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Lecture 1: Intro to Robotics

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1 Lecture 1: Intro to Robotics
Outline: Origins of robotics in the scifi artistic genre Definition of robots Manipulators and mobile robots History of robotics with timeline Overview of robotics research at ARRI-UTA Basic robotics concepts

2 History of Robotics Robotics was first introduced into our vocabulary by Czech playwright Karel Capek in his 1920’s play Rossum’s Universal Robots. The word “robota” in Czech means simply work. Robots as machines that resemble people, work tirelessly, and revolt against their creators. The same myth/concept is found in many books/movies today: “Terminator”, “Star-Wars” series. Mary Shelley’s 1818 Frankenstein. Frankenstein & The Borg are examples of “cybernetic organisms”. Cybernetics is a discipline that was created in the late 1940’s by Norbert Wiener, combining feedback control theory, information sciences and biology to try to explain the common principles of control and communications in both animals and machines. “Behavioral robotics”: organisms as machines interacting with their environment according to behavioral models.

3 History of Robotics Should robots look like humans? “anthropomorphic or humanoid robots”. Need for these machines to also be intelligent - link to “Artificial Intelligence (AI)”. Need for humans to create machines similar to them is rooted in religious beliefs, recommended reading “God in the Machine” by Anne Foerst It is not the appearance of the robot that most connects it to humans: HAL in “Space Odyssey 2001”, Lt. Data in “Startrek-TNG”, R2D2 and C3PO in “Star Wars”. Which one is more “likeable” and why?

4 History of Robotics Robots need not look like humanoids, but they make use of: Strong & precise articulated arms to accomplish tasks that were performed by humans – “articulated robots”, or “manipulators”. Fear that they will replace human laborers. Use of mobility to reposition the robot from one location to another, “mobile robots”. This can be done by locomotion like humans do (“legged robots”), but most likely it will use other means such as wheels (“wheeled robots”). Robotics is a multi-disciplinary field. Best robotics researchers and engineers will touch upon all disciplines: Mechanical Engineering – concerned primarily with manipulator/mobile robot design, kinematics, dynamics, compliance and actuation. Electrical Engineering – concerned primarily with robot actuation, electronic interfacing to computers and sensors, and control algorithms. Computer Science – concerned primarily with robot programming, planning, perception and intelligent behavior.

5 Definition of Robots According to the Robotics Industries Association (RIA): “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 (Jablonski and Posey, 1985)”. This definition underscored the reprogrammability of robots, but it also just deals with manipulators and excludes mobile robots. Close relationship with the concept of “automation”, the discipline that implements principles of control in specialized hardware. Three levels of implementation: Rigid automation – factory context oriented to the mass manufacturing of products of the same type. Uses fixed operational sequences that cannot be altered. Programmable automation – factory context oriented to low-medium batches of different types of products. A programmable system allows for changing of manufacturing sequences. Flexible automation – evolution of programmable automation by allowing the quick reconfiguration and reprogramming of the sequence of operation. Flexible automation is often implemented as “Flexible robotic workcells” (Decelle 1988, Pugh 1983). Reprogramming/retooling the robots changes the functionality of the workcell.

6 Definition of Robots According to the Japanese Industrial Robot Association (JIRA), robots can be classified as follows: Class 1: manual handling device – a device with several DOF’s actuated by the operator. Class 2: fixed sequence robot – similar to fixed automation. Class 3: variable sequence robot – similar to programmable automation. Class 4: playback robot – the human performs tasks manually to teach the robot what trajectories to follow. Class 5: numerical control robot – the operator provides the robot with the sequence of tasks to follow rather than teach it. Class 6: intelligent robot – a robot with the means to understand its environment, and the ability to successfully complete a task despite changes in the surrounding conditions where it is performed. Another definition describes robotics as the intelligent connection between perception and action (Brady 1985). This is an overly inclusive definition. Yet another definition, which focuses on mobile robots (Arkin 1998) is “A robot is a machine able to extract information from its environment, and use this knowledge to move safely, in a meaningful and purposive manner”.

7 Manipulators Industrial manipulators were born after WWII out of earlier technologies: Teleoperators. Teleoperators, or remotely controlled mechanical manipulator, were developed at first by Argonne and Oak Ridge National Labs to handle radioactive materials. These devices are also called “master-slave”, and consisted of a “master” arm being guided through mechanical links to mimic the motion of a “slave” arm that is operated by the user. Eventually, the mechanical links were replaced by electrical or hydraulic links. Numerically controlled milling machines (CNC). CNC machines were needed because of machining needs for very complex and accurate shapes, in particular aircraft parts.

