AUV
Autonomous underwater vehicle. A robot vehicle which travels underwater.
UAV
Unmanned aerial vehicle. An aircraft controlled without a pilot. These aircraft are predominantly used by the military and differ from missiles as they are designed to be reusable. Early UAVs used remote control and preplanned flight paths; more recently research has been conducted in autonomous versions.
Android
A robot which closely resembles a human being.
Humanoid
A robot which has one or more human characteristics such as arms, legs or a head.
Nanobot
nanorobots, nanoids, nanites. A near microscopic size robot measured in nanometres (10-9 meters). Nanobots are currently only theoretical.
Robot
A self controlled machine usually equipped with appendages for moving and interacting with its environment.
Robotics
The study and development of robot technology, closely related to electronics, mechanics and computer science.
Actuator
Used to move robot appendages and spin wheels, they come in the form of electric motors and hydraulic or pneumatic pumps.
Gripper
Allows a robot to pick up objects.
Sensor
A sensor converts environmental conditions into a usable form (usually as a electrical signal).
End effector
An end effector is the attachment on the end of a robot arm. Example include robot grippers, welding torches and paint sprayers.
Telepresence
Controlling a robot remotely using a visual display and remote control. Telepresence has been used by surgeons to perform operations in different countries.
Artificial Intelligence
AI. The research and application of intelligent machines that aims to imitate the intelligence of humans and other animals.
MIT
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A private university in the United States prominent in the field of robotic research.
Bionic
A combination of organic material and electrical equipment. The term ‘Bionic man’ refers to a human with body parts replaced with electronics.
SLAM
Simultaneous localisation and mapping.
SPA
Sense-Plan-Act.
LED
Light-emitting diode. A small light bulb that uses low-power and produces relatively low heat compared to other light bulbs.
Solenoid
A coil of wire wrapped around a metal core through which an electrical current is passed, producing a magnetic field. Solenoids are often used as relay switches in high current applications such as car starter motors.
NASA
National Aeronautics and Space Administration.. America’s space agency.
Robot Rover
A wheeled robot used for exploration.
FET
Field-effect transistor.
FORTRAN
A high-level programming language optimised for numerical operations.
LISP
A high-level programming language popular in artificial intelligence research.
CPU
Central Processing Unit.
PWM
Pulse Width Modulation.
MTROS
Multitasking Real-Time Operating Systems read more.
RTOS
Real-Time Operating Systems read more.
BEAM
BEAM robotics refers to the development of simple biologically inspired robots. The word ‘BEAM’ is an acronym forBiology, Electronics, Aesthetics, and Mechanics. BEAM robots generally use anologue circuits (instead of digital), replacing complex microprocessors with simple voltage comparators, which are used to interpet sensor readings and decide on the robots actions.
CAD
Computer-Aided Design.
CAM
Computer-Aided Manufacture.
CMOS
Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor.
CCD
Charge Coupled Device.
IC
Integrated Circuit.
IR Sensor
Infrared Sensor.
DOS
Disk Operating System.
RAM
Random Access Memory.
RoHS
Restriction of Hazardous Substances.
FPGA
Field Programmable Gate Array.
Heat Sink
Conducts and dissipates excess heat.
I/O
Input/Output.
ISO
International Organisation for Standardisation.
DAC
Digital-to-Analogue Converter.
ADC
Analogue-to-Digital Converter also A/D or A to D.
Multimeter
Measures electronic values, such as resistance, current and voltage.
OEM
Original Equipment Manufacturer.
PCB
Printed Circuit Board.
Object-oriented programming
OOP.
Modem
MOdulator-DEModulator.
USB
Universal Serial Bus.
DOF (Degree of freedom)
Degrees of Freedom.
Mechatronics
Name given to the study of mechanic and electronic engineering.
Artificial Neural Network
This is a type of computer program which aims to model the human brain to solve complex problems. Also known as an ANN.
Reinforcement Learning
Type of computer program that uses past results to improve how the program performs.
DARPA
Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency.
JPL
Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
DoD
Department of Defence.
Light Year
1 light year = 9.4605284 × 1012 kilometres.
Light Speed
299,792,458 metres per second.

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