What is A Robot WHAT IS A ROBOT The term robot comes from the Czechoslovakian wordfor “forced labor,” invented by Karel Capek. Karel Capek used robots in his plays and had them look and behave like people. Today, the word “robot” is harder to define because of new designs and technology. The third edition of Websters’s New International Dictionary defines a robot as “a machine in the form of a human being that performs the mechanical functions of a human being.” However, today’s robot makers are not interested in giving their creations human forms. Most industrial robots look like lobsters or oversized grasshoppers. Around 1981, the members of the Robot Institute of America, held a meeting to develop a definition of an industrial robot. Finally after long debate, they came up with the definition: “A reprogrammable, multifunctional manipulator designed to move material, parts, tools or specialized devices, through variable programmable motions, for the performance of a variety of tasks.” The key wor ds in their definition are “reprogrammable” and “multifunctional.” By “reprogrammable” they mean that if a robot gets a new assignment, it will need new instructions, but its basic structure will not change (except maybe a new mechanical hand). By “multifunctional” they mean a robot is the mechanical counter part of a computer that can handle various problems without any major hardware modifications. The only thing that changes when a robot is reassigned is its program of instructions. In modern robots, programmable microprocessors control all the robot’s movements and actions. Robots can be taught by using a teaching mode. An operator moves the robot’s hand through all of the desired motions manually with his own hand. When the robot is activated, it will repeat those same motions over and over again. Most robots are equipped with one hand and one arm of several articulated joints. Some of these joints swivel in smooth arcs mimicking the b…

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