8 Mobile Robots Mobile robots were born out of “unmanned vehicles”, which also appear in WWII (for example an unmanned plane dropped the atomic bomb at Nagasaki). Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), Underwater Vehicles (UUV) and Ground Vehicles (UGV). Because tethered mobile vehicles could not move very far, and radio communications were limited, an approach to mobile robots is to endow them with the necessary control and decision capability - “autonomy” Autonomous Underwater/Ground/Aerial Vehicles (AUV/AGV/AAV). Unlike manipulators, we do not think of a remotely controlled toy as a mobile robot, suggesting that one of the fundamental aspects of mobile robotics is the capacity for autonomous operation.

9 Anthropomorphic Robots

10 Animal-like Robots

11 Unmanned Vehicles

12 Robot History Timeline
– first electric and hydraulic teleoperators are developed by General Electric and General Mills. Force feedback is added to prevent the crushing of glass containers during manipulation. CNC machine tools for accurate milling of aircraft parts are introduced. 1953 – W. Grey Walter applies cybernetics principles to a robotic design called “machine speculatrix”, which became a robotic tortoise. The simple principles involved were: Parsimony: simple is better. Simple reflexes are the basis of robot behavior. Exploration or speculation: the system never remains still except when recharging. Constant motion is needed to keep it from being trapped. Attraction: the system is motivated to move towards objects or light. Aversion: the system moves away from certain objects, such as obstacles. Discernment: the system can distinguish between productive and unproductive behavior, adapting itself to the situation.

13 G. Walter Grey's tortoise
These vehicles had a light sensor, touch sensor, propulsion motor, steering motor, and a two vacuum tube analog computer.

14 Robot History Timeline
1954 – George Devol replaced the slave manipulator in a teleoperator with the programmability of the CNC controller, thus creating the first “industrial robot”, called the “Programmable Article Transfer Device”. 1955 – The Darmouth Summer Research Conference marks the birth of AI. Marvin Minsky, from the AI lab at MIT defines an intelligent machine as one that would tend to “build up within itself an abstract model of the environment in which it is placed. If it were given a problem, it could first explore solutions within the internal abstract model of the environment and then attempt external experiments”. This approach dominated robotics research for the next 30 years. Joseph Engleberger, a Columbia physics student buys the rights to Devol’s robot and founds the Unimation Company. 1961 – The first Unimate robot is installed in a Trenton, NJ General Motors plant to tend a die casting machine. The key was the reprogrammability and retooling of the machine to perform different tasks. The Unimate robot was an innovative mechanical design based on a multi-degree of freedom cantilever beam. The beam flexibility presented challenges for control. Hydraulic actuation was eventually used to alleviate precision problems.

15 UNIMATE robot

16 Robot History Timeline
1962 – 1963 – The introduction of sensors is seen as a way to enhance the operation of robots. This includes force sensing for stacking blocks (Ernst, 1961), vision system for binary decision for presence of obstacles in the environment (McCarthy 1963), pressure sensors for grasping (Tomovic and Boni, 1962). Robot interaction with an unstructured environment at MIT’s AI lab (Man and Computer – MAC project). 1968 – Kawasaki Heavy Industries in Japan acquires a license for Unimate. 1968 – Shakey, a mobile robot is developed by SRI (Stanford Research Institute). It was placed in a special room with specially colored objects. A vision system would recognize objects and pushed objects according to a plan. This planning software was STRIPS, and it maintained and updated a world model. The robot had pan/tilt and focus for the camera, and bump sensors. – The Stanford Arm is developed, along with the first language for programming robots - WAVE.

17 Robot History Timeline
Late 1970’s – First assembly applications of robotics are considered: water pumps – Paul and Bolles, typewriter – Will and Grossman, Remote Center of Compliance gripper (RCC) developed at Draper Labs. 1970’s – Innovation in the type of robots introduced: Unimation 2000, Cincinnati Milacron (“The tomorrow tool, T3”) – the first computer controlled manipulator, the PUMA (“Programmable Universal Machine for Assembly”) by Unimation, the SCARA (“Selective compliant articulated robot for Assembly”) introduced in Japan and the US (by Adept Technologies). 1972 – First snake-like robot – ACM III – Hirose – Tokyo Inst. Of Tech. 1977 – Development of mobile robot Hilaire at Laboratoise d’Automatique et d’Analyse des Systemes (LAAS) in Toulouse, France. This mobile robot had three wheels and it is still in use. 1970’s – JPL develops its first planetary exploration Rover using a TV camera, laser range finder and tactile sensors.

