What is Robot: Definition and 209 Discussions

A robot is a machine—especially one programmable by a computer—capable of carrying out a complex series of actions automatically. A robot can be guided by an external control device, or the control may be embedded within. Robots may be constructed to evoke human form, but most robots are task-performing machines, designed with an emphasis on stark functionality, rather than expressive aesthetics.
Robots can be autonomous or semi-autonomous and range from humanoids such as Honda's Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility (ASIMO) and TOSY's TOSY Ping Pong Playing Robot (TOPIO) to industrial robots, medical operating robots, patient assist robots, dog therapy robots, collectively programmed swarm robots, UAV drones such as General Atomics MQ-1 Predator, and even microscopic nano robots. By mimicking a lifelike appearance or automating movements, a robot may convey a sense of intelligence or thought of its own. Autonomous things are expected to proliferate in the coming decade, with home robotics and the autonomous car as some of the main drivers.The branch of technology that deals with the design, construction, operation, and application of robots, as well as computer systems for their control, sensory feedback, and information processing is robotics. These technologies deal with automated machines that can take the place of humans in dangerous environments or manufacturing processes, or resemble humans in appearance, behavior, or cognition. Many of today's robots are inspired by nature contributing to the field of bio-inspired robotics. These robots have also created a newer branch of robotics: soft robotics.
From the time of ancient civilization, there have been many accounts of user-configurable automated devices and even automata resembling humans and other animals, designed primarily as entertainment. As mechanical techniques developed through the Industrial age, there appeared more practical applications such as automated machines, remote-control and wireless remote-control.
The term comes from a Slavic root, robot-, with meanings associated with labor. The word 'robot' was first used to denote a fictional humanoid in a 1920 Czech-language play R.U.R. (Rossumovi Univerzální Roboti – Rossum's Universal Robots) by Karel Čapek, though it was Karel's brother Josef Čapek who was the word's true inventor. Electronics evolved into the driving force of development with the advent of the first electronic autonomous robots created by William Grey Walter in Bristol, England in 1948, as well as Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machine tools in the late 1940s by John T. Parsons and Frank L. Stulen. The first commercial, digital and programmable robot was built by George Devol in 1954 and was named the Unimate. It was sold to General Motors in 1961 where it was used to lift pieces of hot metal from die casting machines at the Inland Fisher Guide Plant in the West Trenton section of Ewing Township, New Jersey.Robots have replaced humans in performing repetitive and dangerous tasks which humans prefer not to do, or are unable to do because of size limitations, or which take place in extreme environments such as outer space or the bottom of the sea. There are concerns about the increasing use of robots and their role in society. Robots are blamed for rising technological unemployment as they replace workers in increasing numbers of functions. The use of robots in military combat raises ethical concerns. The possibilities of robot autonomy and potential repercussions have been addressed in fiction and may be a realistic concern in the future.

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  1. sroberti

    Fluid Dynamics: Maximizing Downforce Between a Robot and the Floor

    Good evening, all! Some quick background: I am working on a robot for a competition that strictly limits entry weights to 3lb. Robot speed & acceleration are highly desirable in this competition, so I have been focusing on ways to maximize my entry's performance. Drive motors for these...
  2. berkeman

    The role of Robot Dogs and Drones in Search and Rescue operations

    This was a great use of technology last week when a large parking garage collapsed in New York City, and it was too dangerous to send in FireFighters to search for injured and trapped people. FDNY has used Drones for a while now, and has a new Robot Dog that is able to navigate pretty difficult...
  3. S

    I Contemplating Gyroscopic Forces for fighting robot weaponry

    The premise is that whenever you watch Battlebots or Robot Wars, there's usually a robot on there which has a vertical drum spinner which weighs half the robots weight and spins at thousands of RPM, and whenever the robot turns, it cocks one wheel in the air due to the gyroscopic forces at play...
  4. Maarten Havinga

    ChatGPT and the movie "I, robot"

    For those who do not know the movie/story: this thread is about whether AI such as chatGPT is - on the long run - a danger to humanity, and why or why not. With its popularity rising so quickly, chatGPT has influence on our societies, and it may be prudent to ponder about them. I, Robot is a...
  5. GopherTv

    B How to find the Moment of Inertia for a Sphero robot?

