robotics faq

Welcome to our Robotics and AI Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page. On this page, we take the time to try and answer some of the most common and basic questions you may have about robotics and AI.

Take a look below and send us any questions you may have if me missed anything major!

What does robotics mean?

Robotics is a combined branch of engineering and science which deals with the study of development, operation, and control of intelligent robots. Robotics is a part of Artificial intelligence. Robotics technology is used for the development of machines which can perform a complex human task in a very efficient way.

What is a Robot?

A robot is a programmable machine which is capable of doing complex tasks automatically with precision and efficiency. The robots can be guided by external or internal input to perform any work.

A robot can be designed as resembled as human or it can be designed as a standard machine look alike.

When did Robots come into existence?

The first industrial modern robots were the Unimates developed by George Devol and Joe Engleberger in the late 50’s and early 60’s. The first patents were by Devol for parts transfer machines. Engleberger formed Unimation and was the first to market robots. As a result, Engleberger has been called the ‘father of robotics.’

Modern industrial arms have increased in capability and performance through controller and language development, improved mechanisms, sensing, and drive systems. In the early to mid 80’s the robot industry grew very fast primarily due to large investments by the automotive industry. The quick leap into the factory of the future turned into a plunge when the integration and economic viability of these efforts proved disastrous. The robot industry has only recently recovered to mid-80’s revenue levels. In the mean time there has been an enormous shakeout in the robot industry. In the US, for example, only one US company, Adept, remains in the production industrial robot arm business. Most of the rest went under, consolidated, or were sold to European and Japanese companies.

In the research community the first automata were probably Grey Walter’s machina (1940’s) and the John’s Hopkins beast. Teleoperated or remote controlled devices had been built even earlier with at least the first radio controlled vehicles built by Nikola Tesla in the 1890’s. Tesla is better known as the inventor of the induction motor,
AC power transmission, and numerous other electrical devices. Tesla had also envisioned smart mechanisms that were as capable as humans.

An excellent biography of Tesla is Margaret Cheney’s Tesla, man out of time, Published by Prentice-Hall, c1981.

SRI’s Shakey navigated highly structured indoor environments in the late 60’s and Moravec’s Stanford Cart was the first to attempt natural outdoor scenes in the late 70’s. From that time there has been a proliferation of work in autonomous driving machines that cruise at highway speeds and navigate outdoor terrains in commercial applications.

What was the first industrial robot?

The first industrial robot was “Unimate.” It was manufactured by American inventor George Devol in 1950 and used in 1954.

It was produced for the transportation of die casting form an assembly line and then welding on auto bodies.

What are the Laws of the robotics?

The “Three Laws of the robotics” also known as “Asimov’s law,” given by the author Isaac Asimov. The three laws are given below:

  • First law: A the robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  • Second law: A the robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  • Third law: A the robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.

After that Asimov also added one more law which precedes the other laws:

  • Zeroth law: A the robot may not harm humanity, or, by inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.

List the name of the areas where the robotics can be applied?

Now a day’s robotics can be applied to most of the areas to provide efficient work with the highest precision and in less time.

So here is a brief overview of some areas where robots can be applied in day to day life as well.

  • Military
  • Industrial
  • Agriculture
  • Domestic
  • Medical
  • Research

There are many more areas and you can learn more on this site…

What is a "humanoid robot"?

A robot which looks like a Human being and has a human type body is known as a Humanoid robot. A Humanoid robot can have human facial expressions with the features.

There are two types of Humanoid robot – one that resembles a male and one female.

  • Android Humanoid: They are built to resemble a male body
  • Gynoids Humanoid: They are made to resemble a female body.

A humanoid robot is entirely an automatic robot which can interact with the Humans and also can react according to it’s surroundings.

Sophia is the first humanoid which got citizenship from a country – Saudi Arabia.

What are the basic aspects of robotics?

The basic aspects of robotics needed to create a robot are given below:

  • Electrical/electronic components – Robotics requires electrical and electronic components as power supply, sensors, and microcontroller and motors circuits.
  • Mechanical equipment – Robotics required mechanical equipment for giving shape or designing the body of a robot
  • Computer programs – Robotics also includes computer programs to provide the instructions to the robot as what type of task, when it should be done, how it should be done, etc. Robo ML, ROBOFORTH, XRCL, and visual programming are the programming languages which are used in the robotics.

What are the basic components of a robot?

These are the basic components of a robot below:

  • Power supply – Power supply is the main components for the run of any device or machine. So a robot also takes energy from the power supply to perform a task. It can be provided from batteries, hydraulic, solar power or pneumatic power sources.
  • Actuators – Actuators are devices which convert energy into movement.
    Electric motors (DC/AC) – Motors are used to convert electrical energy into mechanical energy. Most robots use these motors to provide various type of movements to their parts. Brushless and brushed DC motors are used in portable the robots and AC motors are usually used in industrial the robots.
  • Sensors – Sensors are used to sense the changes in surroundings and produce a signal. Hence robots are also equipped with the various types of sensors to detect the environment and responded accordingly.
  • Controller – The controller is the brain of a robot, which controls and co-ordinates with all parts of the robot. With the help of the controller, the robot can perform all it’s assigned tasks.
  • A Microprocessor is a core part of the controller, which takes various signals as Input and generate a corresponding output signal.

