Author Topic: Is the $40 Line Follower a robot?  (Read 1777 times)

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Offline AberTopic starter

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Is the $40 Line Follower a robot?
« on: December 10, 2010, 04:01:32 AM »
Hi,
Is the $40 Line Follower can be considered a robot since there isn't any programming involved in the process of building it?
Aber Aljadi

Offline knossos

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Re: Is the $40 Line Follower a robot?
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2010, 05:56:19 AM »
That would depend entirely on your definition of robot.  I would argue it is more of a robot than a remote control vehicle since it makes decisions autonomously while an RC vehicle is controlled by an outside source.
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Offline waltr

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Re: Is the $40 Line Follower a robot?
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2010, 08:40:37 AM »
I agree with all the points knossos made.

Offline AberTopic starter

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Re: Is the $40 Line Follower a robot?
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2010, 11:09:57 AM »
I thought building a robot requires 3 steps: mechanics, electronics and programming.
In the $40 Line follower the programming part is missing or is not involved at all.
So, if there is a "Science fair project", for example, for building a robot, any kind of robot, would the $40 line follower be considered a robot?
Aber Aljadi

Offline waltr

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Re: Is the $40 Line Follower a robot?
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2010, 11:31:29 AM »
As knosso stated:
Quote
That would depend entirely on your definition of robot.


A google result on "definition of robot" is:
Quote
automaton: a mechanism that can move automatically
wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

There isn't any mention of how decisions are made therefore a processor is not a requirement.
The definition should not be restricted to include a processor, other methods (some of which aren't even invented yet) can be used for a robot to interact with its environment.

Also see Wiki's Definition:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robot
Quote
While there is no single correct definition of "robot,"[27] a typical robot will have several, or possibly all, of the following characteristics.

While the next sentence states "programming" that does not entirely imply a processor. The $40 robot IS PROGRAMMED with discrete logic and analog circuits to perform a task as a line follower which is within the definition of a robot. This Bot could be re-wired (programed) to be a photo-vore or a photo-phobe.

Offline AberTopic starter

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Re: Is the $40 Line Follower a robot?
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2010, 04:27:58 PM »
That was a very good answer. You gave me the help I want. Thanks a lot +1
Aber Aljadi

Offline Soeren

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Re: Is the $40 Line Follower a robot?
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2010, 08:12:29 AM »
Hi,

I'd like to add...
Any cybernetic arrangement can be considered a robot, since it's regulating stuff based on feedback.

R/C vehicles can at most be called ROV's (Remote Operated Vehicle), unless there's at least some robotics built in - like obstacle avoidance or similar, with a controller taking over in critical situations, or an arm grabbing something without explicit control from the operator.
Regards,
Søren

A rather fast and fairly heavy robot with quite large wheels needs what? A lot of power?
Please remember...
Engineering is based on numbers - not adjectives

Offline AberTopic starter

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Re: Is the $40 Line Follower a robot?
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2010, 02:18:27 PM »
Thanks a lot Soeren for your feedback. You just gave me more ideas of what can be called robot. In this case an airplane is a robot, because it can be switch into autopilot.
Aber Aljadi

Offline Soeren

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Re: Is the $40 Line Follower a robot?
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2010, 05:34:08 PM »
Hi,

In this case an airplane is a robot, because it can be switch into autopilot.
I'd rather say that the autopilot is a robot in itself.
Regards,
Søren

A rather fast and fairly heavy robot with quite large wheels needs what? A lot of power?
Please remember...
Engineering is based on numbers - not adjectives

Offline TrickyNekro

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Re: Is the $40 Line Follower a robot?
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2010, 06:19:05 PM »
In the $40 Line follower the programming part is missing or is not involved at all.

Programming, isn't only sitting in front of a computer screen... It can be done with wiring digital logic gates or by utilizing analog circuits...

For example... You can program a microcontroller with PID control, but can also hard wire a op amp to do it ;-)
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Offline paulstreats

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Re: Is the $40 Line Follower a robot?
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2010, 11:58:20 AM »
So is the light in your fridge a robot?