    What kind of experiment can I design to determine the actual value of the moment of inertia. What should I instruct the sphero to do and what data should I collect?
  6. C

    I Forward kinematics of a snake robot

    i want to build a forward kinematic model of a snake robot, to find its end-effector position am already worked on a few robotic arms like puma 560 using the DH table so i tried using the DH table on the snake robot, but it seemed wrong, so how do i do it ? the snake robot is similar to the...
  7. B

    Big Robot- Lattice boom crane - calculating maximum stress

    Hello brilliant engineers. How to calculate the bending stress of a lattice boom crane design? It’s clear how to calculate a single chord in a lattice box, at least as a cantilevered tube. However, when placed in a box lattice what is the proper approach? I’m constructing this crane in...
  8. E

    This is the most advanced and lifelike robot that I've ever seen

    At first, I thought that this humanoid robot was just really good CGI, but it's actually real. The facial movements and expressions are eerily realistic and lifelike.
  9. S

    Adventurer finding scientists testing a robot in the desert

    An adventurer who likes to explore desolate places in the South-West USA, found some scientists testing a prototype robot at a sinkhole in a desert in Utah. As the discussion in this video indicates, the later developed robot may be used to explore pits on the moon.
  10. H

    Building a Two Omni Wheel Robot: Questions & Answers

    Hello! I have a somewhat complicated robot project that I've simplified here to hopefully get a quick answer. I want to build a robot with two omni-wheels that looks like the following (not drawn to scale), where the black is the omni wheels at 45 degree angles and the blue is the robot body...
  11. hutchphd

    FYI : Tube Robot Looks Really Useful

    Perhaps this is old news but that would be self-descriptive. How long has this been around? I want to build one today. .
  12. ivymoro

    Help using Mecanum wheels in a robot application

    Summary:: need to know spec of motor, max load of robot. Plan to design robot about 40kg, with mecanum wheel. But can't figure out ... how to calculate torque of motor, how to determine max load of robot, So how to select meterial of wheel (hope its okay with 3d printed material)
  13. saleh2

    Calculating Stepper Motor Torque for a 4-Wheel Robot

    Hi everybody I have 4 wheel robot like car . 2 stepper motors that one is in front and other is in rear of robot and these motors directly connected to wheels. so two of other wheels is not connected to motors. this robot move straight and curve. i want to find the formula that calculate...
  14. nduka-san

    Misc. MIT Think Competition Project — Farming Robot

    this is a revision of an older thread that was not well organized and didn't have the full details of my project I am now restarting to get a better response from the community but keep the jokes those were pretty funny. BACKGROUND: 1 My goal is to make some revisions and finish a second idea...
  15. nduka-san

    Making a robot to help around my farm

    i want to make a robot that can plant seeds i made it ina tier of functions i just wana gauge public instrest to see if it would be useful or not and if i should change the measuremetns and the basic control options and anything else you recomend robots measurements 3 by 2 feet tier 1 must have...
  16. theycallmevirgo

    How can I evaluate the carrying capacity of a quadruped/hexapod robot?

    How can I predict carrying capacity of something like this ? or this? Clearly some combination of servos must defeat mg, but how many? Do all of them need to be powered constantly, whether any leg is moving or not, just to "stand up straight"? Further, each leg is clearly a lever. What is...
  17. PainterGuy

    Finding the position of a differential drive robot

    Data: The speed of right wheel is considered to be 25 RPM. The speed of left wheel is considered to be 20 RPM. The distance, L, between wheels is 30 cm. Also the radius, r, of each wheel is 6 cm. Question: Using the data above for a differential robot, find the following: i: angular...
  18. S

    Looking for Push-along walking "robot"

    A long while ago I found a video for a push-along walking "robot" with many legs, which functioned like wheels in that the robot could be pushed along on them quite smoothly - and now I can't find it! If I remember rightly it was quite large and made of wood, possibly laser-cut. Essentially if...
  19. Amathproblem22

    Python & Line Sensor (IR) for Robot Project

    I'm making a robot the will follow a black line and I need some assistance does anyone here have experience with python and line sensors.(IR) If anyone does I can elaborate on my issues more. Thanks
  20. seidi

    Electronics Can a Social Distancing Robot Help Us Stay Connected?

