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Robotany automatically operated machine that replaces human effort, though it may not resemble human beings in appearance or perform functions in a humanlike manner. By extension, robotics is the engineering discipline dealing with the de, construction, and operation of robots.
This article traces the development of robots and robotics. For further information on industrial applications, see the article automation. Though not humanoid in form, machines with flexible behaviour and a few humanlike physical attributes have been developed for industry. The first stationary industrial robot was the programmable Unimate, an electronically controlled hydraulic heavy-lifting arm that could repeat arbitrary sequences of motions.
In Condec Corp. Unimate arms continue to be developed and sold by es around the world, with the automobile industry remaining the largest buyer. More advanced computer-controlled electric arms guided by sensors were developed in the late s and s at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology MIT and at Stanford Universitywhere they were used with cameras in robotic hand-eye research. Called PUMA Programmable Universal Machine for Assemblythey have been used since to assemble automobile subcomponents such as dash panels and lights.
PUMA was widely imitated, and its descendants, large and Human to robot transformation stories, are still used for light assembly in electronics and other industries. Since the s small electric arms have become important in molecular biology laboratories, precisely handling test-tube arrays and pipetting intricate sequences of reagents. Mobile industrial robots also first appeared in In that year a driverless electric cart, made by Barrett Electronics Corporation, began pulling lo around a South Carolina grocery warehouse.
Such machines, dubbed AGVs Automatic Guided Vehiclescommonly navigate by following al-emitting wires entrenched in concrete floors. In the s AGVs acquired microprocessor controllers that allowed more complex behaviours than those afforded by simple electronic controls. In the s a new method became popular for use in warehouses: AGVs equipped with a scanning laser triangulate their position by measuring reflections from fixed retro-reflectors at least three of which must be visible from any location.
Although industrial robots first appeared in the United States, the business did not thrive there. Unimation was acquired by Westinghouse Electric Corporation in and shut down a few years later. Cincinnati Milacron, Inc. Adept Technology, Inc. Foreign es of Unimation, notably in Japan Human to robot transformation stories Sweden, continue to operate, and in the s other companies in Japan and Europe began to vigorously enter the field. The prospect of an aging population and consequent worker shortage induced Japanese manufacturers to experiment with advanced automation even before it gave a clear return, opening a market for robot makers.
By the late s Japan—led by the robotics divisions of Fanuc Ltd. High labour costs in Europe similarly encouraged the adoption of robot substitutes, with industrial robot installations in the European Union exceeding Japanese installations for the first time in Lack of reliable functionality has limited the market for industrial and service robots built to work in office and home environments.
Toy robots, on the other hand, can entertain without performing tasks very reliably, and mechanical varieties have existed for thousands of years. See automaton. In the s microprocessor-controlled toys appeared that could speak or move in response to sounds or light.
More advanced ones in the s recognized voices and words. In the Sony Corporation introduced a doglike robot named AIBOwith two dozen motors to activate its legs, head, and tail, two microphones, and a colour camera all coordinated by a powerful microprocessor. More lifelike than anything before, AIBOs chased coloured balls and learned to recognize their owners and to explore and adapt. Introduction Industrial robots Robot toys Robotics research The future. Fast Facts. Videos Images. Additional Info. Print print Print. Table Of Contents. While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies.
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Gadgets and Technology: Fact or Fiction? Is virtual reality only used in toys? Have robots ever been used in battle? From computer keyboards to flash memory, learn about gadgets and technology in this quiz. A robot may not injure a human beingor, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. Subscribe Now. See how mechatronics help engineers create high-tech products such as industrial robots.
Learn how the discipline of mechatronics combines knowledge and skills from mechanical, electrical, and computer engineering to create high-tech products such as industrial robots.
See how use of a robotic pipeline for bacterial genetics makes the work of scientists less complicated and more time-efficient at University College Cork. Load Next .Human to robot transformation stories
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