Category: Encyclopedia of Robotics

Artificial Intelligence of Robots – 21009

Artificial intelligence is difficult to quantify; the most tempting standard is to compare “machine intelligence”with human intelligence. For example, a smart machine can be given an intelligence quotient (IQ) test similar to the tests designed to measure human intelligence. In this interpretation, the level of AI increases as a robot or computer becomes more “human-like” in its reactions to the world around it. Another scheme involves the use of games requiring look-ahead strategy, such as checkers or chess.


Robot arms can move in various different ways. Some can attain only certain discrete, or definite, positions, and cannot stop at any intermediate position. Others can move in smooth, sweeping motions, and are capable of reaching to any point within a certain region.


Sometimes, machines or other objects have characteristics that seem human-like to us. This is especially true of advanced computers and robots.We commit anthropomorphism when we think of a computer or robot as human. Androids, for example, are easy to anthropomorphize. Sciencefiction movies and novels often make use of anthropomorphisms.

Android – 21006

An android is a robot that has human form. A typical android has a rotatable head equipped with position sensors. Binocular machine vision allows the android to perceive depth, thereby locating objects anywhere within a large room. Speech recognition and speech synthesis can be included as well. Because of their quasi-human appearance, androids are especially suited for use where there are children.

Amusement Robot – 21005

An amusement robot is a hobby robot intended for entertainment or gaming. Companies sometimes use them to show off new products and to attract customers. They are common at trade fairs, especially in Japan.Although they are usually small in size, they often have sophisticated controllers.

Adhesion Gripper for Robotic Arms – 21004

An adhesion gripper is a robot end effector that grasps objects by literally sticking to them. In its most primitive form, this type of gripper consists of a rod, sphere, or other solid object covered with two-sided tape. Velcro™ can also be used if the object(s) to be grasped are likewise equipped.

A major asset of the adhesive gripper is the fact that it is simple. As long as the adhesive keeps its “stickiness,” it will continue to function without maintenance. However, there are certain limitations. The most significant is the fact that the adhesive cannot readily be disabled in order to release the grasp on an object. Some other means, such as devices that lock the gripped object into place,must be used.


An adaptive suspension vehicle (ASV) is a specialized robot that uses mechanical limbs to propel itself. It moves on several legs like a gigantic insect. This provides excellent stability and maneuverability. The ASV can carry several hundred kilograms, and moves at 2 to 4 m/s. The machine itself masses 2 to 3 metric tons. It is the size of a small truck, and it can carry a driver or rider.

The design and construction of a robot with legs is considerably more difficult than that of a wheel-driven or track-driven robot, but there is a payoff: the ASV can move over much rougher terrain than any vehicle with wheels or a tack drive.


An active chord mechanism (ACM) is a robot gripper that conforms to the shapes of irregular objects. An ACM is built something like the human backbone. A typical ACM consists of numerous small, rigid structures connected by hinges, as shown in the illustration.

The precision with which an ACM can conform to an irregular object depends on the size and number of sections. The smaller the sections, the greater is the precision. An ACM exerts uniform pressure all along its length. This pressure can be increased or decreased, according to the required task. One application of ACMs is to position or arrange fragile objects without damaging them. Another application is the picking of fruits and vegetables.


An acoustic proximity sensor can be used by a robot to detect the presence of, and determine the  distance to, an object or barrier at close range. It works based on acoustic wave interference.

The principle is similar to that of sonar; but rather than measuring the time delay between the transmission of a pulse and its echo, the system analyzes the phase relationship between the transmitted wave and the reflected wave.