Functions of Robots

I would like to summarize the general idea of how a real robot functions. The functions of a robot are categorized into the elements of “perception,” “recognition,” “judgment,” and “action,” and these four elements work together to realize the “functions as a robot.

For example, take a robot arm that grasps some object. The robot arm uses a camera (image sensor) and a distance sensor to “perceive” the image of the object and the distance to the object. Based on the perceived information, the robot arm “recognizes” the position, size, and type of the object, and uses the computer to “determine” how to grasp the object, and then executes the “action” of grabbing the object with the arm.

Robotic Arm

In a household robot vacuum cleaner, it works as follows. First, it uses sensors to “perceive” information such as the distance to an object. Based on the results, it “recognizes” whether or not there is an obstacle in front of it, and the computer “decides” which direction to go next. The computer then executes the “action” of moving and sucking.

In a word, there are various forms of sensors depending on the robot vacuum cleaner product. Some sensors are designed to measure the distance of obstacles in front of it, while others detect the presence of obstacles by deliberately hitting them lightly.

In addition, there are sensors that detect steps to prevent falling down stairs, and there is also a function (called SLAM) that recognizes the layout of the room (map) in addition to obstacle recognition. I would like to write more about this in another article.

Finally, let’s look at the composition of the functions of a communication robot. In a communication robot, human voice is perceived by a microphone sensor, and the computer recognizes the content of the speech. The computer then decides what kind of response to give and executes the action of speaking the response (voice output) through speakers.

When a computer needs a lot of data and calculations for advanced analysis and decision making, it may be connected to a server in the cloud separately via wireless or other network communication. It can be said that communication technology is used to extend the functions of the computer.

This is an overview of the robot’s functions. We will organize the details in another page in the future.

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