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runmidgeAI and Robotics

Oct 20, 2013 (3 years and 9 months ago)

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Robotics

Introduction to
Robots

Dr John Cowell


phones off

(please)

1

Overview


What is a Robot?


Static Robots v Mobile Robots


Environments


Robots in:


Industry


Education/Entertainment


Exploration


The future?

2

3

What is a Robot?


The word ‘robot’ was originated in 1921 by the author Karel
Capek, from the Czech ‘robota’ meaning “forced labour”


‘robotics’ appeared in 1942 in a novel by Isaac Asimov


According to the
Japanese Industrial Robot Association

(JIRA), robots are defined as


class 1:
manual handling devices


device with several degrees of freedom actuated by operator


class 2:
fixed sequence robot


handling device which performs the successive stages of a task
according to a predetermined, unchanging method, which is
difficult to modify

4

More Definitions


JIRA robot definitions, continued


class 3:
variable sequence robot


as class 2, but the stages can be easily modified


class 4:
playback robot


the robot can repeat (playback) a sequence of tasks recorded from a
human operator leading or controlling the robot


class 5:
numerical control robot


human operator supplies the robot with a movement program


class 6:
intelligent robot


a robot with the means to understand its environment and the
ability to complete tasks despite changes in conditions


The
Robotics Institute of America

(RIA) considers only
machines in class 3 and above to be robots

5

Why Study Robotics?


Two main reasons


applied


to create robots to be used in various environments


industrial/commercial


educational/entertainment


medical


underwater


planetary exploration


nuclear power stations


bomb disposal


theoretical


to investigate intelligent behaviour


artificial intelligence


cognitive science


psychology

6

7

What are Static & Mobile Robots?


Robots are either


Static


fixed in place


eg industrial assembly


Mobile


the robot moves!


Both may have a certain amount of autonomy, but mobile
robots usually require more


but there can be some difficulty with communication


eg underwater, in space


speed

8

Static Robots


Widely used in industry


generally fixed in place


usually have a range of
interchangeable tools


welding, placing, fixing,
shaping, etc


need just enough
programming to do the
specified job


basic are Computer
Numerically Controlled
machines

9

Autonomous Mobile Robots


Dictionary definitions of ‘autonomous’


undertaken without outside control


carry on
-
board sensors, controllers and power supplies


for example,
automated guided vehicles

(AGV’s) that operate in
factories by following tracks to move parts & equipment


‘weak autonomy’


having the power of self
-
government


able to adapt to changing environments


determine its course of action by its own reasoning process


the ability to build internal representations of the world


the ability to learn from experience and plan new actions


‘strong autonomy’ / ‘intelligent mobile robots’

10

What is Intelligence?


Intelligence is very difficult to define


The extent to which we regard something as behaving in an
intelligent manner is determined as much by our own state of
mind and training as by the properties of the object under
consideration.


If we are able to explain and predict its behaviour or if there
seems to be little underlying plan, we have little temptation to
imagine intelligence.


With the same object, therefore, it is possible that one man
would consider it as intelligent and another would not; the
second man would have found out the rules of its behaviour.


Alan Turing, 1947

11

Components of a Robot


A robot comprises three main component classes


sensors


a device giving a signal for the detection or measurement of a
physical property to which it responds


O.E.D.


provides the inputs to the robot


software


programmed behaviour(s); data and ‘memory’


makes decisions for the robot


actuators


a thing which moves to mechanical action, communicates motion to,
or impels (an instrument, machine, or agent)


effects the outputs from the robot


eg motors, lights, sound, etc

12

General Purpose Robots?


A general purpose robot is not possible


a general purpose living thing does not exist


humans are the most intelligent (???)


but humans are poor at


flying (c.f. swallow, swift, Arctic tern, housefly)


swimming (c.f. tuna, sperm whale)


but humans are


surviving (c.f. scorpions, ants)


excellent generalisers!


A robot’s function and operation are defined by its own
behaviour within a specific environment, taking into account a
specific task


only the simultaneous description of a robot, its task and the
environment describes the robot completely

13

14

Relationships


A robot, its task and the environment all depend on, and
influence, each other


e.g.


a spider in the bath!


quantum physics

15

robot

task

environment

Environment Types


There are many different types of environment in which a
robot may be required to operate


Environments are typically categorised by their degree of
structure


Although there is no solidly accepted definition of
structures, environments can be split into one of the
following categories


structured


partially structured


unstructured

16

Structured Environments


A structured environment has been specially designed for
the robot to operate in


e.g.


an artificial maze


a factory floor with in
-
built ‘tracks’ to follow


an exact description of the environment can be supplied to the
robot during its design phase


very little or perhaps no sensor data may be required


There are usually no
unexpected

or
unplanned

dynamic
aspects to the environment


the environment does not change


the robot has been ‘told’ in advance of how and when the
environment will change, and how to deal with it

17

Unstructured Environments


Complex environments for which no models or maps exist,
or can even be accurately generated


robots generally operate purely in response to real
-
time sensor data


Such environments usually have significant dynamic
changes


natural, real
-
world as opposed to artificially created


may have unknown attributes


e.g. deep
-
sea exploration


or may be almost entirely unknown


e.g. planetary probes

18

Partially Structured


Somewhere between the previous two extremes!


an environment which may be modelled to a certain extent,
but
with insufficient model detail to fully support task completion


Possibly, the static component of the environment has been
modelled, but the dynamic changes are unpredictable and
must be sensed


for example, a factory floor with in
-
built ‘tracks’ to follow, but with
unpredictable (e.g. human) obstacles to avoid


the second Mars explorer!

