Robotics is a fast-growing technology. Industrial robots have become commonplace in factory settings worldwide in just a few decades and continue to gain popularity for their productivity and profitability. According to new research, nearly two-thirds (60 %) of British people believe there will be a robot in each home in the next 50 years, and only a quarter of them can’t imagine a life where a robot wouldn’t be part of their family.

In this post, we will see a list of common terms and definitions used in robotics.

  • Acceleration: A change in velocity (that is changing speed and/or direction of travel).
  • Acceleration-level: Mathematical formulations working with the change in joint speeds with respect to time. Integrating accelerations twice provides displacements.
  • Accelerometer: A device for measuring acceleration or force. These are related by Newton’s second law:
  • Accuracy: How close a measured value is to the actual value.
  • Active sensor: A sensor which instigates an action and then waits for a response
  • Actuator: A device which makes something happen
  • Aggressive Light phobe: A form of Braitenberg vehicle which accelerates away from lights.
  • Aggressive Light seeker: A form of Braitenberg vehicle which accelerates towards lights.
  • Algorithm: A set of actions which, if followed, achieve a particular task. These are typically expressed in language a human can ‘understand’ and may be converted into specific commands that a machine such as a computer can obey.
  • Analytical Methods: Purely mathematical methods that do not require iteration.
  • Android: A robot which looks (to an extent) like a human.
  • Application Program: The set of instructions that defines the specific intended tasks of robots and robot systems. This program may be originated and modified by the robot user.
  • Artificial Intelligence: Intelligence associated with a machine.
  • Artificial Life: The simulation of the behaviour and other characteristics of life typically by computers, robots or biochemical processes – named by Chris Langton.
  • Assembly robot: A robot used typically in a production line manufacturing (eg cars).
  • Attended Continuous Operation: The time when robots are performing (production) tasks at a speed no greater than slow speed through attended program execution.
  • Attended Program Verification: The time when a person within the restricted envelope (space) verifies the robot’s programmed tasks at programmed speed.
  • Automatic Mode: The robot state in which automatic operation can be initiated.
  • Automatic Operation: The time during which robots are performing programmed tasks through unattended program execution.
  • Automation: A process is performed by using programmable machines. The process is not only supported by machines but these machines can work in accordance with a program that regulates the behavior of the machine. (Common Misspellings: automaition)
  • Automation Solutions: The techniques and equipment used to achieve automatic operation or control.
  • Autonomous: Operating independently without pre-programmed behaviors and without supervision from humans. (Common Misspellings: autonomus, autonomos)
  • Autonomous robot: A robot which works on its own, as opposed to being controlled by a human.
  • Awareness Barrier: Physical and/or visual means that warns a person of an approaching or present hazard.
  • Awareness Signal: A device that warns a person of an approaching or present hazard by means of audible sound or visible light.
  • Axis: The line about which a rotating body (such as a tool) turns.
  • Ball Screw: A device for transforming rotary motion to linear, or vice versa, incorporating a threaded rod portion and a nut consisting of a cage holding many ball bearings.
  • Barrier: A physical means of separating persons from the restricted envelope (space).
  • Base: The platform which supports the manipulator arm.
  • Baxter robot: A modern industrial robot designed specifically to interact safely with humans.
  • Biomimetic: Mimicking life or natural biological systems.
  • Boids: Examples of artificial life, first produced by Craig Reynolds which appear to flock.
  • Brain-computer interface: A direct connection between a brain and a computer, allowing the brain to command the computer or the computer to monitor the brain.
  • Braitenberg vehicles: A form of robot, proposed by the Italian-Austrian cyberneticist Valentino Braitenberg, which actions are determined by its light sensors and neurons.
  • Business Process Automation (BPA): The process of integrating enterprise applications, reducing human intervention wherever possible, and assembling software services into end-to-end process flows.
  • Cam: A rotating part which, due to its eccentric center line, causes an in-and-out motion in any part pushing against it.
  • Capacitor: An electronic component used to store energy electrostatically – as current flows into a capacitor, it charges up, so the voltage across it increases.
  • Cartesian Robot/Gantry Robot: Robot whose arm has three prismatic joints, whose axes are coincident with a Cartesian coordinator.
  • Chassis: The part of a motor vehicle that includes the engine, the frame suspension system, wheels, steering mechanism etc. but not the body.
  • Closed Loop control: A feedback loop used to control a device.
