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Robotics and Automation Guest Editor's Introduction

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000131560D
Original Publication Date: 1982-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Nov-11
Document File: 2 page(s) / 16K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

King-sun Fu: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

With the growing cost of human resources and the pressing need for increased productivity, industry is turning more and more towards automation, specifically the use of robots. But exactly what is a robot? The word itself comes from the Czech word robota, meaning work, and Webster's calls it ";an automatic device that performs functions ordinarily ascribed to human beings."; However, with that description, even a washing machine can be considered a robot. The Robot Institute of America gives a more precise definition and introduces some key concepts:

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

This record contains textual material that is copyright ©; 1982 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact the IEEE Computer Society http://www.computer.org/ (714-821-8380) for copies of the complete work that was the source of this textual material and for all use beyond that as a record from the SPI Database.

Robotics and Automation Guest Editor's Introduction

King-sun Fu, Purdue University

With the growing cost of human resources and the pressing need for increased productivity, industry is turning more and more towards automation, specifically the use of robots. But exactly what is a robot? The word itself comes from the Czech word robota, meaning work, and Webster's calls it "an automatic device that performs functions ordinarily ascribed to human beings." However, with that description, even a washing machine can be considered a robot. The Robot Institute of America gives a more precise definition and introduces some key concepts:

A robot is a reprogrammable, multifunctional manipulator designed to move material, parts, tools, or specialized devices through variable programmed motions for the performance of a variety of tasks.

In short, a robot is a reprogrammable, general-purpose manipulator with external sensors that enable it to perceive and recognize its environment and to perform assembly tasks. As such, it must possess some "intelligence," which is normally due to the computer unit associated with its control system.

The type of robot we are concerned with in this issue is the practical industrial robot described above, not the humanoid type depicted in movies and science fiction. This type does exist but is primarily for show and does very little work. Indeed, the industrial robot is merely a simulation of a human arm, which when combined with tits controlling unit can accomplish a wide range of tasks.

We know that these robots are potentially useful in industry, but we do not yet know the extent of their utili The color photo above was taken directly from a Raster Technologies Model One display processor using a Dunn Instruments model 631 camera at the Center for Interactive Computer Graphics, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, N.Y. Photos used on the title pages of the six articles in this special issue were supplied by Microbot, Inc., US Robots, and Seiko Instruments.

ty. Hopefully, robots will either reduce the cost of production, improve the quality of the output, or accomplish both. They are already proving valuable in material handling, product assembly, and autothatic product inspection and are successfully completing spraying, welding, and simple assembly tasks. At present, the limitations of robot use in industry are due primarily to low flexibilit...