|Actroid||A type of android or gynoid that has been designed to have a very human-like appearance. Actroids are used to explore human/robot interactions by mimicing human facial expressions such as eye movement, blinking, speaking, and breathing.|
|Actuator||A mechanism that transforms an input (signal) into a measured amount of energy, usually motion.
Actuators may be electrical, pneumatic, hydraulic, thermal or even chemical.
Robotic devices use the various types of actuator to interact with their environment.
|Algorithm||An algorithm is a finite set of unambiguous rules to be stepped through in order to carry out a procedure or solve a problem, and have a clear end point. The word “algorithm” is a distortion of al-Khwarizmi, a Persian mathematician.|
|Android||Derived from the Greek andrö meaning male or man, and eidos (droid) meaning alike of the species. An android is a robot designed to look and act like a human being (anthropomorphic).The word android first appeared in the English language around 1727, in reference to the German philosopher and alchemist Albert Magnus(c1200-1280) attempts to create an artificial man.|
|Animatronics||The art of bringing inanimate objects to life, through the use of robotics, puppetry, and aesthetic enhancements. A rare form of robotics that has origins in Automata (see below).The four main areas connected with Animatronics are: Movies/Television, Theme Parks/ Casinos/ Museums, Toys, and Prosthetics.|
|Anthropomorphic||From the Greek anthropomorphous ‘of human form’; Having the nature, resembling, tending to, the form of man/woman.|
|A.I.||Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a very broad term indicating the ability of an artefact e.g. a computer, to perform the same kinds of functions that characterize human thought.|
|Asimov||American scientist and writer Isaac Asimov born in Petrovichi Russia around 1920 (no one actually knows the exact date).
Asimov’s parents emigrated from Russia to America in 1923. Isaac Asimov died in New York on the 6th April 1992 from an heart attack. Asimov was best known for his many works of science fiction including ‘I Robot’ and ‘The Rest of the Robots’ collection of short stories. In these books Asimov coined the word Robotics and introduced the ‘three laws of robotics’.
|Automata||Latin – ‘acting by and through itself’. A mechanism with concealed motive power. Automata and robots are alike in that they are both programmed to repeat a series of actions. Today’s robots generally perform practical tasks, while automatons are used for entertainment; see also Animatronics.|
|Avatar||From Sanskrit, meaning: ‘Earthly incarnation of a Hindu god or goddess’. Avatar is used to describe the embodiment or manifestation of an idea. In cyberspace for example, your avatar is the visual appearance or icon used to represent yourself. It may also be used to describe an android built in the image of oneself.|
|Cybernetics||The comparative study of automatic communication and control in functions of living bodies. From the Greek Kubernëtës, meaning a steersman.|
|Cyborg||A person whose physical and mental abilities are extended beyond normal human limitations by technology (as yet undeveloped). Unlike robots/androids, which are totally artificial.|
|Droid||Derived from the Greek word eidos, meaning alike of the species. Droids are seen extensively in the Star Wars universe as intelligent robots not all of which are humanoid in appearance.|
|Endoskeleton||A hard framework (skeleton) that supports the body on the inside and made of bone or cartilage in vertebrate animals.|
|Exoskeleton||From the Greek exö meaning without (outside). An exoskeleton is a rigid external covering for the body in certain animals; providing support and protection. Artificial exoskeletons such as armour, have been used by human beings throughout history. Machine like exoskeletons have featured in science fiction and are being developed in the real world to enhance a human beings capabilities.|
|Fembot||Obviously derived from female and robot, the term ‘fembot’ was used to describe sexy female robots designed to lure Austin Powers, in the film ‘The Spy Who Shagged Me’ (1999)Female robots are also known as Gynoids.|
|Golem||A Golem is an animated artificial humanoid, mentioned in Jewish folklore. The non-speaking creature is created entirely from inanimate matter; usually soil or clay and will do the bidding of its creator. The word Golem appears in the Bible (Psalms139:16).|
|Gynoid||The word Gynoids was first coined by the female British SF writer, Gwyneth Jones in her 1985 novel Divine Endurance to describe a robot slave character in a futuristic China.
