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History of Robotics

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  • This presentation offers students lots of opportunities to experiment with different types of robots and to learn how robots are used. The presenter will usually start by talking a bit about their own experiences in college, engineering or industry with robots. Then discuss some or all of the following: History of robots including the origin of the term "robot" What is a robot and how is it different from other machines? How robots are used in industry and science today How robots work and receive commands What robots may be designed to do in the future
  • Mercifully, he died before the Gestapo got to him for his anti-Nazi sympathies in 1938. The use of the word Robot was introduced into his play R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots) which opened in Prague in January 1921. The play was an enormous success and productions soon opened throughout Europe and the US. R.U.R's theme, in part, was the dehumanization of man in a technological civilization. You may find it surprising that the robots were not mechanical in nature but were created through chemical means. In fact, in an essay written in 1935, Capek strongly fought that this idea was at all possible and, writing in the third person, said: "It is with horror, frankly, that he rejects all responsibility for the idea that metal contraptions could ever replace human beings, and that by means of wires they could awaken something like life, love, or rebellion. He would deem this dark prospect to be either an overestimation of machines, or a grave offence against life." [The Author of Robots Defends Himself - Karl Capek, Lidove noviny, June 9, 1935, translation: Bean Comrada] There is some evidence that the word robot was actually coined by Karl's brother Josef, a writer in his own right. In a short letter, Capek writes that he asked Josef what he should call the artifical workers in his new play. Karel suggests Labori, which he thinks too 'bookish' and his brother mutters "then call them Robots" and turns back to his work, and so from a curt response we have the word robot. R.U.R is found in most libraries. The most common English translation is that of P. Selver from the 1920's which is not completely faithful to the original. A more recent and accurate translation is in a collection of Capek's writings called Towards the Radical Center published by Catbird Press in North Haven, CT. tel: 203.230.2391
  • The word 'robotics' was first used in Runaround , a short story published in 1942. I, Robot , a collection of several of these stories, was published in 1950. Asimov also proposed his three "Laws of Robotics", and he later added a 'zeroth law'. Law Zero: A robot may not injure humanity, or, through inaction, allow humanity to come to harm. Law One: A robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm, unless this would violate a higher order law. Law Two: A robot must obey orders given it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with a higher order law. Law Three: A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with a higher order law. An interesting article on this subject: Clarke, Roger, "Asimov's Laws for Robotics: Implications for Information Technology", Part 1 and Part 2, Computer, December 1993, pp. 53-61 and Computer, January 1994, pp.57-65. The article is an interesting discussion of his Laws and how they came to be in his books, and the implications for technology today and in the future.
  • Images: Upper right: Terminator Left: C3PO and R2D2 from Star Wars Duscussion: 1956 In 1956, George Devil and Joseph Engelberger formed the world's first robot company. Devol predicted that the industrial robot would "help the factory operator in a way that can be compared to business machines as an aid to the office worker". A few years later, in 1961, the very first industrial robot was "employed" in a General Motors automobile factory in New Jersey. Since 1980, there has been an expansion of industrial robots into non-automotive industries. The main factor responsible for this growth has been the technical improvements in robots due to advancement in microelectronics ("ME") and computers. Today Fully functioning androids are many years away due to the many problems that must be solved. However, real, working, sophisticated robots are in use today and they are revolutionizing the workplace. These robots do not resemble the romantic android concept of robots. They are industrial manipulators and are really computer controlled "arms and hands". Industrial robots are so different to the popular image that it would be easy for the average person not to recognize one.
  • Image Descriptions: Left bottom picture is an automotive welder robot Right bottom is a handicap helper robot arm opening a microwave oven.
  • Industrial robots are so different to the popular image that it would be easy for the average person not to recognize one. Have the students think of a robot they would see in their daily lives. Examples can be: video arcade game (toy pick up devices) automated “Star Tours” type rides
  • Hazbots have been used in crime prevention programs and industrial areas where hazards to humans are present. Have students think of places where hazbots could be used. Interesting web links: http://spacelink.nasa.gov/NASA.Projects/Space.Science/Robotics/Robotics.Images/.index.html http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/photo_gallery/
  • Benefits of Robots It is true that robots can cause unemployment by replacing human workers but robots also create jobs: robot technicians, salesmen, engineers, programmers and supervisors. The benefits of robots to industry include improved management control and productivity and consistently high quality products. Industrial robots can work tirelessly night and day on an assembly line without an loss in performance. Consequently, they can greatly reduce the costs of manufactured goods. As a result of these industrial benefits, countries that effectively use robots in their industries will have an economic advantage on world market.
