Let's Make Robots!

Do these qualify as "Robots?" (Robot Musing like KingArt13)

Andrew (IngobleGnome) and I got a little off-topic in a post about Chris the Carpenter's newest offering from Rocketbrand studios: 


Tweetable version is this: Does a $12 solar robotikit count as a real robot if there's no neural network, and if not, do half of the "beam" robots that you can find instructions for on line?

Here are some examples:







I have a solar powered radio and a rechargeable flashlight on my desk-I would tend to think that a robot that doesn't move or react to stimulus is no more a robot either of those things are. The symet, by comparrison, is really just an electric top.  Heads and vibrobots approach that, but many vibrobots don't react to stimulus.  When you move up the food chain, you get to walkers, solar rollers and photophobes that it's harder to argue against as being robots, but they really don't do anything useful and are about parallel to remote controlled toys as far as that goes-and is my Roboquad really a robot (fromt the Czech word "Robota" for "laborer") in the same sense that my Roomba or a factory welding arm is?

Maybe this is more a topic for Hal's "Robot Musings" blog...

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Even a simple vibrating motor attached to a solar cell could be a robot in my opinion. Stick it on a piece of sandpaper and let it sand the deck for you, or wax your car ;). Put a soft pad on it instead and put them on a mars rover's solar panels to keep them dust free. A pummer could be used with a thermistor to flash at night from the greenhouse, letting you know the temperature from your livingroom by the frequency of the pulses. A solar engine by its self might not be a 'robot' in your opinion, but if you take two and point their panels slightly left and right, they (although seperate circuits) are able to move the 'photopopper' towards light.

Just my 2 pence.

i don't know why, but when you say "i will make a robot" to yer friend(who has no experience in robotics whatsoever), he would eventually think of this:

yo wasup!

hmm, wikipedias definition of a robot is: "A robot is a mechanical or virtual intelligent agent that can perform tasks automatically or with guidance, typically by remote control."

so rc robots are robots, and anything that can perform a task is a robot, but it didn't say that the task is making a labour, the task might be anything you want, like; spin a motor, walk, creep the hell out of you(sorry, uncanny valley) or simply charge it's motor by a solar panel and skitter on a floor (like symet).

I just was interested in taking the temperature of the current group's sense of what is important about what unites us. Kind of like trying to figure out why members of a given religion stay with it. The last thing I wanted to do is alienate anyone for a focus on beam machines or RC. I've built both types myself. Again, it was initially a response to someone else (someone with a demonstrated talent for bringing very simple beam style robots to young people to get them started) saying that a product that we'd both purchased and that was advertised as a robot was "...not at all a robot." I found myself thinking "you know, that's interesting-I agree with him. But why?" Obviously we had automatons long before we had the word "robot" or an electrical grid. Were Solomon's Lions or the chess playing Turk worthy of our attention? What about the Antikythera mechanism or the Babbage engine? Or how about this guy? 4463834105_2ce1ed4315.jpg. A mechanical walker, but since it's sold as a toy, do we not give it full robot cred?

Personally-whats the diff? Usefulness?-most robots here have no real true purpose(including my own,especially my own). Its a hobby, a past time, a fun thing to do. No sense getting all technical about it. Folks should build what they want, do what they want, and call it what they want.

Whether you build with sticks, paper, plastic or titanium........you want to call it a robot, or art, or an animatronic, or a gizmo.....then who is say no?- thats not a robot. Are you planning on labeling everyone who posts something, making a notation-say-that's not a robot! I hope not.

Even as just a "I wonder" question-Seems like its just a point of contention thats gets people in arguements.

I don't care if you call my projects "baked goods"........I know what I call them....

Now I am hungry-Is there cake?



Did you see this node? http://letsmakerobots.com/node/32251 No fish though. Turn the question around though-if someone submitted one of these baked goods as an official Robot Project, what would the reaction be?

I don't see any harm in discussing this as long as nobody finds a way to take offence. Some are happy with toys some are happy with tools, some like both. The important thing is the sharing that happens here and respect for eachothers opinions whatever that may be.

Seems like you took offense to my comment!

And there is still no cake......

Well there must be a cake shop somewhere in your neighbourhood if you want it that bad.

Look at Kondos, Bioloids or Kumotecs.  They're mostly remote controlled (granted some have sequence upload options,) but if they aren't robots, they aren't really anything else either.  About the most useful thing any of them can do is a kata. 

So if the bristlebot is a robot by virtue of a pager motor making it move, does that mean the broom head is a robot when I kick it across the floor?

(This is more philosophy among robot lovers than anything meaningful.)

PS-I wondered if that was you on the talkers page.  Did you put that entry up there?  You ought to add images.  You've never shied away from doing it for us, and the visual appeal is strong with your machines Keith!  The craft in the mechanical genie could rival anything Marcel Duchamp ever did.