Why do we use robots in industries?

Here are the following reasons robots are used in different industries:

  • Robots perform tasks with the highest precision and efficiency.
  • Robots can be operated 24/7 for continuous production without tiring.
  • Robots can perform some dangerous tasks without risking harm to humans.
  • Robots are cost-effective.

What is AI and why do we implement AI in robots?

Artificial intelligence is the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.

Implementation of AI in robots makes a robot intelligent and allows it to perform complex tasks, develop a sense of the environment and react accordingly.

What are the various types of sensors used in robotics?

These are the following sensors that can be used in the robotics:

  • Light sensors – A light sensor detect light and create a voltage difference, which is equivalent to the light intensity fall on the sensor. The two main Light sensors which used in the robotics are: Photovoltaic cells and Photo-resistor sensors.
  • Sound sensors – This sensors are microphones which detects sound and return a voltage difference equivalents to the level of sound. Example of a sound sensor is: Instruct a robot by the sound of a hand clap.
  • Temperature sensor – Temperature sensors sense the change in temperature of the surrounding. It provides a voltage difference equivalent to a change in temperature occurred.
    Example of temperature sensor IC’s are LM34, LM35, TMP35, TMP36, and TMP37.
  • Proximity sensor – Proximity sensor can sense any nearby object without any physical contact. The following are the types of proximity sensors used in the robotics: Infrared (IR) Transceivers, Ultrasonic Sensors, Photo-resistor sensors.
  • Acceleration Sensor – An Accelerometer is a device which detects the acceleration and can tilt accordingly.
  • Navigation sensor – These are the sensors which are used to identify the position of the robot. Some of the navigation sensors are: GPS (global positioning system), Digital Magnetic compass, Localization.

What is Robotic Locomotion?

Robotic locomotion is a group of methods which a robot uses to transport itself from one place to another place.

There are various types of robot locomotion, which include:

  • Walking
  • Running
  • Rolling
  • Hopping
  • Swimming
  • Slithering
  • Hybrid

What is an Autonomous robot?

A type of robot which can perform any task with autonomy is called an Autonomous robot. An autonomous robot can do work on its own without human interaction.

What is "Human-Robot Interaction" or HRI?

Human-robot interaction is a field of study which defines an interaction or communication between a robot and Humans. The “Three Laws of The robotics” are given on HRI, which defines a safe interaction between a human and a robot.

What is a Pneumatic system in Robotics?

A Pneumatic system is used to drive a machine by using compressed gases. In robotics, servo motors and electric motors can be replaced by a pneumatic system. A pneumatic system consists of a cylinder piston which can move up and down to create pressure.

How do you program instructions to a robot?

The controller is the core of a robot which can be used to program it and give it all types of instructions to perform any tasks.

What are Robotic degrees of freedom?

Degrees of freedom in robotics is defined as the freedom of movement of the mechanical parts of a robot. It defines the modes by which a machine can move.

The Degree of Freedom can be determined as the number of movable joints in the base, the arm, and the end effectors of the robot.

What is PROLOG in Artificial intelligence?

  • PROLOG is an acronym for Programming logic.
  • PROLOG is a high-level programming language used primarily in Artificial intelligence, and It consists of the list of rules and fact.
  • PROLOG is called a declarative programming language.

What is LISP?

  • LISP stands for List programming.
  • LISP is mainly used for Artificial intelligence because it can process symbolic information with efficiency.

What are the axes of movement of a robot?

  • Wrist rotation.
  • X-Y coordinate motion.
  • Elbow rotation.

What is numerical control?

Numerical control is a process of controlling the machine with the help of a computer or sets of instructions.

With the help of numerical control, we can automate machines.

What is Servo controlled robot?

A servo controlled robot is one which works on a servo mechanism. Servo controlled robots consist of servo motors which process signals. A servo controlled robot can accelerate and decelerate, which means these robots can change their speed at different points.

What is an Actuator in robotics?

Actuators are electromechanical devices which convert electric energy into mechanical energy. Actuators can generate motion in each part of a robot.

What types of motors are used in robotics?

There are various types of motors available, but the motor used will depend on how and where a robot is to be used.

There are some common motors which can be used in industrial robotics:

  • Servo Motors
  • DC/AC motors
  • Stepper Motors
  • Belt drive motor
  • Arm adapted motors.

What is continuous-path control in robotics?

When we program a robot to physically move through the trajectory of an irregular path exactly, that type of control is called Continuous-path control in robotics.