Robotics - the science and
technology of robots, their
design, manufacture, and
Requires a working
knowledge of electronics,
mechanics and software
accompanied by a large
working knowledge of
Asimo by Honda
"Robot" coined by science fiction
author Karel Čapek, a Nobel
Prize nominee, in his 1920
theater play R.U.R. (Rossum's
Robota meaning "self labor" or
"hard work" in Czech
“Robotics” was first used in print by
Isaac Asimov, in his science fiction
short story "Liar!", published in May
He was unaware that he was coining
the term for a new field.
In the Iliad, the god Hephaestus made talking handmaidens out of gold.
Archytas of Tarentum is credited with creating a mechanical Pigeon in 400 BC.
Al-Jazari (1136-1206), an Arab Muslim inventor, designed and constructed a
number of automatic machines, including kitchen appliances, musical automata
powered by water, and the first programmable humanoid robot in 1206.
One of the first recorded designs
of a humanoid robot was made by
Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) in
The first truly modern robot, digitally
operated, programmable, and
teachable, was invented by George
Devol in 1954 and was ultimately
called the Unimate.
A robot is a mechanical or virtual, artificial agent.
It is usually a system, which, by its appearance or movements, conveys a
sense that it has intent or agency of its own.
The word robot can refer to both physical robots and virtual
software agents, but the latter are usually referred to as bots to
A typical robot will have several, though not necessarily all of the following
is not 'natural' i.e. artificially created
can sense its environment, and manipulate or interact with things in it
has some ability to make choices based on the environment, often using
automatic control or a preprogrammed sequence
The structure of a robot
is usually mostly mechanical.
can be called a kinematic chain (like the
skeleton of the human body).
the chain is formed of links (its bones),
actuators (its muscles).
joints which can allow one or more
degrees of freedom.
Most contemporary robots use open serial
chains in which each link connects the one
before to the one after it.
These robots are called serial robots
(resemble human arm).
Some robots, such as the Stewart platform,
use closed parallel kinematic chains.
Structures that mimic the mechanical
structure of humans, various animals and
insects, are comparatively rare, but is an
active area of research (e.g. biomechanics).
Components of robots - Actuation
The actuators are the 'muscles' of a
the parts which convert stored energy
By far the most popular actuators are
Popular forms of actuators are:
Components of robots - Manipulation
This is the process of manipulating objects in
the external environment
pick up, modify, destroy or otherwise have an
‘Hands' of a robot are often referred to as
The arm is referred to as a manipulator.
Some manipulation technologies:
General purpose effectors: fully humanoid
hands, with as many as 20 degrees of freedom
and hundreds of tactile sensor
Components of robots - Locomotion
Usually have four wheels
Possibly, complex wheeled
robots, with only one or
Track Robot: Another type of
rolling robot is one that has tracks
like tanks, e.g. NASA's Urban
Two-wheeled balancing: Segway,
dynamic balancing algorithm, NASA's
Ballbot by Carnegie Mellon
University that balances on a ball
instead of legs or wheels
Components of robots - Locomotion
difficult and dynamic problem to
two legged robots already
none as robust as human
can walk well on flat floors, and
can occasionally walk up stairs
none can walk over rocky, uneven
Algorithms used - ZMP Technique,
Hopping, Dynamic Balancing,
Passive Dynamics, etc.
Other methods of locomotion
Flying – normal autopilot based
aeroplanes, Unmanned Aerial
Vehicles (UAV), cruise missiles,
Components of robots - Human interaction
Speech recognition – difficult
task for a computer, mostly
because of the great variability of
Gestures – e.g. human hand
Facial expression – a robot like
Kismet can produce a range of
facial expressions, allowing it to
have meaningful social exchanges
Personality – Aibo, Pleo, etc.
Robots are used in industrial,
military, exploration, home making,
and academic and research
Jobs which require increased
productivity, accuracy, and
Car production, Packaging, Electronics,
Automated Guided Vehicles, etc.
Dirty, dangerous, dull or inaccessible tasks
Robots in the home
Reconfigurable robots – robots which can alter their physical form to suit a particular
task, consisting of a small number of cube shaped units, which can move relative to
Nano robot car
The Mobile Servicing System or Canadarm2 is a robotic system and associated equipment on the
International Space Station that plays a key role in station assembly and maintenance: moving equipment
and supplies around the station, supporting astronauts working in space, and servicing instruments and
other payloads attached to the space station.
Used to create embedded applications for a robot
without depending "physically" on the actual robot
these applications can be transferred on the real robot (or
rebuilt) without modifications
Based on lower level middleware like Physics engine (ODE,
PhysX) and graphics rendering engine (OGRE)
The Microsoft Robotics Studio is a Windows-based
environment for robot control and simulation.
aimed at academic, hobbyist, and commercial developers
handles a wide variety of robot hardware
a visual programming tool, Microsoft Visual Programming Language, for creating and
debugging robot applications
web-based and windows-based interfaces
3D simulation (including hardware acceleration)
a lightweight services-oriented runtime
easy access to a robot's sensors and actuators via a .NET-based concurrent library
support for a number of languages including C# and Visual Basic .NET, JScript, and
Location technologies including GPS
Speech technologies including text to speech and speech recognition
Vision technologies including color tracking, line tracking, and simplified face and
hand gesture detection
Dangers and fears
Current robots don’t pose any threat
or danger to society.
Fears and concerns about robots have
been repeatedly expressed in a wide
range of books and films.
The principal theme is the robots'
intelligence and ability to act could
exceed that of humans
they could develop a conscience and a
motivation to take over or destroy the
Robots could be dangerous if
programmed to kill
programmed to be so smart that they
make their own software
build their own hardware to upgrade
change their own source code
Robot Fatalities - The first human to
be killed by a robot was Robert
Williams who died at a casting plant in
Flat Rock, MI (January 25, 1979).
Terminator II – Rise of the Machines
Samsung machine gun robot
Three Laws of Robotics
a set of three rules written by Isaac Asimov in his 1942 short story
First law: A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction,
allow a human being to come to harm.
Second law: A robot must obey orders given to it by human beings,
except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
Third law: A robot must protect its own existence as long as such
protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
Two more laws introduced later by other writers.
Fourth law: A robot must establish its identity as a robot in all cases.
Fifth law: A robot must know it is a robot.
Roboticists sometimes see the these laws as a future ideal.
Future of robotics
Robots may soon be
everywhere, in homes and
They could change the way
If true, many
philosophical, social, and
political questions will have
to be answered.
Some people may become
Cyborgs, with some parts
half biological and half
Future of robotics
2013-2014 — agricultural
robots (e.g. AgRobots).
2013-2017 — robots that care
for the elderly
2017 — medical robots
performing low-invasive surgery
2017-2019 — household robots
with full use.
??? — Nanorobots
Legal rights for robots?
According to research
commissioned by the UK Office of
Science and Innovation's Horizon
Scanning Centre, robots could
one day demand the same
citizen's rights as humans.
The rise of robots could put a
strain on resources and the
Robotics in 2020 and beyond
Home, factories, agriculture, building &
construction, undersea, space, mining,
hospitals and streets; for repair,
construction, maintenance, security,
entertainment, companionship, care.
Only our imagination is the limit.
Robot civilization is coming. Stay tuned.