  • Closed-form: A problem formulation that does not require iteration for its solution.
  • Collision Sensor: Robotic end effector or device that can detect a crash before or during a collision of the robot or its tool. Collision sensors send a signal back to the robot controller before or during a collision to have the robot avoid the collision or stop before or during a collision. Robotic crash protection devices are collision sensors that detect the collision during the crash. A collision sensor is also know as a robot safety joint, robot overload protection device, crash protection device, robot safety mount, robotic clutch and robotic collision protector.
  • Compensator: Remote compliance center device using three to twelve elastomeric shear pads to aid in the insertion of peg-in-hole applications.
  • Computer-Aided Design (CAD): The use of a computer to assist in the design of a product or manufacturing system.
  • Computer-Aided Manufacturing ( CAM): The use of a computer to assist in the manufacturing process.
  • Conservative motion: A path where both the end-effector and the joints repeatedly follow their same respective trajectories.
  • Control Device: Any piece of control hardware providing a means for human intervention in the control of a robot or robot system, such as an emergency-stop button, a start button, or a selector switch.
  • Control Engineering: A study of how to achieve control.
  • Control Program: The inherent set of control instructions that defines the capabilities, actions and responses of the robot system. This program is usually not intended to be modified by the user.
  • Controller: A device which forms part of a control system – often taking the error between the desired state and the actual state and generating data used to affect an actuator.
  • Coordinated Straight Line Motion: Control wherein the axes of the robot arrive at their respective end points simultaneously, giving a smooth appearance to the motion. The motions of the axes are such that the Tool Center Point (TCP) moves along a prespecified type of path (line, circle, etc.)
  • Coordinates: A set of numbers used to represent a position –often there are two or three dimensional positions.
  • Cybernetics: The science of control and communication (in the animal and the machine) – the science of feedback systems – incorporating control, learning and interaction.
  • Cyborg: A cybernetic organism comprising a mixture of organic and mechanical electronic components.
  • Daisyworld: An imaginary planet, populated with artificial life, created by James Lovelock and Andrew Watson to demonstrate aspects of Gaia Theory.
  • Degrees: A measurement of an angle. A complete rotation is 360 degrees: a right angle is 90 degrees.
  • Degrees of freedom: In robotics, the number of independent modes in which a robot can operate.
  • Device: Any piece of control hardware such as an emergency-stop button, selector switch, control pendant, relay, solenoid valve, sensor, etc.
  • Dexterity: A measure of the robot’s ability to follow complex paths.
  • Differentiation: Mathematically the process of finding the derivative or rate of change of a function – an aspect of calculus – and the inverse of integration.
  • Digital Computer: A computer that performs calculations and logical operations with quantities represented as digits, usually in the binary number system.
  • Direct Numerical Control (DNC): The use of a computer for providing data inputs to several remote numerically controlled machine tools.
  • Direct search: A method of solving problems numerically using sets of trial solutions to guide a search. The search is direct because it does not explicitly evaluate derivatives.
  • Drive Power: The energy source or sources for the robot actuators.
  • Dynamic model: A mathematical model describing the motions of the robot and the forces that cause them.
  • Dynamics: The study of energy or forces that cause motion.
  • Echo location: A process where the position of an object is determined by emitting a signal and seeing how long before that signal returns.
  • Electronics: The science of the flow and control of electrons from devices such as batteries through electric components such as resistors and motors.
  • Emergency Stop: The operation of a circuit using hardware-based components that overrides all other robot controls, removes drive power from the robot actuators, and causes all moving parts to stop.
  • Enabling Device: A manually operated device that permits motion when continuously activated. Releasing the device stops robot motion and motion of associated equipment that may present a hazard.
  • Encoder: In robotics this is a device used to generate pulses as a wheel turns, which can be used to measure velocity.
  • End effector: A device or tool at the end of a robot hand.
  • End-effector space: A fixed coordinate system referenced to the base of the robot.
  • End-effector: The robot uses the end-effector to accomplish a task. The end-effector may be holding a tool, or the end-effector itself may be a tool. The end-effector is loosely comparable to a human’s hand. Examples may include gripper, spot-weld guns, arc-weld guns, spray- paint guns, or any other application tools. (Common Misspellings: end-effecter, end-affector, end-affecter)
  • End-Of-Arm Tooling: Virtually anything that is placed on the end of a robot arm.
