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Do you think you could build a robot?

Yes 0.45205479452055 45.2% [ 33 ]
No 0.17808219178082 17.8% [ 13 ]
Mabey 0.19178082191781 19.2% [ 14 ]
Why 0.17808219178082 17.8% [ 13 ]
Total Votes:[ 73 ]
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YaminoKittyKate's avatar

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I have always thought that It would be difficult to build a Robot untill I helped out in my high school's Robotics team. Is there really a need for robots being a big deal or is it just me? What do you think about this and other things like this?
There are many things that qualify as robot, you have to be a little more specific.
YaminoKittyKate's avatar

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I mean a robot that can move around, pick things up, and drop things of with little assistance. A robot in a contest that is kinda like a basket ball contest.
Ah, this. Well, in theory it's easy to make a simple robot that walks around on a predefined path. It should also be easy enought to make him behave in a predefined behaviour in a predefined testing environment (find out where a ball is, get that ball, move it to a certain location).
I think the real trouble starts when you want him to work independently and/or in difficult terrain.
YaminoKittyKate's avatar

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Well the terrain is the material on a kitchen floor and the basket is moving around on the back of your opponant's robot. You have to protect your basket aswell as make sure to not damage your opponant's.
the thing is with a robot firstly you have to tell it to recognise the ball as a ball, the problem with robotics is that mostly they have trouble recognising objects as such, the easiest way it to have some kind of signalling device on the ball itself that the robot can detect as alot of image recognition stuff is very tricky to use. the second an most difficult aspect will be to get it to recognise the basket which is more difficult than the ball as it will differ in shape due to position or distortion, this would require another signal possible of a different type, most likely a set of small lights or something.

this is why robotics is taking so long to produce actually useful robots as for any robot to be able to be marketed it has to be able to cope with anything so anything more than a very basic set of processes requires the robot to have some kind of sentient IQ rather than just a simple programed one way as any difference in circumstances would render it useless
Vryko Lakas's avatar

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Make a remote-controlled robot (for FIRST competition, for example) is much different than making a robot which can drive itself around competently.
First, let us define what you wish your robot to be:

1) Is this robot remote controlled, pre-programmed or autonomous?
If the robot is remotely controlled, how do you plan on controlling it? What different axis of motion are you going to have to deal with? If pre-programmed, what is the task that you plan on it performing. If autonomous, what tasks and what kind of programming are you dealing with?
a) If your planning on having it remote controlled, you need some form of controller. One that has enough different functions to cover all axis of motion that your going to be dealing with. The modern Playstation or X-box controller should be about right.then you have to have an interface connector that translates the signals from the controller to inputs that your robot understands.
b) If it is going to be pre-programmed, then you have to take into consideration of all movements that your robot will perform in the process of carrying out it's task. This will also require that you take steps to ensure that the robot starts out in the exact position required, and that the end object is also precisely located.
c)If the robot is to be autonomous, then you still need to be able to give it instructions on what it's task is, and be able to find a way to program it to learn how to carry out it's task. You will also have to find a way for it to be able to recognize it's environment, and how to deal with it in a manner consistent with it performing it's task. This is the most difficult requirement to fulfill, due to the nature of the learning process and how computers operate.

2) What form of locomotion is this robot going to utilize to get from point a to point b in order to carry out this task? Is it going to be wheeled or tracked (or another similar mode of movement), or is it going to be pedal, moving around on legs.
a) If the robot moves around on wheels, tracks or any other similar form of transportation, then the requirements are easy as far as programming it for movement. There is a limitation though. Most forms of locomotion of this type place severe limits when obstacles, such as stairs, are met. This means of movement does have the advantage of generally being the most stable platform available.
b) If your Robot moves around on legs if some sort, then the problems mount quickly. Is it going to be bipedal, quadrapedal, hexapedal? The possibilities as numerous as there are legs available. The problem is programming. You have to find a means of programming it to walk in a manner that is stable, and you have to give it the means to sense stability. This has been the bane of the Honda engineers who have spent years developing a bipedal robot. (The last I knew, it was still semi-supported). Balance is most important, and programming is going to be difficult, even with today's processors.

After these two requirements are met, you'll still have a long ways to go. Some of this can be easily surmounted, and a simple robot is not difficult to build. As the complexity of your robot increases, the difficulty level increases exponentially.
The actual mechanical structure of a robot can be intricate, yet is not overly difficult nor expensive. So long as you know how to make the parts yourself. Otherwise, to buy those parts, it can get rather costly. Yet the actual mechanical structuring of the robot is not too difficult.

it's when you get to the programming that it gets to be difficult. And it is the programming and computing systems on robots that takes them years to properly design, to do the desired task in a civilian market. It's when one comes into contact with the industrial market that robots are, overall, rather simple. Due to a controlled setting and, most of the time, a single task to be preformed. CNC milling robotics are also rather simple, due to a controlled setting. And robots in the medicinal market are also easier, if very high accuracy and repeatability, due to being in a controlled setting. I hope you notice the similarity, being controlled settings.

but when you throw a robot in an uncontrolled setting, that simplicity in coding can no longer be there, because you have to account of hundreds of thousands of scenarios. Only very intricate, advanced, and downright genius programming can handle that type of setting.
YaminoKittyKate's avatar

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heart Thanks! heart
If you call a paper plane an air plane, then sure, it can be easy to build an air plane!
YaminoKittyKate's avatar

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New question: Me and my friends have been wondering, why are there less girls than guys in things such as designing and building a robot?
There are a bunch of hypotheses floating around about girls' brains not being so good at engineering for any number of reasons, but from my experience, I'm pretty certain that it's mostly a social phenomenon, with girls being directed away from the sciences and toward the humanities or away from academia altogether.
Young children are very receptive of signals from their parents, and if little girls are given dolls while their brothers are given Legos, then those little girls aren't going to be so keen on building things as their brothers are. The toys your parents give you reflect what they want you to do and what they want you to be like, and hence girls are getting the message that they ought to be playacting relationships instead of building robots.
This isn't universal or absolute, of course, but it seems to be a general trend, from what I can see. It's certainly reflected in the children I've babysat, and it appears somewhat in those I've tutored science and math to. The girls are certainly as capable as the boys, and it's really a question of why isn't anyone giving them sufficient motivation or support.
Kingby2048's avatar

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scenario programming is fun pirate
YaminoKittyKate's avatar

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Layra-chan
There are a bunch of hypotheses floating around about girls' brains not being so good at engineering for any number of reasons, but from my experience, I'm pretty certain that it's mostly a social phenomenon, with girls being directed away from the sciences and toward the humanities or away from academia altogether.
Young children are very receptive of signals from their parents, and if little girls are given dolls while their brothers are given Legos, then those little girls aren't going to be so keen on building things as their brothers are. The toys your parents give you reflect what they want you to do and what they want you to be like, and hence girls are getting the message that they ought to be playacting relationships instead of building robots.
This isn't universal or absolute, of course, but it seems to be a general trend, from what I can see. It's certainly reflected in the children I've babysat, and it appears somewhat in those I've tutored science and math to. The girls are certainly as capable as the boys, and it's really a question of why isn't anyone giving them sufficient motivation or support.


Wow. Thanks. That helps a bunch. I do wonder why no one motivates me or congradulates me as much as the guys. Oh well. My dad doesn't even like it. Oh well. Thanks.

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