Topic 54. Robotic Systems
The popular image of a robot is illustrated by the rather chunky R2D2 in the film Star Wars or the robot featured in the film I, robot, which is even more human in appearance and behaviour than R2D2. But robots do not necessarily resemble humans, even though they are designed to do the same things as humans, relieving humans of the burden or dangers of doing them, and doing them faster, more reliably and with greater precision. In fact, a robot is more often a wheeled vehicle, such as those that wander the factory floor carrying a supply of machine parts to the work stations, where stationary robot arms assemble the parts into a finished product. Automatic robot vehicles have been widely used on the Moon and the planet Mars to take soil samples, analyse them, and transmit the results back to Earth. Other robots, include the underwater vessels used to maintain and repair offshore oil rigs.