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.

Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover.jpg

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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MSL concept February 2007 - PIA09201.jpg

The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) is a NASA rover scheduled to launch in December 2009 and perform a precision landing on Mars in October 2010. This rover will be three times as heavy and twice the width of the Mars Exploration Rovers (MERs) that landed in 2004. It will carry more advanced scientific instruments than any other mission to Mars. The international community will provide most of these instruments. The MSL rover will be launched by an Atlas V 541. Once on the ground, MSL will analyze dozens of samples scooped up from the soil and cores from rocks. MSL will be expected to operate for at least 1 martian year (~2 Earth years) as it explores with greater range than any previous Mars rover. It will investigate the past or present ability of Mars to support life.

MSL is expected to weigh over 800 kg (1,760 lb) including 65 kg (143 lb) of scientific instruments. At present 10 instruments have been selected for development or production for MSL.

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Shadow Hand Bulb large.jpg
Credit: Richard Greenhill, Hugo Elias, Shadow Robot Company
Shadow Dexterous Robot Hand holding a lightbulb.
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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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ROV working on a subsea structure.jpg

Remotely operated underwater vehicles (ROVs) is the common accepted name for tethered underwater robots in the offshore industry. ROVs are unoccupied, highly maneuverable and operated by a person aboard a surface vessel. Most ROVs are equipped with at least a video camera and lights. Additional equipment may include sonars, magnetometers, a still camera, a manipulator or cutting arm, water samplers, and instruments that measure water clarity, light penetration and temperature.

The US Navy funded most of the early ROV technology development in the 1960s. This created the capability to perform deep-sea rescue operations and recover objects from the ocean floor. The offshore oil & gas industry created the work class ROVs to assist in the development of offshore oil fields. They are used extensively both in the initial construction of a sub-sea development and the subsequent repair and maintenance.

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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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