  • Energy Source: Any electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, thermal, or other source.
  • Equality constraint: A restriction that requires the displacement or motion of the robot to equal a specified value. Equality constraints specify the position and orientation of the robot’s end-effector.
  • Error: In a control system, the difference between the desired state and the actual state.
  • Error function: The error function assigns a single value that represents the difference between the desired and actual values of one or several dependent variables.
  • Excitatory: connection between neurons which enhances action (as used in Neural Networks and Braitenberg vehicles).
  • Exponential Assembly: A form of self-replication in which tiny devices called nanorobots repeatedly construct copies of themselves.
  • Factory Automation: Automation of a manufacturing environment or assembly line.
  • Feedback: a signal from the robot equipment about conditions as they really exist, rather than as the computer has directed them to exist.
  • Feedback Loop: A circular path along which information is passed.
  • Firmware: A type of software which provides direct access to the device’s hardware.
  • Fixed Automation (Hard Automation): Automated, electronically controlled system for simple, straight or circular motion. These systems are mainly used for large production runs where little flexibility is required.
  • Flexibility: The ability of a robot to perform a variety of different tasks.
  • Flexible Automation: Designing and building of custom dedicated automated systems.
  • Flocking behaviour: The coordinated movement of a number of real or simulated animals eg birds flying, sheep moving together, schools of fish, or boids.
  • Force: The strength associated with action or movement.
  • Force Feedback: A method whereby a sensor conveys to the user the force felt when touching an object.
  • Fully Constrained Robot: A robot with as many independent joints as there are equality constraints on the placement of the end-effector.
  • Fuzzy Logic: A form of logic which deals with approximate values, as opposed to logic signals which are true or false only.
  • Gaia Theory: As proposed by James Lovelock: Earth and the Life on it act together to influence the environment – such as its temperature.
  • Gain: The size of the output of an element divided by its input – in a Proportional Controller, its output is the error * the gain.
  • Game of Life: A cellular automaton where a computer organism evolves over time, where its current state is determined by its previous state. It was devised by John Conway in 1970.
  • Grimblebot: A self-balancing robot designed at the University of Reading.
  • Gripper: An end effector used for sizing or holding something (a simple hand).
  • Haptics: Interaction involving the sense of touch.
  • Hardware: The physical components of a computer.
  • Hazard: A situation that is likely to cause physical harm.
  • Hazardous Motion: Any motion that is likely to cause personal physical harm.
  • Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) (or, alternatively, computer-human interaction): the study of interaction between people (users) and computers.
  • Hybrid: A robot that is part pick and place and part servo controlled, or has the same abilities.
  • Hydraulics: The science covering the laws governing the motion and application of liquids.
  • Industrial Automation: Also referred to as automation, uses numerical control during the use of control systems (e.g. computers) to control industrial machinery and processes, replacing human operators. It is a step beyond mechanization, where human operators are provided with machinery to assist them with the physical requirements of work. The most visible part of modern automation can be said to be industrial robotics. Some advantages are repeatability, tighter quality control, waste reduction, integration with business systems, increased productivity and reduction of labour. (Common Misspellings include: industrail automation, industry automation, industryial automation)
  • Industrial Equipment: Physical apparatus used to perform industrial tasks, such as welders, conveyors, machine tools, fork trucks, turn tables, positioning tables or robots.
  • Industrial robot: A multi-functional manipulator which can be programmed to do various tasks.
  • Industrial Robot System: A system that includes industrial robots, the end-effectors, and the devices and sensors required for the robots to be taught or programmed, or for the robots to perform the intended automatic operations, as well as the communication interfaces required for interlocking, sequencing, or monitoring the robots.
  • Industrial Robotics: The study, design and use of robot systems for manufacturing.
  • Inequality Constraint: A restriction that limits the value of a dependent or independent variable. Inequality constraints limit the robot’s joint travels (joint limits), joint speeds (speed limits) and torques (torque limits).
  • Infrared sensor: An electronic sensor (often passive) that measures infrared light radiating from objects in its view. Infrared signals have wavelengths longer than those of visible light.
  • Inhibitory: A connection between neurons which inhibits action (as used in Neural Networks and Braitenberg vehicles).
  • Input device: One of many different devices which allow a human to interact with a machine like a computer or robot – including keyboard, mouse, touchpad.
  • Insect robot: A small mobile robot.
