X-ray Observatory – robotic spacecraft launched by NASA in 1999 to collect astronomical data.[7]
  • Robonaut – development project conducted by NASA to create humanoid robots capable of using space tools and working in similar environments to suited astronauts.
  • Unimate – the first off-the-shelf industrial robot, of 1961.

Real robots by region

Robots from Australia
Robots from Britain
Robots from Canada
  • Canadarm2
  • Dextre
  • ANATROLLER Dusty Duct Destroyer –
  • ANAT AMI-100 –
Robots from China
Robots from Croatia
Robots from France
Robots from Germany
  • Marvin
  • Care-Providing Robot FRIEND –
Robots from Italy
Robots from Japan
Robots from Mexico
Robots from the Netherlands
Robots from New Zealand
Robots from Portugal
  • RAPOSA –
Robots from Qatar
Robots from Russia (or former Soviet Union)
Robots from South Korea
Robots from Spain
  • Maggie –
  • REEM-B
  • Tico –
Robots from Switzerland
Robots from the United States of America
Robots from Vietnam
  • TOPIO –
International robots

Fictional robots by region

Fictional robots from the United Kingdom
From British literature
From British radio
From British television
Fictional robots from the Czech Republich
From Czech plays
Fictional robots from France
From French ballets
From French literature
Fictional robots from Germany
From German film
From German literature
Fictional robots from Japan
From anime
From manga
Fictional robots from the United States of America
From American comics
From American film
From American literature
From American television

History of robotics

Robotics development and development tools

Robotics principles

  • Artificial intelligence – intelligence of machines and the branch of computer science that aims to create it.
  • Degrees of freedom – extent to which a robot can move itself; expressed in terms of Cartesian coordinates (x, y, and z) and angular movements (yaw, pitch, and roll).[7]
  • Emergent behaviour – complicated resultant behaviour that emerges from the repeated operation of simple underlying behaviours.
  • Envelope (Space), Maximum – volume of space encompassing the maximum designed movements of all robot parts including the end-effector, workpiece, and attachments.[8]
  • Humanoid – resembling a human being in form, function, or both.
  • Three Laws of Robotics – coined by the science fiction author Isaac Asimov, one of the first serious considerations of the ethics and robopsychological aspects of robotics.
  • Tool Center Point (TCP) – origin of the tool coordinate system.[8]
  • Uncanny valley – hypothesized point at which humanoid robot behavior and appearance is so close to that of actual humans as to cause revulsion.

Applications of robotics

  • Combat, robot – hobby or sport event where two or more robots fight in an arena to disable each other. This has developed from a hobby in the 1990s to several TV series worldwide.

Robotics organizations

  • FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) – organization founded by inventor Dean Kamen in 1989 in order to develop ways to inspire students in engineering and technology fields. It founded various robotics competitions for elementary and high school students.

People influential in the field of robotics

  • Asimov, Isaac – science fiction author who coined the term "robotics", and wrote the three laws of robotics.
  • Čapek, KarelCzech author who coined the term "robot" in his 1921 play, Rossum's Universal Robots.

Robotics in popular culture

See also


  1. ^ "robotics". Oxford Dictionaries. http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/view/entry/m_en_gb0714530#m_en_gb0714530. Retrieved 4 February 2011. 
  2. ^ "Industry Spotlight: Robotics from Monster Career Advice". http://content.monster.com/articles/3472/18567/1/industry/12/home.aspx. Retrieved 2007-08-26. 
  3. ^ According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the term "robotics" was first used in the short story "Liar!" published in the May, 1941 issue of Astounding Science Fiction.
  4. ^ http://robots.newcastle.edu.au/
  5. ^ V. Daniel Hunt (1983), "Appendix A - Glossary", Industrial robotics handbook, Industrial Press Inc., ISBN 9780831111489 
  6. ^ Helena Domaine (2006), "Glossary", Robotics, Lerner Publications, ISBN 9780822521129 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h Joseph A. Angelo (2007). Robotics: a reference guide to the new technology. Libraries Unlimited. pp. 258–327. ISBN 9781573563376. http://books.google.com/books?id=73kNFV4sDx8C&pg=PA258&dq=robotics+glossary+terms&hl=en&ei=IN1CTcm1DYScgQfQoPyDAg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CEQQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q&f=false. Retrieved 28 January 2011. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "OSHA Technical Manual - SECTION IV: CHAPTER 4 - INDUSTRIAL ROBOTS AND ROBOT SYSTEM SAFETY". Occupational Safety and Health Administration. http://www.osha.gov/dts/osta/otm/otm_iv/otm_iv_4.html#app_iv:4_1. Retrieved 2011-01-28. 
  9. ^ Rail track and Linear track (PDF)

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