Portal:Robotics

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The Robotics Portal

Honda ASIMO Walking Stairs.JPG

Robotics is the science and technology of robots, including their design, manufacture, and application. Robotics requires a working knowledge of electronics, mechanics, and software. A person working in the field is a roboticist. The word robot was introduced by Czech writer Karel Čapek in his play R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots) (1920), while the word robotics was first used in print by Isaac Asimov, in his science fiction short story "Runaround" (1941).

A robot is an electro-mechanical or bio-mechanical device that can perform autonomous or preprogrammed tasks. Robots may be used to perform tasks that are too dangerous or difficult for humans, such as radioactive waste clean-up, or may be used to automate mindless repetitive tasks that should be performed with more precision by a robot than by a human, such as automobile production.

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The word robot is used to refer to a wide range of machines, the common feature of which is that they are all capable of movement and can be used to perform physical tasks. Robots take on many different forms, ranging from humanoid, which mimic the human form and way of moving, to industrial, whose appearance is dictated by the function they are to perform. Robots can be grouped generally as mobile robots (e.g. autonomous vehicles), manipulator robots (e.g. industrial robots) and self reconfigurable robots, which can conform themselves to the task at hand. Robots may be controlled directly by a human, such as remotely-controlled bomb-disposal robots and robotic arms; or may act according to their own decision making ability, provided by artificial intelligence. However, the majority of robots fall in between these extremes, being controlled by pre-programmed computers.

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Selected robot

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The Foster-Miller TALON robot is a small military robot designed for missions ranging from reconnaissance to combat. It is a tracked vehicle said to be one of the fastest robots in the market. It can travel almost anywhere, through sand, snow, underwater (out to depths of 100 feet), climb stairs (a feat for any modern robot) and all the while showing the operator, up to 1,000 m away, the world in color, black and white, infrared, and night vision. It can run off lithium-ion batteries for a maximum of 7 days on standby before needing recharging. It can also withstand repeated decontamination allowing it to work for long periods of time in contaminated areas. It was used in ground zero after the September 11th attacks working for 45 days with many decontaminations without electronic failure. This led to the further development of the HAZMAT Talon.

It weighs less than 100 lb (45 kg) or 60 lb (27 kg) for the Reconnaissance version. Its cargo bay accommodates a variety of sensor payloads. The robot is controlled through a two-way radio or fiber optic line from a portable or wearable Operator Control Unit that provides continuous data and video feedback for precise vehicle positioning.

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Selected picture

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Credit: NASA, CAST
Anchored to a foot restraint on the International Space Station's robotic arm, STS-114 Mission Specialist Steve Robinson participates in the mission's third spacewalk.
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Topics

Concepts: AI - Automation - Behavior - Calibration - Control - Cybernetics - Human interaction - Kits -Locomotion - Mapping - Mechatronics - Microbotics - Nanorobotics - Neural network - Odometry - Pathfinding - Servomechanism - Software - Vision
Fields: AUVs - Androids - BEAM robotics - Biomorphics - Bionics - Cyborgs - Domestic - Gynoids - Industrial - Military - Surgical - Swarm - Sociorobotics - Telerobotics - UAVs
Robots: AIBO - ASIMO - Atlas (robot) - Boeing X-50 - KHR-1 - Lego Mindstorms - Leonardo's robot - Mars Rover - Mecha -RQ-4_Global_Hawk - MQ-1 Predator - nEUROn - QRIO - SIGMO - TOPIO - Wakamaru - X-47 Pegasus
People and organizations: Roboticists - International Federation of Robotics (IFR) - Robotics Institute - FIRST
Fiction: Bender - Bishop - Blade Runner - C-3PO - Johnny 5 - Marvin - Metropolis - R2-D2 - R.U.R. - The Matrix - The Terminator - Three Laws of Robotics - Transformers - Wall-e
Competitions, expos and trials: BattleBots - DARPA - ELROB - Botball - IARC - RoboCup - Robotica
Lists: Autobots - Robot Hall of Fame - Robotics topics - Robots from Futurama - Star Wars droids - UAVs

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Selected article

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A robotic spacecraft is a spacecraft with no humans on board, that is usually under telerobotic control. A robotic spacecraft that leaves Earth's orbit is often called a space probe. Many space missions are more suited to telerobotic rather than crewed operation, due to lower cost and lower risk factors. Outer planets such as Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune are too distant to reach with current crewed spaceflight technology, so telerobotic probes are the only way to explore them. Many artificial satellites are robotic spacecraft.

Robotic spacecraft use telemetry to radio back to Earth acquired data and vehicle status information. Command systems were developed to allow remote control from the ground. Increased autonomy is important for distant probes where the light travel time prevents rapid decision and control from Earth. Newer probes such as Cassini-Huygens and the Mars Exploration Rovers are highly autonomous and use on-board computers to operate independently for extended periods of time.

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News

August 2012

6th

  • Touchdown! 05:32 UTC, though with the delay touchdown was actually at 05:18 UTC
  • 500m, rockets working, 40m altitude, skyframe started...
  • Parachute has opened, on finals, 6.5 km height ...
  • The MSL has separated and has started its entry to Mars. UHF feed is established, and data processed from Odyssey, with 11G entry load. More ...

2nd

  • Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) begins final testing for landing Curiosity on Mars, planned for 5 August. If any trajectory corrections are necessary, these will take place later today. More ...
  • The US Navy announces that one of its MQ-8B Fire Scout helicopter UAV's has chased pirates off the Somali coast. The USS Klakring has four of the UAVs onboard, returning the series of helicopters to operational status after a " pause" following some technical issues. More ...
  • A robot that can land the right way up like a cat. The University of Pennsylvania reveal a paper on their self-righting robot. More ...

1st

  • A 13' 9000lb robot which can auto-track targets and shoot them with it's gatling guns or 6 shot launcher when the driver smiles? More ...
  • Willow Garage's Personal Robot 2 (PR2) aims to help people in various home-based tasks and is customisable for specific customers and their needs. There has been previous footage of the robot folding towels which became popular in the internet. More ...
  • The US Navy attempts to teach a robot plane, the X-47B UCAS (Unmanned Combat Air System), to take-off and land on an aircraft carrier. More ...


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