19

20

Assembly Line Robots


Probably the most common
use of robots is on
assembly/production lines
in factories


Robots don’t get bored or
tired


or take industrial action


Most of these industrial
robots are multi
-
purpose


they can be used for a variety
of jobs


assembly, welding, cutting,
milling, etc

21

Building a 7
-
series BMW

22

Robots in Films


Many of our present concerns/worries
have been created by the appearance
of robots in films



Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1927)


Maria (left)


the first ‘artificial human’ in film


apparently George Lucas based C3PO on
her


Forbidden Planet


Robbie the Robot (right)


The Day the Earth Stood Still


Gort


interstellar policeman


Terminator (&T2, T3)


from the future to change history


I, Robot (movie)


based on the writings of I Asimov


the robotic brain broke the ‘3 Laws of
Robotics’

23

Fischertechnik


Make a range of
educational/industrial
simulation kits


Can make a complete
production line from plug
-
together components!


The claim is that a company
can test before ordering the
real thing!


Also used for training


Goto

http
://www.fischertechnik.com/

24

Robot Dogs


Sony made the AIBO®
Entertainment Robot ($1899)


In autonomous mode, the ERS
-
7M2
walks more fluidly, plays soccer with
its Pink Ball, plays with its
AIBOne
,
sits, lies down, rights itself, and even
self
-
charges. The ERS
-
7M2 also uses
its Illume
-
Face, tail, ears, lights, and
MIDI sounds to express a wide
variety of emotions and instincts to
entertain you. The ERS
-
7M2 also
now pays special attention to 3
owners and remembers AIBO’s
favorite

place thanks to new voice
and visual recognition technology.


http://www.sonystyle.com/is
-
bin/INTERSHOP.enfinity/eCS/Store/en/
-
/USD/SY_DisplayProductInformation
-
Start?ProductSKU=ERS7M2%2fW&Dept=AIBO&CategoryName=aibo_A
IBOs_7%2fWSeries#features

25

Lego MindStorm


RCX


programmable ‘brick’


3 inputs, 3 outputs


PC interface and IDE


RoboLab


Transfer program to RCX via an
InfraRed port

26

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Inaccessible areas


There are many areas that are difficult or dangerous for
humans to go


underwater, planetary exploration, nuclear power stations,
bomb disposal


Small, inexpensive (!) and easily replaceable robots can be
used instead


28

Space Exploration


Mars landers


Sojourner (17/7/97)


Mars Rover (4/1/2004)


Titan (Saturn’s Moon


Huygens (with Cassini)

29

Mars Rover

Sojourner

Huygens is the gold
dome on the side of
Cassini.

Note the size of
Cassini

Robots Underwater


Building
SubMarine

robots is all about water proofing


http://orionrobots.co.uk/tiki
-
index.php?page=SubMarine


Radio control is difficult underwater, so a high degree of
autonomous programming is required


E.g.


unmanned submarines


robotic fish


mine clearance ‘crabs’


mineral extraction


exploration/recovery


E.g.
Titanic and
Bismark


tourism

30

31

Nano Robots


A team of New York University researchers has taken a
major step in building a more robust, controllable machine
from DNA, the genetic material of all living organisms


Constructed from synthetic DNA molecules, the device
improves upon previously developed nano
-
scale DNA
devices because it allows for better
-
controlled movement
within larger DNA constructs


The researchers say that the new device may help build the
foundation for the development of sophisticated machines
at a molecular scale, ultimately evolving to the
development of nano
-
robots that might some day build
new molecules, computer circuits or fight infectious
diseases.


http://www.spacedaily.com/news/nanotech
-
02a.html

32

Robots in Medicine


Nanodevices will be used for the purpose of maintaining and protecting
the human body against pathogens


They will have a diameter of about 0.5 to 3 microns and will be
constructed out of parts with dimensions in the range of 1 to 100
nanometers


The main element used will be carbon in the form of
diamond/fullerene
nanocomposites

because of the strength and chemical inertness of these
forms


A navigational network may be installed in the body, with stationkeeping
navigational elements providing high positional accuracy to all passing
nanorobots that interrogate them, wanting to know their location


enables the physician to keep track of the various devices in the body


When the task of the nanorobots is completed, they can be retrieved by
allowing them to exfuse themselves via the usual human excretory
channels


they can also be removed by active scavenger systems


http://www.ewh.ieee.org/r10/bombay/news3/page4.html

33

Useful Web
-
sites


There are many robotics web
-
sites


start from, for example


http://ai.about.com/compute/ai/cs/robotics


http://spider.sci.brooklyn.cuny.edu/~parsons/courses/840
-
fall
-
2004/robots.html


LEGO Mindstorms


http://www.legomindstorms.com


Androids


http://www.androidworld.com/prod02.htm

34

Books


Mobile Robotics: A Practical Introduction


Ulrich Nehmzow, Springer, 2000, ISBN: 1
-
85233
-
173
-
9


very heavily biased towards neural network control


The Unofficial Guide to LEGO Mindstorms Robots


J.B. Knudsen, O’Reilly, 1999, ISBN: 1
-
565
-
92692
-
7


includes a practical example of subsumption architecture

35

Summary


What is a Robot?


Static Robots v Mobile Robots


Environments


Robots in:


Industry


Education/Entertainment


Exploration


The future?

36