The History of Robotics

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Activity 1.1a History of Robotics
 
Purpose

Most people think that robots are mechanical people of the future. Use the website below to investigate our history with robotics and what our future might look like.   Equipment

•        History of Robotics handout
•        Computer with Internet access
•        Pencil
 
Procedure

Go to the following website and read through the sections, answering the questions below.   http://www.thetech.org/exhibits/online/robotics/universal/index.html   Feel free to watch any of the videos on the website while reading through the pages.   1.      List five tasks that robots can currently perform:

Five tasks that robots can perform are work, play, explore, move, and live.    
 
2. Approximately how long have we been using robots? 

We have been using robots for approximately 50 years.

 
 
3.      It is thought that Homer, the ancient Greek poet, described the first metallic helpers for which Greek god?

 Homer described the first metallic helpers for the Greek god Hephaestus.   4.      When did Leonardo da Vinci draw plans for a mechanical man?

 Leonardo da Vinci made plans for a mechanical man in 1945.    
 
 
5.      What events spurred the development of robots in the 1950s and 60s?

 Events that spurred the development of robots were the inventions of transistors and integrated circuits.    
 
 
6.      What was the first product of robotic manufacturing in 1959?

 The first product of robotic manufacturing was a computer-controlled milling machine.    
 
7.      What two characteristics differentiate a robot from a machine?

 Robots are controlled electronically while machines are operated mechanically. Also a machine is programmed while a robot can make decisions due to certain factors.    
 
8.      When, where, and what was the first use of the word robot?

 The first use of the word robot was in 1920, in Czechoslovakia, and the use of the word was to describe someone as a laborer/slave.    
 
9.      What percentage of robots work in factories?

 90% of all robots work in factories.
 
 
10. What function do more than half of robots perform?

More than half of all robots can make automobiles.
 
 
 
11. What accident in 1986 demonstrated a clear need for a robot to go where humans couldn’t?

 The accident in 1986 was the Chernobyl nuclear accident.
 
 
 
12. How are robots used in microsurgery?

 Robots are used in microsurgery by shrinking all the surgeons’ instruments and remove the shakiness that a person’s hand may have.    
 
13. What is the name of the rover that investigated the surface of Mars in 1997?

The name of the rover that investigated the surface of the moon was the Sojourner.

 
 
 
 
 
14. How long does it take for commands from Earth to reach a rover on Mars?

It takes eleven minutes for a command from earth to reach the rover on Mars.

 
 
 
 
 
15. Where else, besides space exploration, can robots go that humans cannot?

Besides space exploration robots are also capable of going under water and staying there for longer periods of times than humans.

 
 
 
 
 
16. What happened in 1994 in Alaska?

The 8 legged robot Dante II rappelled down Mt Spurr in Alaska to see when the volcano was going to erupt. The scientist were able to get very useful information but the cable holding the robot snapped and it fell and crashed.

 
 
 
 
17. What is unique about Nomad?

The Nomad is unique because it is a self guiding robotic vehicle that wanders the frozen Antarctic in search of meteorites.

 
 
 
 
18. What was the name of the vehicle that was a predecessor in the early 1970s to the Nomad as a somewhat autonomous vehicle?

The name of the vehicle was the Stanford Cart.

 
 
 
 
19. What is a degree of freedom?...
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