    My girlfriend had this idea of building a robot controlled from distance, which could make the person controlling it to feel in the environment where the robot is. In the context of social distancing, person A would have the robot on his/her environment while person B could control this robot...
  21. wolram

    Need help with robot programming

    Just for fun I am building a spider bott, but I am sure there is a problem in the down load page as there is no progamming screen, I can give anyone the url if they care to look, any help appreciated. Thanks Wolram.
  22. S

    Robot Maintenance & Replacement in Manufacturing Plants

    Hi everyone. I wasn't sure where to include this thread, so thought I'd include this under General Engineering (mods: please feel free to move this thread to a more appropriate subforum). One thing that came into my mind was with respect to robots used in manufacturing (e.g. auto assembly...
  23. theycallmevirgo

    Tracking pieces for robot chess

    Our school got a robot arm and I was thinking of teaching it to play chess. AI chess is a solved problem, so is moving the arm around. However, I was hoping to at least try to use regular pieces. It would be easy enough to do it with markers, but physical pieces would need to be identified and...
  24. noodlesnoah

    Would my turning mechanism for my robot work?

    I am making a robot and was wondering if this mechanism will work to turn my robot. Below is a small diagram of my robot. The main wheels are by the circle and there are a few small not power ones for stablisation in the tail. If I rotated the part pointed to in the tail or just the tail would...
  25. Gjmdp

    Calculate the probability that a robot is in a certain location

    A similar question was asked on a final exam. I assume that p(L(5,0)|o)) is actually 0.8 since it says "the probability that this is correct is 0.8", but isn't it like too easy? Am I making any mistakes? We are given extra information that we don't have to use at all?
  26. scottdave

    CIMON Robot Behavior on ISS: Unexpected Result

    behavior on the ISS. https://gizmodo.com/in-video-debut-cimon-the-iss-robot-throws-an-unexpecte-1830768737
  27. cpcoe

    AC vs DC servo motors in large scale cable robot design

    hi, I'm designing a 50ftx50ft, 8-cable Cable Driven Parallel Robot and am thinking this is a pivotal decision. the corner posts are 10ft tall and the machine should be able to lift 100lbs at least 5ft off the ground. traveling speed of the end effector is less important than accuracy but I'm not...
  28. jedishrfu

    Cool Mobile Robot Project on Youtube

    This is really cool using PVC pipes and 6 motors. Imagine how you could extend it with various sensors and making it autonomous:
  29. C

    Optimum Wheel Radius for a Terrestrial Robot

    Hello everyone! This is my first post here so please excuse me if I don't have the format right yet. Background: I'm a Mechanical Engineering student working on a robotics team and I'm tasked with designing the wheels. The robot is currently using 5 in radius wheels with old motors. The...
  30. T

    How would rotary motion be converted to linear in robot?

    How would the rotary motion of a robot / exoskeleton arm be converted into linear motion so that the arm can move objects and lift weights in a conventional manner, such as when people are weight lifting in a gym?
  31. S

    Inertia matrix of my robot is non invertible under some conditions....

    Hello, What could be wrong when the total inertia matrix of a robotic manipulator is non invertible when under certain values of the joint angles? Thank you
  32. J

    Structural Support Triangles for a rope-climbing robot

    sorry if this is in the wrong spot or what not So my school has this robotics club and we need to build a robot to climb a rope as well as do other things. But focusing on the rope climbing I need to design 2 plates that can support the weight of the robot (~150lbs) The plates themselves are...
  33. Erik Bethke

    Optimizing Robot Design: Heuristics for Efficient Performance

    Hello all, I am designing a lay-person-facing simulation that includes robots performing a broad array of tasks. I do not want to create magical can-do-anything robots that collapse all work to be performed to a simple abstraction. Rather, I would like to have relatively dedicated and...
  34. B

    Force needed turn robot wheel in stationary position

    How much force is required to turn the front wheel of a 4 wheel robot that weighs 200lb. Assume the wheel is 6inches wide, has a diameter of 12 inches (rubber). I would like to know how much force is required to turn a single wheel left or right when it is in stationary (non-moving) position...
  35. I