 I mean, theres a sensor that detects whether the door is open, and a circuit that decides if the light should turn on. ;D

 Or does a robot have to be able to MOVE physically. There are some "Solar robots" that do nothing but flash LED's when the sun is shining, are these robots...

 The definition of robot seems to be somewhat decided by the creator rather than there being any strict rules.

Offline Soeren

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Re: Is the $40 Line Follower a robot?
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2010, 05:31:45 PM »
Hi,

So is the light in your fridge a robot?

 I mean, theres a sensor that detects whether the door is open, and a circuit that decides if the light should turn on. ;D
No, it's not a robot.
No, it does not have a sensor and detects nothing.
It has a contact that switches it on and off.

It's like asking if all lamps are robots.


Or does a robot have to be able to MOVE physically. There are some "Solar robots" that do nothing but flash LED's when the sun is shining, are these robots...
Movement is not a compulsory need (unless we talk about movement on an atomic scale ;)).
Feedback and reaction to same in a purposeful fashion is a quite good determinant IMO.

What about the welding 'bots of the car industry?
I don't really think they deserve their name, as they're programmed to make rigidly planned movements (however many and intricate they may be) and their only autonomy is detecting the distance from and perhaps temp. of the weld.
It's not their inability to move from their base that makes them less robotics though.


The definition of robot seems to be somewhat decided by the creator rather than there being any strict rules.
So, if I "create" a rubber ball I could call it a robot  ;D

I'd rather say that it's the context that defines whether something is a robot or not.
Viewing it from the industrial stand point, any form of automation can be called a robot, while the stands of sci-fi film makers will be quite different.

(In DK, there's no robotics line on uni's - It's  called automation here)

That makes it a bit hard to find a single definition for what a robot should be, so why not look more into what any context would see as a robot.

Not that different from what defines the general publics grasp of what defines a car, an entertainment unit a necessary amount of eating utensils, the amount of Teddy Bears a kid should have or how the healthiest carbohydrate/protein/fat makeup should be etc.
We're humans - we have the ability (and feature) to have different solutions and opinions.

Besides, I think we all can agree on what's not a robot (like from our stand point eg. ROV's and fridge lights  ;D).
Regards,
Søren

A rather fast and fairly heavy robot with quite large wheels needs what? A lot of power?
Please remember...
Engineering is based on numbers - not adjectives

Offline TrickyNekro

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Re: Is the $40 Line Follower a robot?
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2010, 05:37:37 PM »
We are rick rolling ourselves now... Aren't we??? ;D
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P.S. I've been inactive for almost a year... Don't give promises but I'll try to complete my tutorials. I'll let you know when..

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Offline AberTopic starter

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Re: Is the $40 Line Follower a robot?
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2010, 04:41:44 PM »
WoW very nice arguments. I like that. Well, here is the bomb question. Can't we say "human is a robot?" hehehe. I know it's funny, but think about it. What are we talking about here; electricity? Don't we have electric pulses in our bodies that are triggered by some emotions or reactions? how about wires? don't we have some kind of wires that electric pulses go through?......and so on, and so son...
Aber Aljadi

Offline T0110100101101101K

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Re: Is the $40 Line Follower a robot?
« Reply #14 on: December 24, 2010, 05:43:29 PM »
I think this is a very interesting topic, when I saw this newly opened restaurant in China.
http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90001/90776/90882/7241630.html   

It seems to me that these line following "robots" end up acting more like a conveyor belt with a motion sensor as a saftey curtain.   If there was a controller driving the speed of the belt, is a conveyor belt a robot?

And to Aber's point, although I doubt a squirell can sit around and ponder the fact due to a very small brain, it is still as much an animal as a human.  Therefore, a robot controlled by even the smallest of logic should be a robot, right?

Wow, now that I reread my comment I'm almost regretting resurfacing this philisophical thread.
A robot could do my job...

 


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