18 Snake-like robot                                                                                             A. Hirose (Tokyo IT)

19 Snake (MIT) and Swimming (Eel) Robot (UHK)

20 Robot History Timeline
1980’s – Innovation in improving the performance of robot arms – feedback control to improve accuracy, program compliance, the introduction of personal computers as controllers, and commercialization of robots by a large number of companies: KUKA (Germany), IBM 7535, Adept Robot (USA), Hitachi, Seiko (Japan). Early 1980’s – Multi-fingered hands developed, Utah-MIT arm (16 DOF) developed by Steve Jacobsen, Salisbury’s hand (9 dof). – Stanford cart/CMU rover developed by Hans Moravec, later on became the Nomad mobile robot. 1980’s – Legged and hopping robots (BIPER – Shimoyama) and Raibert 1986. – V. Braitenberg revived the tortoise mobile robots of W. Grey Walter creating autonomous robots exhibiting behaviors. Hogg, Martin and Resnick at MIT create mobile robots using LEGO blocks (precursor to LEGO Mindstorms). Rodney Brooks at MIT creates first insect robots at MIT AI Lab – birth of behavioral robotics.

21 KUKA They can load, unload, deburr, flame-machine, laser, weld, bond, assemble, inspect, and sort.

22 IBM 7535 IBM 7535 Manufacturing System provided it advanced programming functions, including data communications, programmable speed.

23 Utah-MIT arm

24 Nomad mobile robot The XR4000 is an advanced mobile robot system that incorporates state of the art drive, control, networking, power management, sensing, communication and software development technologies.

25 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute CAT Robots
CAT-Mobile: Autonomous Tractor-Trailer Robot (Wen, Divelbiss, Popa) Tetrobot: Modular & Reconfigurable Stewart Platform (Sanderson & Lee)

26 Robot History Timeline
1990’s – Humanoid robots – Cog, Kismet (MIT), Wasubot, WHL-I – Japan, Honda P2 (1.82m, 210kg), and P3 (1.6m, 130kg), ASIMO. 1990’s – Entertainment and Education Robots – SARCOS (“Jurassic Park”), Sony AIBO, LEGO Mindstorms, Khypera, Parallax. ROBOCUP, the competition simulating the game of soccer played by two teams of robots having been held around the world since 1997 (Osaka) . 1990’s – Introduction of space robots (manipulators as well as rovers – the MARS rover 1996), parallel manipulators (Stewart-Gough Platforms), multiple manipulators, precision robots (“Robotworld”), surgical robots (“RoboDoc”), first service robots (as couriers in hospitals, etc)

27 Lego Mindstorms

28 Asimo Honda announced the development of new technologies for the next-generation ASIMO humanoid robot, targeting a new level of mobility.                

29 Entertainment robots from SARCOS

30 Kismet – MIT AI Lab Kismet consists of a head with large eyes with eyelids, bushy eyebrows, rubber lips, and floppy ears.

31 Cog – MIT AI Lab Cog is a humanoid robot. It has a torso, arms and a head but no legs. Cog's torso does not have a spine but it can bend at the waist from side-to-side and from front-to-back and can twist its torso the same way a person can. Cog's arms also move in a natural way.

32 Hierarchical family of robots (K-Team - Switzerland)
Khepera (6 in) Koala (20 in) Alice (1 in)

33 Robot History Timeline
2000’s – IRobot introduces the first autonomous vacuum – “Roomba”. 2000’s – Mini and micro robots, “Smart Dust” – Berkeley, UTA, EPFL/Lausanne, microfactories. 2000’s – Military applications - Robotic assistants for dangerous environments and reconnaissance, AUV’s and UUV’s, etc. 2000’s – Environmental Robotics 2000’s – Robotic Deployment of Sensor Networks 2000’s – Humanoid Robotics Takes Off

34 USC Mobile Robots Robot teams (A. Howard)

35 Flying Insect (UCB)

36 Solar AUV II SAUV-II from Autonomous Underwater Research Institute (AUSI) – New Hampshire

37 Robotics Applications
Today, commercial robots are used routinely in the following applications: Industrial Manufacturing – “Transforming objects” - arc/spot welding, milling/drilling, glueing/sealing, laser/water jet cutting, grinding, deburring, screwing, painting, and assembly. Material Handling: “Pick and Place”- palletizing (placing objects on a pellet in an ordered way), warehouse loading/unloading, part sorting, packaging, electronic chip pick and place, hazardous material handling. Measurement: object finding, contour finding, inspection, 3D registration. Entertainment robotics: animated figures, flight simulator, robotic pets. Service robotics: robotic aids for handicapped people, artificial limbs, robotic vacuum, courier. Military robotics: defusing explosive devices, scout robots, UAVs. Surgical Robotics: drilling, suturing, cauterizing, tool holding.

38 Hierarchical family of robots (UMN)
Scout & Ranger Series

39 ARV Wall-Climbing Robot for Fuselage Inspection

40 Robotics Applications
Robot prices continue to drop compared to the cost of human labor. In the year 2000, 78% of all robots installed in the US were welding or material-handling robots.

41 Robotics Applications

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