YES it's a robot, NO it doesn't have a microcontroller
September 11, 2008
I think we need to get of our high horse here and let snyde remarks regarding our own elitism remain silent..
I have seen several comments here stating that a robot has to have brains to be a robot. Now, where is that rule written in stone? Does it have to run around on tabletops, using skid steering, detecting cereal boxes by IR or ultrasound, have blinking LEDs or follow black lines on a piece of cardboard to be a robot?
International Federation of Robotics claims that it has to operate on three or more axes to be a robot, so that would leave us with very few "real" robots left here at LMR...
The old Encyclopaedia Britannica claims that a robot is "any automatically operated machine that replaces human effort". I think that means any gizmo that can do our work for us.
The US Army are very proud of their Bomb Disposal Robots, and those are just a remote controlled gripping arm on a set of tracks.
The Robotics Institute of America says a robot is a "re-programmable multi-functional manipulator designed to move materials, parts, tools, or specialized devices through variable programmed motions for the performance of a variety of tasks."
-I haven't seen to many multi-functional manipulators that do any of the above here lately.
They go on to divide robots into four classes:
- handling devices with manual control.
- automated handling devices with predetermined cycles.
- programmable and servo-controlled robots with continuous of point-to-point trajectories.
- programmable and servo-controlled robots with continuous of point-to-point trajectories, which also acquire information from the environment for intelligent motion.
The first one includes RC fork lift trucks and battle robots in the Robot Wars TV show.
The "Father of Robotics" Joseph F. Engelberger once famously stated "I can't define a robot, but I know one when I see one." I think that kind of sums up my point. I meen that if someone calls themselves robotbuilders, and build something and call it a robot.Then WE as a robot building community shall NOT try to make this persons effort seem less important than our own. Anybody contributing to the knowledgebase should be considered a valuable member to our holy cruisade for robot world dominance! So, please, the next time someone comes in here asking for help building a robot that you think is to simple to be called a robot, consider it his/hers first step on the way, and help without sharing your loath for the project, OK?
- /enough ranting, time for coffee, clck, maneuver