The word is a combination of the Greek words eidos (droid) meaning alike of the species’) and gyn meaning woman. A proposed term to describe a robot designed to look like a humanoid female, as opposed to an android ‘modelled’ after a man.
Gynoid is not often used since the term android tends to be used to refer to both genders of a humanoid robot.Gynoids exist in science fiction, art (see Hajime Sorayama), and increasingly, in the doll sex trade (I’ll let you find that for yourselves).
|Mecha||The term ‘Mecha‘ is generally found in Japanese anime and is a word used to refer to anything mechanical from robots and cars to aircraft and spacecraft. In English it seems to be used to describe piloted robots, and bipedal exoskeletons and ‘walkers’. Mechs then, are generally fighting machines; although they may be seen in a civilian role too.|
||Is a subfield of computer science and artificial intelligence that deals with the construction and study of systems that can learn from data, rather than follow only explicitly programmed instructions.|
|Mannequin||Mannequins are life-sized, articulated dummies or dolls used to fit or display clothing and as jointed models in art. The word mannequin originates from the Dutch mannekijn, meaning ‘little figurine’. Mannequin also refers to a human fashion model.|
|Robodex||An exhibition held in Japan each year, which aims to brings together the top names in Japanese robot research and manufacturing. Tadatoshi Doi, who heads the Sony Digital Creatures laboratory that made the ‘Aibo’ pet robot, Quotes:
“The purpose of Robodex is to create a new industry for the 21st Century, a new industry originating out of Japan”. “The theme of Robodex is robots that will co-exist with humans”.
|Robot||From the Czech/Slav. robotnik meaning forced slave or workers. The term robot was first used in the play ‘R.U.R’ (Actual literal translation is Rossum’s Artificial Robots) by Czech novelist Karel Capek. (Interestingly, Capek’s robots where constructed by chemical means not mechanical).Today, various definitions of a robot can be found:
“A robot is defined as a re-programmable, multifunctional manipulator designed to move material, parts, tools, or specialized devices through various programmed motions for the performance of a variety of tasks.” (Robot Institute of America, 1979).”A robot is an automatic device that performs functions normally ascribed to humans or a machine in the form of a human.”A robot is a machine designed to execute one or more tasks repeatedly, with speed and precision. There are as many different types of robots as there are tasks for them to perform.
|Robotics||The term robotics refers to the study and use of robots. The term was coined and first used by the Russian-born American scientist and writer Isaac Asimov. The word ‘robotics’ was first used in Runaround, a short story published in 1942. I, Robot, a collection of several robot stories, was published in 1950.Asimov also proposed three Laws of Robotics, and he later added a zeroth law (0).
0. A robot may not injure humanity, or, through inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.
1. A robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm, unless this would violate a higher order law.
2. A robot must obey orders given it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with a higher order law.
3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with a higher order law.
From Handbook of Robotics, 56th Edition, 2058 AD, as quoted in I, Robot – Isaac Asimov.
|Sensor||A device (or organ in an animal) that detects physical change.
For example, changes in pressure, the radiation of light, heat and sound, and the detection of chemicals and gases.Robots use algorithms to process sensor signals for environmental feedback.
|Transducer||A generic term given to any device that converts energy from one form into another; for example, a microphone converts acoustic energy into electrical energy.A sensor is a transducer that detects change in a particular energy and provides an output signal (usually electrical).An actuator is a transducer that receives a signal in one energy form and produces movement.
A transducer may perform both as a sensor and an actuator but not necessarily with the same efficiency; for example, a microphone may act as a speaker.
|UAV||Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. UAVs are remotely piloted or semi-autonomous aircraft that can carry cameras, sensors, communications equipment and other payloads and are generally reusable.
Although UAVs are predominately used by the military, some are finding their way into police use, commercial use and even amateur clubs!
As you can imagine, UAVs appear in all shapes and sizes and have ranges from a few metres to many kilometres.
Other names for these vehicles include:
UAS – Unmanned Aircraft System.
RPA – Remotely Piloted Aircraft.
RUAV – Rotor Unmanned Aerial Vehicle.