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Thread: What is a "robot"????

  1. #1
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    What is a "robot"????

    Let's have some fun If you are asked, "What is a robot?" how do you answer? What, to you, defines what a robot is?

    Debate nice in here, remember that no one is wrong or right. It's all subjective opinion.

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    Re: What is a "robot"????

    Let me go out on a limb and give my multi-point definition:

    - It doesn't occur in nature - ie. created by [likely a] human, or another robot (ACK! Recursive definition alert!)

    - It can sense and interact with/manipulate its environment

    - Appears to make "choices" based upon its sensing/interaction with its environment

    - Makes coordinated movement around one or more axis based on its choices and/or sensing and/or interaction with its environment. These movements should at least appear to have intent.

    Boom. There. I'm goin' with that!
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    Re: What is a "robot"????

    Very nice.

    My stab @ Robot:

    I would define a Robot as any machine that accomplishes a defined task under its own power that is teleoperated, remotely controlled and/or autonomously controlled.
    Last edited by MYKL; 07-16-2008 at 02:19 PM.
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  4. #4

    Re: What is a "robot"????

    The term has a very, very broad definition whether the purists like it or not.

    I have a few criteria:

    1. A robot must work. A design, a pile of parts, or an unfinished build are not robots.
    2. A robot must have a microcontroller. An RC receiver is not a microcontroller. If RC, the receiver must integrate with a microcontroller for processing.
    3. A robot must have at least one mechanical moving part, and the action must be controlled by the microcontroller. A computer by itself is not a robot.
    4. It has to look like a robot. A microcontroller with a battery and servo dangling off is not a robot.

    Here are some things that don't disqualify robots:

    1. Having RC functions.
    2. Being tethered.
    3. Not being autonomous.
    4. Not having an onboard brain.

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    Re: What is a "robot"????

    RC receivers have microcontrollers in them. They qualify inclusively under your rule that disqualifies them.

    So, if you put a PC on a robot, it's no longer a robot because it doesn't have an underpowered computer on it? (ie. microcontroller vs microcomputer) - do you mean "microprocessor" rather than "microcontroller"?
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  6. #6

    Re: What is a "robot"????

    Quote Originally Posted by Adrenalynn View Post
    RC receivers have microcontrollers in them. They qualify inclusively under your rule that disqualifies them.
    No, they don't, because R/C is for manual control. It's not fully autonomous. Simply having a microcontroller or microprocesor on it, does not qualify a machine as a robot. The robot has to be using the micro for autonomous control. Microprocessors or microcontrollers in an R/C receiver do not qualify.

    8-Dale
    Last edited by LinuxGuy; 07-16-2008 at 03:08 PM.
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    Re: What is a "robot"????

    Aha. See, he didn't say "autonomous" - YOU'RE saying "autonomous". In fact, he specifically said that not being autonomous DOESN'T disqualify them. So now you need to come up with your own definition.

    Here are some things that don't disqualify robots:

    1. Having RC functions.
    2. Being tethered.
    3. Not being autonomous.
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    Re: What is a "robot"????

    I think the definition of what makes a robot is still being defined, and will continue to be as technology progresses.

    A fully autonomous, self aware robot isn't even achievable with today's technology, thus nothing being built right now could be classified as a true robot by the 'purists' definition.
    Last edited by DresnerRobotics; 07-16-2008 at 03:18 PM.

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    Re: What is a "robot"????

    When you move your joystick and/or steering wheel on your control interface to cause a reaction in your R/C creation do you physically turn the stick or wheel at the same rpms as the motor actuating the servo?

    If not, how does the servo motor achive the speed/direction it needs to accomplish the task you wish it to perform?

    Is it not through a series of electronic controls that autonomously make speed/direction changes?

    A servo is a Robot.
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    Re: What is a "robot"????

    Quote Originally Posted by MYKL View Post
    When you move your joystick and/or steering wheel on your control interface to cause a reaction in your R/C creation do you physically turn the stick or wheel at the same rpms as the motor actuating the servo?

    If not, how does the servo motor achive the speed/direction it needs to accomplish the task you wish it to perform?

    Is it not through a series of electronic controls that autonomously make speed/direction changes?

    A servo is a Robot.

    I can see this. What is input? A joystick on a remote control unit could be defined as a sensor, and a purely remote operated robot simply reacts to input from that sensor. A robot that wanders around randomly via IRPD or sonar and reacts to the input from those sensors is really no more complex.

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