  • Instruction: A piece of a program commanding the computer to do something.
  • Integral control: A method used in Feedback Control where the output of the controller depends on its input (typically the error) and previous values of its output.
  • Integrated development environment (IDE): A computer program which provides the facilities to allow a programmer to develop other programs.
  • Integrator: Company that combines and coordinates separate parts or elements into a unified whole using mechanical means. (Common misspellings include: Integrater,Integreater, integreator, integratour)
  • Intelligence: The ability to acquire and apply skills and knowledge.
  • Intelligent robot: A robot whose actions are at least in part determined by the robot.
  • Interface: A boundary between the robot and machines, transfer lines, or parts outside immediate environment. The root must communicate with these items through input/output signals provided by sensors.
  • Interlock: An arrangement whereby the operation of one control or mechanism brings about or prevents the operation of another.
  • Inverse Kinematics: The inverse kinematics problem is to find the robot’s joint displacements given position and orientation constraints on the robot’s end-effector.
  • Iteration: Repeatedly applying a series of operations to progressively advance towards a solution.
  • Jacobian: The matrix of first-order partial derivatives. For robots, the Jacobian relates the end-effector velocity to the joint speeds.
  • Joint: A part of a robot manipulator which allows some form of rotation (humans also have joints at our wrist, elbow, shoulder, for instance).
  • Joint Motion: A method for coordinating the movement of the joints such that all joints arrive at the desired location simultaneously.
  • Joint space: A coordinate system used to describe the state of the robot in terms of its joint states. Inverse kinematics may also be thought of as a mapping from end-effector space to joint space.
  • Jointed Arm Robot: A robot whose arm consists of two links connected by “elbow” and “shoulder” joints to provide three rational motions. This robot most closely resembles a human arm.
  • Kinematic influence coefficients: These coefficients describe the total influence the N input joints have on the motion of the robot and allow a direct statement of the complex and coupled nonlinear differential equations controlling the response of the system.
  • Kinematics: The study of motion without regards to the forces that cause those motions
  • LaGrange multipliers: A mathematical technique for transforming equality constraints into performance criteria, thus expressing a constrained problem as an unconstrained problem.
  • Laser: Stands for Light amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. A device which emits a beam of light – can be used in sensing.
  • Law of Robotics: The laws defined by Isaac Asimov in his stories of robots – to define their behaviour.
  • Light Dependent Resistor (LDR): See Phototransistor.
  • Light phobe: A form of Braitenberg vehicle which steers away from lights.
  • Light seeker: A form of Braitenberg vehicle which steers towards lights.
  • Limiting Device: A device that restricts the maximum envelope (space) by stopping or causing to stop all robot motion and is independent of the control program and the application programs.
  • Linear motion: Movement in a straight line, as opposed to rotating.
  • Linearly Dependent: A correspondence between quantities or functions that can be described by simply adding, subtracting or multiplying a scalar.
  • Link: A rigid part of a manipulator.
  • Localization: In robotics it is about determining where a robot is.
  • Logic: A branch of mathematics concerned with signals that can be only true or false, and which form the basis of modern computers.
  • Machina Speculatrix: A robot developed by W. Grey Walter in the 1940s which seeks light.
  • Magnetometer: A device for detecting magnetic fields .
  • Maintenance: The act of keeping the robots and robot systems in their proper operating condition.
  • Manipulator: A robotic mechanism typically comprising a series of fixed elements joined together at joints.
  • Maximum Envelope Space: The volume of space encompassing the maximum designed movements of all robot parts including the end-effector, workpiece, and attachments.
  • Mechanical: Using mechanisms, tools or devices.
  • Mechanization: Introducing the use of machines to a production process.
  • Microcontroller: A small computer system, typically on a single integrated circuit, comprising the microprocessor, memory and peripherals.
  • Mobile Robot: A self-propelled and self-contained robot that is capable of moving over a mechanically unconstrained course.
  • Moment: (Mech.) (a) With respect to a point, the product of the intensity of the force into the perpendicular distance from the point to the line of direction of the force. (b) With respect to a line, the product of that component of the force which is perpendicular to the plane passing through the line and the point of application of the force, into the shortest distance between the line and this point. (c) With respect to a plane that is parallel to the force, the product of the force into the perpendicular distance of its point of application from the plane.
  • Motor: A power mechanism used to produce motion – either in a straight line or by rotating.
