Wednesday, March 11, 2015

History of robots with videos

Definitions of a robot:
1. A machine designed to accomplish a task (eg like a full function calculator)
2. A machine that uses their programming to make decisions - sense, make decision, act

Componenents of a robot:
1. sensors for input
2. control systems for decision making
3. end effectors for output (such as action)

Robots first became useful as industrial robots since factory work can be repetitive, often involve lifting heavy stuff

1961: First industrial robot - Unimate (see video) by Kawasaki used in General Motors assembly line, a giant robotic arm, task to stack and weld heavy metal pieces over and over again.

1974: IRB6 created, first electric industrial robot controlled by a microcomputer, 16KB RAM, programmable, four digits LED display, developed by Swedish ABB for polishing steel tubes, etc, easier to program.

MACHINE VISION and ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, do human tasks like translate languages, play chess, recognize objects

Difficulties, incredibly difficult to actually get the programs to interact with the real world.

Machine vision and Artificial intelligence help robot object recognition and react in real time

First industrial application of machine vision and AI: Consight uses 3 separate robotis to recognize and sort 6 different objects

Baxter the humanoid industrial robot (Video: see Baxter in action). However, Baxter can't walk, climb stairs, talk, lift weights more then 2.2kg, but can be quickly programmed to do practically anything.
But it need to be told what to do (no Artificial Intelligence)

Wabot 1 (Video: Wabot V1.0), first full-scale humanoid robot, developed in Waseda Uniniversity in Japan in 1973. Have arms, legs, vision, can walk, can pick things up, talk, but take 45 seconds to take 1 step. (see also Video: Wabot 2)

Next progress: Single function robot programmed to do 1 task, example, vacuum floor, mow lawn, wash windows, clean pool.

Next progress: Honda's Asimo (sse Asimo video), walk 6 km per hour, climb up and down stairs, carry a tray, push a cart, a research robot not available for sale.

BEAR (Battlefield Extraction-Assist Robot, see video) a military robot. Have some humanoid components like a head, 2 arms but legs are 2 tracks like a battletank. Can move in rough terrain, climb stairs, carry injured soldiers back to base.

DARPA: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Hold competitions, contest for autonomous vehicles than can move hundreds of miles. DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals. Aim to develop robots that can be sent into dangerous situations without endangering human.

Video showing Unimate industrial robot

Video: Honda's Asimo

Video showing IRB6 industrial robot

Video: see Baxter robot in action

Video Wabot Ver 1.0

Video Wabot 2

Video: BEAR military robot overview

Finally, here is another video about History of Robotics

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