Robot arms

Chapter Robot arms

Teach Yourself Electricity and Electronics Third Edition Book
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Summary of Contents

Teach Yourself Electricity and Electronics Third Edition Book

  • puter communicates with, and coordinates, the robots through wires or fiber optics orvia radio. In the drawing at B, each robot has its own controller, and there is no centralcomputer. Straight lines show possible paths of communication among robot con-trollers in both scenarios.Simple robots, like those in assembly lines, are not autonomous. The more complexthe task, and the more different things a robot must do, the more autonomy it will have.The most autonomous robots have AI. The ultimate autonomous robot will act like a liv-ing animal or human. Such a machine has not yet been developed, and it will probablybe at least the year 2050 before this level of sophistication is reached.AndroidsAn android is a robot, often very sophisticated, that takes a more or less human form.An android usually propels itself by rolling on small wheels in its base. The technol-ogy for fully functional arms is under development, but the software needed for theiroperation has not been made cost-effective for small robots. Legs are hard to designand engineer and aren’t really necessary; wheels or track drives work well enough.(Elevators can be used to allow a rolling android to get from floor to floor in a build-ing.) An android has a rotatable head equipped with position sensors. Binocular, orstereo, vision allows the android to perceive depth, thereby locating objects any-place within a large room. Speech recognition and synthesis are common.Because of their humanlike appearance, androids are ideal for use wherever thereare children. Androids, in conjunction with computer terminals, might someday replaceschool teachers in some situations. It is possible that the teaching profession will sufferbecause of this, but it is more likely that the opposite will be true. There will be a de-mand for people to teach children how to use robots. Robots might free human teach-ers to spend more time in areas like humanities and philosophy, while robots instructstudents in computer programming, reading, arithmetic, and other rote-memory sub-jects. Robotic teachers, if responsibly used, might help us raise children into sensitiveand compassionate adults.Robot armsRobot arms are technically called manipulators. Some robots, especially industrialrobots, are nothing more than sophisticated manipulators. A robot arm can be cate-gorized according to its geometry. Some manipulators resemble human arms. Thejoints in these machines can be given names like “shoulder,” “elbow,” and “wrist.”Other manipulators are so much different from human arms that these names don’tmake sense. An arm that employs revolute geometry is similar to a human arm, witha “shoulder,” “elbow,” and “wrist.” An arm with cartesian geometry is far differentfrom a human arm, and moves along axes (x, y, z) that are best described as “up-and-down,” “right-and-left,” and “front-to-back.”Degrees of freedomThe term degrees of freedom refers to the number of different ways in which a ro-bot manipulator can move. Most manipulators move in three dimensions, but oftenthey have more than three degrees of freedom.648 Robotics and artificial intelligence