autonomous robot

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autonomous robot

[ȯ¦tän·ə·məs ′rō‚bät]
A robot that not only can maintain its own stability as it moves, but also can plan its movements.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

autonomous weapon

An unmanned robotic foot soldier, tank or drone that is capable of making decisions on its own. Unlike the drones in use today, emerging autonomous weapons choose their targets without human intervention. In 2015, 1,000 technology professionals along with Stephen Hawking (theoretical physicist and author), Steve Wozniak (Apple co-founder) and Elon Musk (Tesla and Space-X) called for a worldwide ban on autonomous weapons, contending they will make war easier to start and become a threat to humanity.


A stand-alone hybrid computer system that performs physical and computational activities. Capable of performing many tasks, a robot is a multiple-motion device with one or more arms and joints. Robots can be similar in form to a human, but industrial robots do not resemble people at all.

The term is attributed to Czech dramatist Karel Capek in his 1921 play titled "R.U.R. - Rossum's Universal Robots." Capek applied the Czech word "robota," which means "forced labor" or "servitude" to the mechanized people in the skit. Three years later, robots appeared in Fritz Lang's classic silent movie "Metropolis," and they have been with us ever since.

A Wide Variety of Applications
In manufacturing, robots are used for welding, riveting, scraping and painting. They are also deployed for demolition, fire and bomb fighting, nuclear site inspection, industrial cleaning, laboratory use, medical surgery (see telepresence surgery), agriculture, forestry, office mail delivery as well as many other tasks. Increasingly, more artificial intelligence is being added. For example, some robots can identify objects in a pile, select the objects in the appropriate sequence and assemble them into a unit (see AI).

Analog and Digital
Robots use analog sensors for recognizing real-world objects and digital computers for direction. Analog to digital converters convert temperature, motion, pressure, sound and images into binary code for the robot's computer, which directs the actions of the arms and joints by pulsing their motors. See AIBO.

Shakey the Robot
Developed in 1969 by the Stanford Research Institute, Shakey was the first fully mobile robot with artificial intelligence. Shakey is seven feet tall and was named after its rather unstable movements. (Image courtesy of The Computer History Museum,

Huey, Dewey and Louie
At the turn of the century, these robots were applying sealant to cars at Ford's Wayne, Michigan plant. Named after Donald Duck's nephews, Huey (top) sealed the drip rails while Dewey (right) sealed the interior weld seams. Louie is outside the view of this photo. (Image courtesy of Ford Motor Company.)

Inspect Pipes from the Inside
Developed years ago by SRI for Osaka Gas in Japan, this Magnetically Attached General Purpose Inspection Engine (MAGPIE) traveled inside gas pipes to look for leaks. MAGPIE served as the prototype for multicar models that perform temporary repairs. (Image courtesy of SRI International.)

Computers Making Computers
Robots, whose brains are nothing but chips, are making chips in this TI fabrication plant. (Image courtesy of Texas Instruments, Inc.)

Sophia - A More Realistic Android
Hanson Robotics designed Sophia to look like British actress Audrey Hepburn. Debutting in 2015, her flesh-rubber skin is very realistic, and her answers to questions (using the cloud) are very clever. On the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon in 2017, she played rock paper scissors and won. (Image courtesy of Hanson Robotics,

How Small Can They Get?
Rutgers University scientists believe that nano-sized robots injected into the bloodstream will eventually administer drugs directly to infected cells. This carbon nanotube body uses a biomolecular motor for propulsion and peptide limbs for orientation. (Image courtesy of the Rutgers Bio-Nano Robotics team: Constantinos Mavroidis, Martin L. Yarmush, Atul Dubey, Angela Thornton, Kevin Nikitczuk, Silvina Tomassone, Fotios Papadimitrakopoulos and Bernie Yurke.)

Where's the Pasta... Oh Hello!
By 2020, robots were no longer only in warehouses and assembly lines. Turn the aisle in the local Giant supermarket, and Marty the robot might be staring at you. Marty roams the aisles looking for spills and debris and alerts the manager when a hazard is found.
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References in periodicals archive ?
This autonomous robot would be able to cope with its surrounding environment, be it on land or underground, in water, or air.
Between 1966 and 1972, Nilsson co-directed the creation of an autonomous robot known affectionately as SHAKEY, after the way the top-heavy robot would shudder as it made its way about in stops and starts.
and Veritank, Inc., have collaborated to successfully deploy an autonomous robot that safely performed its first in-service inspection of the interior of an aboveground diesel storage tank.
* Waypoint Robotics of Merrimack's Vector, an industrial-strength autonomous robot for laboratory or factory use.
The cars will be shifted through the building on autonomous robot platforms, creating a so-called flexible assembly line.
The autonomous robot handles the repetitive and tedious task of cleaning large floor areas, reducing worker fatigue and enhancing job satisfaction, it added.
The show's startup competition has five finalists: Fastree3D, which is developing lidar technology; LogoGrab, which provides a logo recognition API to detect company logos in large volumes of images and video; Photius for its Ximera 3D sensor that can carry out inspection and mapping for infrastructure and construction management; Socialmap for its social behaviour intelligence platform for education and workplace environments; and Vtrus, which is developing autonomous robot inspection drones.
Standing at 170cms tall and weighing 100 kilogrammes, the autonomous robot will be positioned throughout the city's malls and streets and will cater to both residents and tourists.
Packed into a compact frame, the autonomous robot police officer is equipped with a whole range of start-of-the-art law enforcement technologies.
While the robotic policeman deployed by the Dubai Police may not look as intimidating as Alex Murphy from the RoboCop franchise, the autonomous robot is still 170cm tall and weighs 100kg.
Cleaning up old nuclear waste sites around the country is a long, expensive and dangerous process - and autonomous robot research at the University of Nevada, Reno promises to help that process with a combination of advanced, intelligent, autonomous aerial and ground robots with a new level of perception, navigation and planning abilities.
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