  • Hazbots can also be used for fire fighting, and personal protection devices. Hazbots are small enough to maneuver in tight surroundings. The vehicle has a "tank-like" track drive with articulated front and rear sections to enable it to climb stairs and other obstacles. Welch explains HAZBOT III's utility, saying, "For hazardous materials handling you want something that has dexterity. HAZBOT III is constructed for the small laboratory environment where it has to be able to unlock and open doors, get inside and get a visual picture of the total environment." A six-degree-of-freedom manipulator with a 30-pound lift capability allows the robot to perform a variety of tasks including the unlocking and opening of doors. The manipulator also incorporates a parallel jaw gripper with a 60-pound squeeze force and a gas detector to aid in material identification
  • au·ton·o·mous (ô-t n -m s) adj. Not controlled by others or by outside forces; independent: an autonomous judiciary; an autonomous division of a corporate conglomerate. Independent in mind or judgment; self-directed. Independent of the laws of another state or government; self-governing. Of or relating to a self-governing entity: an autonomous legislature. Self-governing with respect to local or internal affairs: an autonomous region of a country. Autonomic. [From Greek autonomos: auto-, auto- + nomos, law ; see nem- in Indo-European Roots.]
  • The Mars 2003 mission will consist of two identical rovers designed to cover roughly 100 meters each martian day. Each rover will carry five scientific instruments and an abrasion tool used to determine the history of climate and water on Mars where conditions may once have been favorable to life. Interesting web links: http://observe.arc.nasa.gov/nasa/fun/mars/mars.html http://eto.msfc.nasa.gov/
  • The Cassini Mission to Saturn is an international venture involving NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), the Italian Space Agency (ASI), and several separate European academic and industrial partners. The mission is managed for NASA by JPL. The spacecraft carries a sophisticated complement of scientific sensors to support 27 different investigations to probe the mysteries of the Saturn system. A seven-year journey to the ringed planet Saturn began at 4:43 a.m. EDT on October 15, 1997, with the liftoff of a Titan IVB/Centaur carrying the Cassini orbiter and its attached Huygens probe.
  • Robotics researchers develop robotic systems for a variety of purposes, including space exploration and especially, heavy industry. They study how robots work, improve existing robotic systems, and work on new technologies for the next generation of robots. In developing robots for specific tasks, researchers sometimes build models which mathematically represent the motion of a robot and its components. Using these models, scientists and engineers can test different behaviors without incurring the expense of actually building the robot until all of its specifications are determined. Currently robots are used for: automating parts of the manufacturing process in many industries, especially to accomplish tasks that are hazardous or repetitious for humans to do performing "fetch and carry" tasks in hospitals and nursing homes cleaning hazardous waste in nuclear plants inspecting and classifying manufactured projects, usually for quality control purposes searching carry-on luggage at airport security checkpoints searching trucks, trailers and other containers for unauthorized goods. Some future applications for robots that are now being explored include: excavating and grading land climbing and painting rusty utility towers working in conjunction with live doctors to perform hip replacement surgery putting up and maintaining space stations. Interesting Web links: http://www.tcm.org/html/resources/cmp-careers/cnc-robotics.html
  • Robotics JPL's Robotics Program  - Works toward enabling more efficient, lower cost missions dedicated to planetary surface and solar system exploration, Earth observations from space, astrophysical experiments in space and on the Moon, and the extension of human capabilities in space. Intelligent Mechanisms Group (IMG)  - Develops and advances the technology of planetary and space-based robotic systems. They build intelligent mechanisms and then test them in realistic field experiments. NASA Space Telerobotics Program  - This program is an element of NASA's ongoing research program, under the responsibility of the Office of Space Science. The program is designed to develop telerobotic capabilities for remote mobility and manipulation, by merging robotics and teleoperations and creating new telerobotics technologies.
  • Au-ton-o-mous adj. Not controlled by others or by outside forces; independent: an autonomous judiciary; an autonomous division of a corporate conglomerate. Independent in mind or judgment; self-directed. Independent of the laws of another state or government; self-governing. Of or relating to a self-governing entity: an autonomous legislature. Self-governing with respect to local or internal affairs: an autonomous region of a country. Autonomic. [From Greek autonomos: auto-, auto- + nomos, law; see nem- in Indo-European Roots.]
  • Transcript

    • 1. Robotics History 1920 The idea of a robot is not new. For thousands of years man has been imagining intelligent mechanized devices that perform human-like tasks. He has built automatic toys and mechanisms and imagined robots in drawings, books, plays and science fiction movies.
    • 2. Robotics History
      • In fact, the term "robot" was first used in 1920 in a play called "R.U.R." Or "Rossum's universal robots" by the Czech writer Karel Capek. The plot was simple: man makes robot then robot kills man! Many movies that followed continued to show robots as harmful, menacing machines.
        • Where did the word 'robot' come from?
      What is the definition of a 'robot'? "A reprogrammable, multifunctional manipulator designed to move material, parts, tools, or specialized devices through various programmed motions for the performance of a variety of tasks" Robot Institute of America, 1979
    • 3. Robotics History
      • The term 'robotics' refers to the study and use of robots. The term was coined and first used by the Russian-born American scientist and writer Isaac Asimov (born Jan. 2, 1920, died Apr. 6, 1992). Asimov wrote prodigiously on a wide variety of subjects. He was best known for his many works of science fiction.
