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Robot Glossary

Midwestern Robotics in Minnesota has put together a robot glossary for those interested in learning more about robots in Minnesota and the robotic industry. See our Robot Blog - Robotics in Minnesota for more interesting facts about robotics.

Acutator - A device for moving or controlling a tool or a part of a tool. Ex. A motor in a robot kit.
Android - A robot or automaton, resembling a human.
Artifical Intelligence (A.I.) - A computer program that resembles or takes the place of a human with thought processes. As well as programs that are operated without human assistance.
Automation - The technology involving the application of self-governing machines
Automaton - A figure that is mechanically driven and controlled.

Biomorphic - The description of machines resembling the forms of living organisms.
Bionics - The science of applying biological principles to non-biological systems.
Bot - An abbreviation of robot.
Cam - A rotating cylinder of irregular shape which moves with other components.
Caterpillar Treads - Treads consisting of loops of textured grippers that fit over wheels to provide greater traction.
Controller - In robotics, computers that are used to control machines.
CPU - The acronym for Center Processing Unit
Cybernetics - An interdisciplinary science of mechanical control systems and their similarity to natural mechanisms found in living creatures.
Cyborg-in robotics, a being that combines human parts or functions with machine parts and functions.

Degrees of Freedom - in robotics, the number of directions allowed by a mechanical joint through which motion can be effected.
Digital-How information is recroded and stored as sequences of binary numbers in computerized devices.
Droids-A synonym for any type of robot and an abbreviation of Android.
Drone-Uncrewed robotic machine operated by a remote control or a robot used for mass manual labor.

Embedded System - In robotics, AI software built into or buried in and referenced by another larger piece of algorithmic software.
Expert System - In robotics a program consisting of a knowledge base, an inference engine or reasoning system and a natural language user interface.

Feedback-Looping the output of a system back to its input or source.
FLOPS- An acronym for floating pint operations per second. A term used when measuring the performance of supercomputeres and array processors that use floating point numbers.
Forward chaining-A technique used in problem-solving production and rule-based systems where conclusions are drawn or decisions are made by first starting with known facts. Also known as bottom up reasonsing or data driven reasoning.

Generate and test- A problem-solving paradigm.
Granularity - A measure of how finely information, programs or knowledge is subdivided.
Gripper -In robotics, a mechanism for holding an object that is distinct compared to a human hand.
Gyroscope - A device containing a disc rotating on an axis, so that its axis can turn freely regardless of external forces.

Heuristic - In robotics, anything that helps a human or computer to discover or learn, also a problem solving technique.
Humanoid - Having or resembling the characteristics of a human being.
Hydraulic - Involving or operating by water pressure.

Industrial Robot - A robot that is used in manufacturing, such as assembly, cutting, welding, etc.
INTELLECT- The first commercially succesful natural language interface based on robotic techniques.
Instruction - In robotics, a computer word or binary number that tells a CPU a specific thing to do.
Interface - The portion of a computer that links two other portions of the system and allows communication.

KIPS - The acronym knowledge information processing system, term often applied to fifth generation computers.

LED - The acronym for Light Emmitting Diode, a semiconductor device that emits light when electrical currents pass through.
LIPS -Acronym for logical inferences per second. The unit of measurement of processing speed for robots and fifth generation computers.
LISP - The Acronym for ListProcessor.
LISP machine - A computer or workstation for an artifical intelligence program using the LISP programming language.

Means-end analysis - A technique for controlling the search process.
Microchip - Silicon semiconductor wafer used to carry out a number of electronic functions in an integrated circuit
MIPS -The acronym for millions of instructions per second.

Nano - A unit or measurement, one billionth of something.
Nonmonotonic logic - A kind of default reasoning, based on raules which can changed given new input.

Object-oriented Programming - The use of statements and procedures to represent knowledge.
Open source - Computer code that is not copyrighted by an organization or an individual; such as Linux.

Paradigm - An example of model.
Parsing - The process of breaking down a character string of natural language or computer language into its component parts so it can be readily analyzed and interpreted.
Pixel- A picture element of an image on a television screen, computer monitor, or similar display
Positronic - A fictional term used by Isaac Asimov to describe a particle-driven operating system within robots' brains.
Processor-A program that translates another program into a form acceptable by the computer being used

Radio Control - In robotics, the means of sending simple commands to a remote device by use of a radio signal.
Real Time Computing - Processing that occurs fast enough to appear simultaneous or keeping up with other operations.
Remote Control-Controlling a device from a distance, either by signals sent through a wire or by a radio signal.
Robot -A mechanical device that sometimes resembles a human and is capable of performing a variety of often complex human tasks on command in place of a human being. It is derived from the Czech word robota.
Robotics - The science of developing and using robots.

Schema -A data structure for knowledge representation.
Scripts- A form of schema used for describing common sequences of events.
Sensors -A device that receives and responds to a signal or stimulus, such as a change in heat, light, sound, pressure, etc.
Servo -A variable speed motor, relational to electrical input
Simulation - In robotics, the process of representing an event or object in mathematical terms and building a copy of it in experimental testing.
Slot - A sub-element of a schema.
Smart Motors - A smrt motor has controllers that allow instantaneous stopping or starting as well as incremental rotation.

Teleoperator- In robotics a device that is operated by a human that copies the human's actions.
Transducer -A device that converts input energy of one form into output energy of another.
Transistor - A small electronic device containing a semiconductor and having at least three electrical contacts amplifies or switches electrical signals.

UBS Port - An acronym for Universal Serial Bus which is an interface that can receive and send data at a very high speed.

Voice Activation - System for turning sound waves into electrical signals using the frequency of a human voice.
Voice Recognition
- In robotics, the system that allows a robot to recognize characteristic speech patterns.