A computer does not work with words, or even with familiar base-10 numbers. Instead, the machine uses combinations of ones and zeros. These are the two binary states, also represented by on/off, high/low, or true/false. Data in machine language, if written down, looks like a string of ones and zeros, such as 0110100100. This can be represented pictorially by a graph as shown in the illustration.

When a computer operator writes a program, or a person issues a command to a robot controller, it is done in a high-level language. This must be converted into machine language for the computer. The computer output is likewise translated from machine language into whatever highlevel language is used by the programmer or operator.

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