      Robotics Terminology The most famous include I Robot (1950), The Foundation Trilogy (1951-52), Foundation's Edge (1982), and The Gods Themselves (1972), which won both the Hugo and Nebula awards. He also wrote the three “Laws of Robotics for which he is also famous.
    • 4.
      • More recent movies, however, like the 1977 "star wars", portray robots such as "C3PO" and "R2D2" as man's helpers. "Number five" in the movie "short circuit" and C3PO actually take on a human appearance. These robots,
      • which are made to look.
      • human are called "androids".
      Robotics History
    • 5.
      • However, robots of today are not exactly the walking, talking intelligent machines of of movies, stories and our dreams. Today, we find most robots working for people in factories, warehouses, and laboratories. In the future, robots may show up in other places: our schools, our homes, even our bodies.
      Robotics History
    • 6.
      • Today fully functioning androids are many years away due to the many problems that must be solved. However, real, working, sophisticated robots are in use today and they are revolutionizing the workplace. These robots do not resemble the romantic android concept of robots. They are industrial manipulators and are really computer controlled "arms and hands".
      Robotics History
    • 7.
      • Robots have the potential to change our economy, our health, our standard of living, our knowledge and the world in which we live. As the technology progresses, we are finding new ways to use robots.
      Robotics History Each new use brings new hope and possibilities, but also potential dangers and risks.
    • 8.
      • Robots offer specific benefits to workers, industries and countries. If introduced correctly, industrial robots can improve the quality of life by freeing workers from dirty, boring, dangerous and heavy labor.
      Robotics History Benefits of Robots
    • 9.
        • Many robots for bio-production have been developed in the world and it is predicted that they will be commercialized in the 21st century, since some of them were already commercialized by some companies in Japan and European countries. A tomato and cherry tomato harvesting robot, a cucumber harvesting robot, strawberry harvesting robots, a multi-operation robot to work in grapevine yard, and a chrysanthemum cutting sticking robot.
      Robotics History
        • Robotics for bio-production
    • 10.
      • HAZBOT III is part of JPL's Emergency Response Robotics Project, a five-year effort begun in 1991 to apply robotics technology to the safe handling of hazardous materials. Robots such as HAZBOT also hold potential for use in mining and law enforcement. "It's almost standard now to have robots on bomb squads in major cities, but it took several years for the idea to catch on," said Richard Welch, task manager of Emergency Response Robotics at JPL.
      Robotics History EMT
    • 11.
      • Future missions to space will include many robotic vehicles designed to perform specific tasks both autonomous and remote controlled.
      Robotics History And Future
    • 12.
      • The Mars 2003 Rover Project is designed to have two scientific rovers going to Mars in 2003. Each rover will search for evidence of liquid water that may have been present in Mars past. The rovers will be identical to each other, but will land at different regions of Mars.
      Robotics History And Future
    • 13.
      • NASA's Cassini spacecraft successfully launched on October 15, 1997. It’s robotic rover is expected to land on Saturn in October of 2004.
      Robotics History
      • The planet Saturn, with its famous icy rings, and its enigmatic moon, Titan, are the prime scientific targets of the international Cassini mission, the most ambitious and far-reaching planetary exploration ever mounted.
    • 14.
      • Enter the exciting world of robotics here! Learn here how NASA is using robotics and telerobotics to learn more about Earth and other planets.
      Robotics History Jobs
    • 15.
      • NASA Programs:
      • JPL's Robotics Program
      • Intelligent Mechanisms Group (IMG)
      • NASA Space Telerobotics Program
      • Other Careers
      • Automation
      • Animatronics
      • Bioscience
      • Mechanical Engineer
      Robotics History Jobs
    • 16.
      • Articulated - Jointed arm.
      • End Effector - Device at the end of a robot arm that is used to grasp or engage objects.
      • Degrees of freedom - Each plane in which a robot can maneuver.
      • Robot - Mechanical device that performs human tasks, either automatically or by remote control. (From the Czech word robota.)
      • Robotics - Study and application of robot technology.
      • Telerobotics - Robot that is operated remotely.
      Robotics History Robotic Terminology
    • 17. Robotics Glossary
      • Au-ton-o-mous adj.
          • Not controlled by others or by outside forces; independent: an autonomous judiciary; an autonomous division of a corporate conglomerate.
          • Independent in mind or judgment; self-directed.
            • Independent of the laws of another state or government; self-governing.
            • Of or relating to a self-governing entity: an autonomous legislature.
            • Self-governing with respect to local or internal affairs: an autonomous region of a country.
      • Click here to return to Slide 10
    • 18.
      • android An"droid ([a^]n"droid),
      • A machine or automaton in the form of a human being.
        • Possessing human features. n.
        • An automaton that is created from biological materials and resembles a human being. Also called humanoid.
      Robotics Glossary
      • Click here to return to Slide 4