  • Muting: The deactivation of a presence-sensing safeguarding device during a portion of the robot cycle.
  • Nanotechnology (Molecular Manufacturing ): A branch of engineering that deals with the design and manufacture of extremely small electronic circuits and mechanical devices built at the molecular level of matter.
  • Neural Network: A set of neurons connected together.
  • Neuron: A simple processing element in a brain – the human has billions of them.
  • Normalize: Scaling a number of factors so that they will be of similar magnitudes.
  • Numerical methods: Iterative methods of solving problems on a computer. Numerical methods may have an analytical basis or they may involve heuristics.
  • Off-Line Programming: A means of programming a robot by developing a set of instructions on an independent computer and then using the software to control the robot at a later date.
  • On-Line Programming: A means of programming a robot on a computer that directly controls the robot. The programming is performed in real time.
  • Operating Envelope Space: That portion of the restricted envelope (space) that is actually used by the robot while performing its programmed motions.
  • Operator: The person designated to start, monitor, and stop the intended productive operation of a robot or robot system. An operator may also interface with a robot for productive purposes.
  • Optical Encoder: A device for measuring linear or rotary motion by detecting beams of light as the encoder passes by a light.
  • Optimization: Calculating the independent variables in a function so as to generate the best function value for a given set of conditions. Optimization usually involves maximizing or minimizing a function.
  • Palletizing: The process of placing parts in different positions on a pallet.
  • Parallel Robot: Robot whose arms have concurrent prismatic or rotary joints.
  • Passive sensor: A sensor which just ‘listens’ for information (in contrast with an active sensor).
  • Pendant: Any portable control device, including teach pendants, that permits an operator to control the robot from within the restricted envelope (space) of the robot.
  • Performance criteria: Measures based on kinematic and dynamic models of the robot useful for evaluating the state of the robot.
  • Pheromone: A chemical signal emitted by a body which triggers response in others.
  • Photoelectric sensor: A sensor which uses light (often infrared) to detect the presence of an object or the distance to it.
  • Phototransistor: Also called Light Dependent Resistor (LDR) – a resistor whose resistance decreases with increasing incident light.
  • Pick and Place Robot: A simple category of robot used to pick parts and place them down somewhere else.
  • Pitch: The steepness of a slope/ for a flying object it is its rotation around the ‘side-to-side’ axis.
  • Plant description: A kinematic and dynamic model of the robot.
  • Pneumatics: The science covering the laws governing the motion and application of gases.
  • Point-To-Point Motion: A type of robot motion in which a limited number of points along a path of motion is specified by the controller, and the robot moves from point to point rather than in a continuous, smooth path.
  • Position: Where something is.
  • Positional Assembly: A technique that has been suggested as a means to build objects, devices, and systems on a molecular scale using automated processes in which the components that carry out the construction process would follow programmed paths.
  • Position-level: Mathematical formulations working with the joint displacements.
  • Precision: How close measured values are to each other.
  • Presence-Sensing Safeguarding Device: A device designed, constructed, and installed to create a sensing field or area to detect an intrusion into the field or area by personnel, robots, or other objects.
  • Productivity: The amount of output created produced per unit input used.
  • Program: (noun) A sequence of instructions to be executed by the computer or robot controller to control a robot or robot system. (verb) to furnish a computer with a code of instruction. (verb) to teach a robot system a specific set of movements and instructions to accomplish a task.
  • Programmable Logic Controller (PLC): A small computer used for automation of real-world processes, such as control of machinery on factory assembly lines.
  • Proportional Control: A strategy where the controller outputs a value which is the error multiplied by a constant (is proportional to the error).
  • Proportional plus Derivative Control: A strategy where the controller output is an amount proportional to the error plus an amount due to the differential of the error. Also known as P+D control.
  • Proportional plus Integral Control: A strategy where the controller output is an amount proportional to the error plus an amount due to the integral of the error. Also known as P+I control.
  • Proportional plus Integral plus Derivative Control: A strategy where the controller output is an amount proportional to the error plus an amount due to the integral of the error plus an amount due to the differential of the error. Also known as PID or Three Term Control.
  • Pseudoinverse: A simple method of inverting a matrix that is not square. As commonly applied to redundant robots, the pseudoinverse minimizes the two-norm of the joint speeds.
  • Pulse Width Modulation (PWM): A technique for generating an analog value using a digital signal: the signal is repeatedly switched between two values but the time in each state varies – and that is the analog value generated.
