The Human Hand

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Science Fair
22 April 2013
Grasping with Straws: Make a Robot Hand Using Drinking Straws

Robotics is the science and technology of robots, their design, manufacture, and

application. Robotics requires a knowledge of electronics, mechanics and software, and

is usually accompanied by a large working knowledge of many subjects. The structure of a robot
is mostly mechanical and can be called a kinematic chain. This is functionality being similar to

the skeleton of the human body, so “The chain is formed of its bones, muscles and joints which

can allow one or more degrees of freedom” (Smith16). Scientists develop man-made mechanical

devices that can move by themselves, whose motion must be modeled, lanned, sensed, actuated

and controlled, and whose motion behavior can be influenced by “programming”. Robots are

called “intelligent” if they succeed in moving in safe interaction with an unstructured

environment, while autonomously achieving their specified tasks. This definition implies that a

device can only be called a “robot” if it contains a movable mechanism, influenced by sensing,

planning, actuation and control components. It does not imply that a minimum number of these

components must be implemented in software, or be changeable by the “consumer” who uses the

device. The motion behavior can have been hard-wired into the device by the manufacturer.

Robotics is all about system integration, achieving a task by an actuated mechanical device, with

an “intelligent” integration of components, many of which it shares with other domains, such as

systems and control, computer science, character animation, machine design, computer vision,

artificial intelligence, cognitive science, biomechanics, etc. In addition, the boundaries of

robotics cannot be clearly defined, since also its main ideas, concepts and algorithms are being

applied in an ever increasing number of...
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