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What is a robot? There’s no precise definition, but by general agreement a robot is a programmable machine that imitates the actions or appearance of an intelligent creature–usually a human. To qualify as a robot, a machine has to be able to do two things: 1) get information from its surroundings, and 2) do something physical–such as move or manipulate objects.
<ul><li>The word robot comes from the Czech word robota, meaning drudgery or slave-like labor. It was first used to describe fabricated workers in a fictional 1920s play by Czech author Karel Capek called Rossum’s Universal Robots. </li></ul>
Leonardo da Vinci drew plans for a mechanical man in 1495. <ul><li>This robot is </li></ul><ul><li>based on </li></ul><ul><li>drawings by </li></ul><ul><li>Leonardo da </li></ul><ul><li>Vinci </li></ul>
<ul><li>Public fascination with robotics peaked in the early 1980’s, spurred in part by movies like Star Wars , which featured robots C3-PO and R2-D2 as helpful sidekicks to the their human masters. But interest sagged in a few short years as people discovered that getting robots to do things that we think of as easy–like moving across a cluttered room–is surprisingly difficult. </li></ul>
This robot is placing chocolates in boxes <ul><li>As mechanical workers, robots are ideal for jobs requiring repetitive, precise movements. Human workers need a comfortable working environment, salaries, coffee breaks, sleep, and vacations. Robots don’t. Human workers get bored doing the same thing over and over, boredom that leads to fatigue and costly mistakes. Robots don’t get bored. </li></ul>
Where are most robots found? Car Factories More than 50% of all robots are found in car factories
Certain dangerous jobs are best done by robots. Bomb disposal is one of these. Guided remotely using video cameras, robots like the Mini-Andros can be sent to investigate–and defuse–possible bombs.
Robug III is designed to operate in radioactive areas, like the core of a nuclear reactor. With eight legs and vacuum gripper feet, Robug III can walk over obstacles and even climb walls. Strong for its small size, it can drag loads of over 220 pounds. Mounted video cameras let human operators see and assess any damage.
<ul><li>This robot is designed to help with heart surgery. Guess what its name is? </li></ul>da Vinci
Robot Wars is a combat game that pits robot against robot in a fight to the death. The radio-controlled machines are armed with drills, saws, projectiles and other means of destruction. Victory goes to the robot that renders it opponent immobile. How is the middle one dangerous?
A spacecraft screams downward through the pink Martian sky. It bounces to rest on the rocky red soil, cushioned by a grape-like cluster of giant white airbags. The airbags are sucked back into the craft, and out rolls a six-wheeled robot. Scanning the terrain with laser eyes, it spies a rock, rolls toward it, and begins to drill. <ul><li>http://www.thetech.org/robotics/universal/page05.html </li></ul>
<ul><li>Research scientist Hans Moravec sees a 4-stage evolution towards universal robots, robots with human-level intelligence flexible enough to do a broad range of tasks. Key to this evolution is a steady increase in computer power, defined in terms of millions of instructions per second, or MIPS. </li></ul>
Year: 2010 Processing power: 3,000 MIPS Intelligence equivalent: Lizard Robots will have basic navigation skills and could be used for cleaning or delivery and take on expanded roles in factories.
Year: 2020 Processing power: 100,000 MIPS Intelligence equivalent: Mouse Robots will be able to learn on the job, adapting their own programs to perform more successfully. Robots will do the same jobs as before, but more reliably and flexibly.
Question <ul><li>If you could have a robot that would do any task you like, a companion to do all the work that you prefer not to, would you? And if so, how do you think this might affect you as a person? </li></ul>
Question <ul><li>Are there any kind of robots that shouldn't be created? Or that you wouldn't want to see created? Why? </li></ul>
Assignment <ul><li>Think of a job that you would like for a robot to do for you. Be ready to discuss whether this is a robot that could and should be built. </li></ul><ul><li>Name your robot </li></ul><ul><li>Draw a picture of your robot (color optional) </li></ul><ul><li>Explain what your robot will do </li></ul><ul><li>Could your robot be built </li></ul><ul><li>Should your robot be built </li></ul>