  • Quadrature: In electronics the relationship between two signals 90O out of phase.
  • R2-D2: A robot in the Star Wars films and books.
  • Reach: The maximum distance from the centre line of the robot to the end of its tool mounting plate.
  • Redundancy: More independent variables than constraints.
  • Reliability: The percentage of time during which the robot can be expected to be in normal operation. This is also known as the “up time” of the robot.
  • Remanufacture: To upgrade or modify robots to the revised specifications of the manufacturer and applicable industry standards.
  • Remote Compliance Centre (RCC): Any compliance structure has a centre of compliance. If you were to push at this centre you would have a pure lateral motion (no rotation). If you were to rotate this centre, you would have rotation with no lateral motion. A remote compliance centre is a compliance centre projected outward from the device. Remote compliance centres decouple lateral and angular motion. A RCC device can be used in assembly to ease the insertion force. When a project compliance centre is near the insertion point of a peg-in-hole type assembly, the peg translates into the hole when it strikes the outside lead-in chamfer without rotating. This translation without rotation prevents the jamming seen from compliance devices that have a compliance centre far away from the insertion point.
  • Repair: To restore robots and robot systems to operating condition after damage, malfunction, or wear.
  • Repeatability: The variability of the end-effector’s position and orientation as the robot makes the same moves under the same conditions (load, temp, etc.)
  • Resistor: An electronic component with a property of resistance: the voltage across a resistor equals the current flowing through it multiplied by the resistance.
  • Resolved-rate: An extremely simple inverse kinematics method at the velocity-level.
  • Restricted Envelope Space: That portion of the maximum envelope to which a robot is restricted by limiting devices. The maximum distance that the robot can travel after the limiting device is actuated defines the boundaries of the restricted envelope (space) of the robot.
  • Robot: A machine designed to execute one or more tasks repeatedly, with speed and precision.
  • Robot Manufacturer: A company or business involved in the design, the fabrication, or the sale of robots, robot tooling, robotic peripheral equipment or controls, and associated process ancillary equipment. (Common Misspellings: robot manufacterur, robot manufacturor, robot manufacterur, robot manufacterer)
  • Robot System Integrator: A company or business who either directly or through a subcontractor will assume responsibility for the design, fabrication, and integration of the required robot, robotic peripheral equipment, and other required ancillary equipment for a particular robotic application.
  • Robotic Deburring Tool: Deburring tool, air or electrically driven, with compliance and a method to mount to a robot wrist. Deburring tools can also be mounted to a bench or fixture, with parts brought to the unit to be deburred.
  • Robotic Rotary Joint: Device used to keep electrical and pneumatic cables on a robot stationary while the tool rotates. A Rotary Joint has two halves: a stationary half that is mounted on a robot arm, and a rotating half that mounts to the robot wrist and tool. Slip ring technology is used to pass electrical signals. Also known as robotic rotary union or robot slip ring.
  • Robotic Self-Motion: The robot’s ability to move its intermediate links while holding the placement of the end-effector constant.
  • Robotic Tool Changer: Component with two mating parts (master and tool) that have been designed to lock together automatically (normally using pneumatic pressure) and are able to pass utilities (e.g. electrical signals, pneumatic supply, water, etc.). The master side of the tool changer mounts to a robot or other structure. The tool side of the tool changer mounts to tooling, such as grippers, welders or deburring tools. A robotic tool changer is also known as an automatic tool changer, robot tool changer, robot coupler, robotic coupler or robotic connector.
  • Roll: Rotation of an airplane around the ‘front-to-back’ axis.
  • Rotary motion: Movement where something turns on the spot, or around a joint.
  • Rotational Motion: A degree of freedom that defines motion of rotation about an axis.
  • Safeguard: A barrier guard, device, or safety procedure designed for the protection of personnel.
  • Safety Procedure: An instruction designed for the protection of personnel.
  • Scale: Changing magnitude by linear operation, i.e. multiplying by a scalar.
  • SCARA Robot: Robot which has two parallel rotary joints to provide compliance in a plane.
  • Self-Assembly: A branch of nanotechnology in which objects, devices and systems form structures without external prodding.
  • Self-Replication: Process in which devices whose diameters are of atomic scale, on the order of nanometers, create copies of themselves.
