These Robotics Terms are Essential for the New CAPS Subject Coding & Robotics

The new CAPS subject, Coding & Robotics, is an exciting addition to the curriculum that aims to introduce students to the world of robotics and programming. In order to succeed in this subject, it’s essential to have a strong foundation in robotics terms and concepts.

Here are some of the most important robotics terms and concepts that students should understand in order to excel in the Coding & Robotics subject:

Actuator: An actuator is a type of motor that receives commands from a computer program and uses those commands to create movement.

Aerobot: An aerobot is a type of robot that can fly by itself without needing a human to control it.

Android: An android is a robot that is designed to look like a human male, with the word “andro” referring to the male gender.

Articulated manipulator: An articulated manipulator is a type of robot arm that is made up of independent segments that can move because of one or more joints.

Automaton: Automaton refers to the process of machines taking over tasks that used to be done by humans.

Autonomous vehicle: An autonomous vehicle is a type of machine that can operate without direct human control by using an autopilot system.

Axis/degree of freedom: Axis or degree of freedom refers to how a robot arm or body can move. It depends on the number of joints a robot has.

Bionics: Bionics is the process of using biology or organic processes to design and develop robots.

Cartesian manipulator: A Cartesian manipulator is a type of robot arm that can move along the X, Y, and Z coordinate system by using prismatic joints.

Central processing unit: The central processing unit is the “brain” of a robot that stores and processes commands given to it.

Cloud robotics: Cloud robotics refers to robots that are able to function using data stored in the cloud.

Cobots: Cobots are robots that are able to work closely with humans and interact with them directly.

Controller System: A controller system is a computer that controls a robot’s operations and stores data and programs.

Cyborg: A cyborg is a being that has both biological and artificial parts.

Downtime: Downtime refers to the period of time when a robot is not functioning properly.

End effector: An end effector is a tool that is designed to perform a specific task, such as a gripper or welding gun.

Feedback sensor: A feedback sensor is a mechanism that allows a robot to receive data about its environment and adjust its movements accordingly.

Force limiting: Force limiting is a safety feature that slows a robot’s movements to prevent accidents.

Force Sensor: A force sensor is a device that monitors the force being exerted by a robot’s primary manipulator.

Gantry: A hoisting mechanism for a robot that is fixed to a platform or track. Gantry robots are usually found in manufacturing environments where they can move heavy loads or reach high places.

Gynoid: A gynoid is similar to an android but is designed to look like a female body.

Haptic: Haptic technology is used to create touch sensations for the user. In robotics, haptic technology can be used to adjust a robot’s movements by sensing pressure and touch.

Harness: A harness is a group of bundled wires that delivers power and data to a part of the robot.

Hexapod: A hexapod is a six-legged robot that is inspired by organic insects.

Humanoid: A humanoid robot is designed to look like a human and can perform tasks that were traditionally done by humans. Humanoids are often used in the entertainment industry, but they can also be used in research and education.

Hydraulics: Hydraulics is a method for generating force through liquid under pressure. This technology is commonly used in heavy-duty machinery, such as bulldozers and cranes.

Industrial robot: An industrial robot is a manipulator that is designed to execute specialized commands in order to fill a segment of the industrial chain of fabrication. For example, an industrial robot might be programmed to weld car frames together.

Input device: An input device is any device that allows humans to interface with a robot. This can be used for programming future actions or direct control over immediate locomotion.

Intelligent robot: An intelligent robot is a robot that can adapt its function based on sensory data without direct human intervention. These robots often use artificial intelligence to make decisions.

Jacobian matrix: The Jacobian matrix is a set of algorithms that are used to help position a robot. It can be used to determine how a change in one part of the robot will affect other parts of the robot.

Laser: A laser is a beam of narrow and focused light that is often used as a non-contact sensor for robots. It can be used for anything from distance finding to welding.

Nanobot: A nanobot is a type of autonomous device that is constructed of molecular components and operates at the nanoscale (one billionth of a meter). Scientists hope to use nanobots for tasks such as delivering drugs directly to cancer cells or repairing damaged tissue.

Payload: The payload refers to the weight that a particular robot can carry or lift. This will affect the size and complexity of deployment for a given machine. For example, a robot designed to lift heavy machinery will need a greater payload capacity than a robot designed for household cleaning tasks.

Pinch Points: Pinch points are any exposed joints that could catch human appendages or clothing. Robots with pinch points can be dangerous for humans to work around and require proper safety precautions to be in place.

Pneumatics: Pneumatics is a method for generating force using compressed gas or air. Pneumatic robots are often used in manufacturing to move heavy objects or to apply force with precision.

Powered Exoskeleton: A powered exoskeleton is a wearable machine that increases the strength and endurance of the human frame. These machines are often used to assist individuals with physical disabilities or to aid workers in physically demanding jobs.

Prosthetic: Prosthetic robots are programmable machines meant to replace missing organic body parts. They are commonly used in medicine for leg and arm amputees.

Robot: A robot is a device that can execute a task independent of direct human control or activity. Robots can be designed to perform a wide variety of tasks, from simple household chores to complex manufacturing processes.

RPA: Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is software that utilizes metaphorical robot workers to execute complex tasks. RPA is often used to automate repetitive and mundane office tasks, such as data entry or invoice processing.

Sensor: A sensor is a device that robots can use to gather forms of environmental data that allows the machine to adjust its own position and tasks based on this stimuli. Sensors can detect things like light, sound, temperature, and motion.

Singularity: A singularity is a configuration of a robot arm where two joints become aligned along a common axis. Singularity can cause instability in the robot’s motion and must be avoided in order to ensure smooth and safe operation.

Uptime: Uptime refers to the period of time during which a robot is operating as intended. This metric is important for monitoring the efficiency and effectiveness of a robot, as well as for scheduling maintenance and repairs as necessary.