    Dynamic Analysis of a 5 DoF robot

    Homework Statement Homework Equations N/A The Attempt at a Solution I am confused as to where the ω3sin(θ)k term disappeared to? It is not included in the very last line? I asked my lecturer and he said it's ''constant'' but he kind of shrugged off the question. I understand everything...
  36. Kernul

    Robot arm Equation of Motion

    Homework Statement My professor posted this problem on his page as a self-assessment for the students and said that you just need some analytical geometry notions and trigonometry to solve it, although I don't quite get how to solve it. This is the problem statement: Considering the articulated...
  37. CasVS

    What is the best battery for a Search & Rescue Robot on a budget?

    Hi All! I am a Dutch university student and I have an assignment to make a Search & Rescue Robot. Because we have to work with a budget, we have decided to make our own batteries (using AA penlights). Now while calculating the required capacity of the battery pack, I encountered some...
  38. T

    A robot that is programmed to react to external stimuli

    A robot that is programmed to react to external stimuli, what factors determine the speed at which it detects / recognizes the stimuli? Suppose this robot is programmed to respond to various different external stimuli, such as clicking a button when a color changes, clicking a button when...
  39. D

    Robot navigation using GPS coordinates with two ultrasonic range finders

    Ok, the reason for my absence is I have been working on a project of building a multitasking Robot. Since the connection of Robots to Physics never entered my mind I assumed I have nothing of value to add to any discussion on the PhysicsForums. If anyone is interested in the problem that I am...
  40. RaulTheUCSCSlug

    Creating a Line Following Robot with Arduino and Mindstorms: A Six Sigma Project

    I'm looking to build an Arduino that is capable of following a line depending on a colored strip on the ground, either black or white. I think I might use a LDR, but not quite sure where to even start to be honest. My office is having an Arduino contest, and I just want the Arduino to carry...
  41. C

    Motion of rotating and sliding metal bar for robot combat

    For those who don't know there exists a sport called robot combat. Two robots enter an area and fight until one is unable to move anymore or its owner taps out. I have a novel idea for a weapon for a robot but I am unsure if the maths works out so that it will be practical. Suppose I take a...
  42. Patrick23

    Robot Arms -- which pneumatic cylinders and valves to use?

    Hi, Im trying to make robotic arms actuated by pneumatic valve which I found here http://www.e-pneumatic.com/valves/pneumatic-valves.html And also cylinders here http://www.e-pneumatic.com/pneumatic-cylinders.html and I wanted to ask if one of these cylinder types would work as a robotic arm...
  43. kolleamm

    Building prosthetic feet for my robot

    I came up with the idea today of using a prosthetic feet for my robot. The problem is that hardly anyone sells them online. What materials would I use to build one? The size is a regular shoe size. Something that looks like this. I'd like to make a very good quality one. Thanks in advance
  44. H

    Programming an Arduino Robot to Avoid Obstacles - Help Needed!

    I need to program an arduino robot to execute a series of actions when there is an obstacle infront of him. Actions like: stop>go backwards>stop>shift left>go forward>stop>shift right> continue forward. With this the robot will avoid obstacles while keeping his original dirrection. The problem...
  45. S

    Robot Spider Toy for Kids: Find Best Gift Ideas Here!

    Hi PF forum! I was thinking of a neat gift for my nephew for his birthday and found this robot spider toy online. http://www.banggood.com/Puzzle-Electric-Spider-Robot-Toy-DIY-Educational-Assembles-Toys-p-966357.html I was curious if there are any robot enthusiasts out there who may have...
  46. Greg Bernhardt

    Atlas, next gen robot from Boston Dynamics

    Some really impressive movement!
  47. C

    Solve UROV Fluid Mechanics Homework: Max Vel, Time, Distance, Drag Force

    Homework Statement Im working with a UROV and I have a technical scenario that I am supposed to solve. It seems pretty easy but i keep getting ridiculous answers. Assuming a max thrust of 5 N for 1 motor/propeller, for the forward direction only, use the above information to determine the Max...