  • Sensor: A device that responds to physical stimuli (such as heat, light, sound, pressure, magnetism, motion, etc.) and transmits the resulting signal or data for providing a measurement, operating a control, or both.
  • Serial robot: A serial robot is a single chain of joints connected by links.
  • Service: To adjust, repair, maintain, and make fit for use.
  • Servo/ Servomechanism: An automatic device which uses feedback control to determine its output: it comprises the device under control, appropriate sensors and the control mechanism.
  • Servomotor: A servomechanism which includes a motor and associated sensors to enable its position or velocity to be controlled.
  • Shoulder: The manipulator arm link joint that is attached to the base.
  • Shy Light seeker: A form of Braitenberg vehicle which seeks lights but slows when it approaches them.
  • Signal: In Electronics it is a current/voltage/electromagnetic field used to convey information.
  • Simulation: A computer program which tries to emulate the behaviour of something – in this course we use simulations of robots moving around an arena.
  • Single Point of Control: The ability to operate the robot such that initiation or robot motion from one source of control is possible only from that source and cannot be overridden from another source.
  • Singularity: A position in the robot’s workspace where one or more joints no longer represent independent controlling variables. Commonly used to indicate a position where a particular mathematical formulation fails.
  • Slow Speed Control: A mode of robot motion control where the velocity of the robot is limited to allow persons sufficient time either to withdraw the hazardous motion or stop the robot.
  • Software: A computer program which provides the instructions to enable the computer hardware to work.
  • Solenoid: An electrical coil with an iron section inside that will pull or push when current goes through the coil.
  • Spherical Robot: Robot whose axes form polar coordinate systems.
  • Start-up: Routine application of drive power to the robot or robot system.
  • Statics: The study of forces that do not cause motion.
  • Subsumption architecture: A method proposed by Rodney Brooks to determine which course of action is more important for a robot than others.
  • Swing: The rotation about the centre line of the robot.
  • System: A set of ‘things’ which work together.
  • Teach: The generation and storage of a series of positional data points affected by moving the robot arm through a path of intended motions.
  • Teach Mode: The control state that allows the generation and storage of positional data points affected by moving the robot arm through a path of intended motions.
  • Teacher: A person who provides the robot with a specific set of instructions to perform a task.
  • Test Automation: The use of software to control the execution of tests, the comparison of actual outcomes to predicted outcomes, the setting up of test preconditions and other test control and test reporting functions.
  • Tool Center Point (TCP): The origin of the tool coordinate system.
  • Touch sensor: A sensor which measures some aspect of the physical contact with an object.
  • Transducer: A device which converts energy from one form to another – eg motor speed to an electrical signal.
  • Trigger Point: The exact point at which a component will change from one state to another.
  • Turnkey or Turnkey Project: a project in which a separate entity is responsible for setting up a plant or equipment and putting it into operation. (Common misspellings: turn-key, turn-key project)
  • Two-norm: The square root of the sum of the squares. The magnitude of a vector.
  • Ultrasonic sensor: A sensor which emits ultrasound and then detects any ultrasound that returns.
  • Ultrasound: Sound that is at a frequency higher than humans can hear.
  • Velocity: The speed at which an object is travelling and the direction in which it is travelling.
  • Velocity feedback: Where the signal feedback is the change in (or differential) of a signal.
  • Velocity-level: Mathematical formulations working with the joint speeds. Integrating the joint speeds once provides the displacements.
  • Vertical Stroke: The amount of vertical motion of a robot arm from one elevation to the other.
  • Vision Sensor: A device which gives a visual representation of something – typically from a camera.
  • VLSI (Very Large Scale Integration): the creation of a large number of components on a single chip.
  • Work Cell: A group of machines all working together on a common part and physically located together.
  • Work Envelope: The area in which a robot can work, the limits to its motions.
  • Work in Progress: An accounting term used to express the value of material taken up continuously by the work process.
  • Work Station: A stationary position where work is performed, the work piece moving to the station.
  • Workspace: The maximum reach space refers to all of the points the robot can possibly reach. The dexterous workspace is all of the possible points the robot can reach with an arbitrary orientation. The dexterous workspace is usually a subspace of the maximum reach space.
  • Wrist: The manipulator arm joint to which an end effecter is attached.
  • XYZ Coordinates: A reference to the most common names given to the lines forming a Cartesian solid.
  • Yaw: The rotation of a flying object about its vertical axis.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here