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Rocketmagnet
Starting Member

1 Posts

Posted - 03 Feb 2007 :  13:10:43  Show Profile  Visit Rocketmagnet's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi all,

I'm interested to hear from peopl what machines they think should qualify as a robot. Which of the following do you personally consider to be robots?

1. A washing machine.

2. A washing machine with temperature control.

3. A washing machine with a conveyer belt to automatically load/unload.

4. A washing machine with an arm/gripper to automatically load/unload.

5. A washing machine which can move around and collect clothes, with an arm/gripper to automatically load/unload.

6. A washing machine which is sentient and can have a conversation with you.

7. A washing machine which is sentient and can have a conversation with you, with an arm/gripper to automatically load/unload.


Many thanks - Hugo


slurp
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United Kingdom
497 Posts

Posted - 03 Feb 2007 :  16:59:16  Show Profile  Visit slurp's Homepage  Send slurp a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote

I guess what you're getting at it at what level of automation to you start calling it a robot, or what type of automation do you call robot.

I guess up to level 3 I'd still be calling it automation, level 4 might be but may consider the manipulator a bolt on... 5 I guess is there but will it manage to get up our stairs ;) and isn't 6 hired help and 7 hired help with a toy :D

regards,
colin
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Bob
Serious Geek!

United Kingdom
1263 Posts

Posted - 03 Feb 2007 :  22:36:42  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Rocketmagnet

Hi all,

I'm interested to hear from peopl what machines they think should qualify as a robot. Which of the following do you personally consider to be robots?

1. A washing machine.

2. A washing machine with temperature control.

3. A washing machine with a conveyer belt to automatically load/unload.

4. A washing machine with an arm/gripper to automatically load/unload.

5. A washing machine which can move around and collect clothes, with an arm/gripper to automatically load/unload.

6. A washing machine which is sentient and can have a conversation with you.

7. A washing machine which is sentient and can have a conversation with you, with an arm/gripper to automatically load/unload.


Many thanks - Hugo






Interesting question'...

Bob
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JamesC
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United Kingdom
398 Posts

Posted - 04 Feb 2007 :  13:48:14  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'd go with 5, my understanding of a robot is a machine that can adapt/interact with it's surroundings. As Bob says the earlier ones are automation.

Regards

James
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Bob
Serious Geek!

United Kingdom
1263 Posts

Posted - 04 Feb 2007 :  18:06:51  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Hugo

I would go for No. 4 as the first robot in your list, but only if the arm could be reprogrammed to do other completely different tasks.

My reasons are as follows:

There have been automatic machine tools around for years (repetition lathes etc.) These have not traditionally been called robots. The automatic washing machine is no different from these.

It would be difficult to see how the conveyer belt could do any other task than transfer washing, it would need other bits to for example, sort trash from washing and put the vegetables in the cupboard. so to me it is not worthy of the term robot either.

The arm could, if in the right environment, do many jobs, it could sort trash from washing, it could put the groceries away in the right places, water the plants on the window sill and even do some welding if the need arose. In industry, mechanical arms are often called robots.

Beyond No. 5 you are entering the world of science fiction, so you can call them what you like!

Really it is all a matter of somantics, I don't think there is that much difference between an automatic machine and a robot. I would say that an important cut off comes where you close feedback loops as without closed-loop control the machine is only stepping through a fixed sequence of states. This would separate the repetition lathes from moderm machining centres.

Bob
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stan
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United Kingdom
812 Posts

Posted - 05 Feb 2007 :  22:17:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'd go for 1 because most washing machines are programable to do certain tasks within their design capabilities.It doesn't copy the way humans would wash clothes,if they didn't have wahing machines but humans weren't designed to wash clothes, just mess the planet up.

It's not what u do
It's the way that u do it
Not the speaker u blu
But the way that u blu it!
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slurp
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United Kingdom
497 Posts

Posted - 06 Feb 2007 :  00:01:57  Show Profile  Visit slurp's Homepage  Send slurp a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote

At Level One this could be saying all automation is robotic... Ok we could look at old dial timers with mechanical switches or old cnc machines that follow punched tape - not sure there's been an arm that does the same but I seem to remember spot welders replaying physical movements that had been guided previously.

It's a question of definition...

regards,
colin
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suzo
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Australia
1360 Posts

Posted - 06 Feb 2007 :  03:27:05  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
At what level can it decide which cloths need washing, which ones are already clean, and which ones you are currently wearing? In terms of the "Sci fi" concept of a robot I think some discression (artificial inteligence) is required.

Of course a washing machine that decides what sort of wash cycle and how much water etc based on the type of clothes and how dirty they are is using artificial inteligence.

At one level I may be inclined to choose a washing machine that is sentient even though it can' have a conversation with someone. Of course then how do we know its sentient ... but this is the same old argument that we have about animals/

sue



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Bob
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United Kingdom
1263 Posts

Posted - 06 Feb 2007 :  21:49:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by suzo

At what level can it decide which cloths need washing, which ones are already clean, and which ones you are currently wearing? In terms of the "Sci fi" concept of a robot I think some discression (artificial inteligence) is required.

Of course a washing machine that decides what sort of wash cycle and how much water etc based on the type of clothes and how dirty they are is using artificial inteligence.

At one level I may be inclined to choose a washing machine that is sentient even though it can' have a conversation with someone. Of course then how do we know its sentient ... but this is the same old argument that we have about animals/

sue







Hi Sue

Interesting thought... if we can reduce a process to something that we can explain then there is no magic.

Bob
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Bob
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United Kingdom
1263 Posts

Posted - 06 Feb 2007 :  21:53:33  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by slurp


At Level One this could be saying all automation is robotic... Ok we could look at old dial timers with mechanical switches or old cnc machines that follow punched tape - not sure there's been an arm that does the same but I seem to remember spot welders replaying physical movements that had been guided previously.

It's a question of definition...

regards,
colin



Hi Colin

I recall an auto lathe for metal spinning. The machine was driven by cams as was the general practice for autos, but the shape of the cams were only derived by exactly copying the movements of a human operator, very different to moderm CNC practice. I doubt anyone called the machine a robot.

Bob
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slurp
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United Kingdom
497 Posts

Posted - 06 Feb 2007 :  22:46:56  Show Profile  Visit slurp's Homepage  Send slurp a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote

That's my point Bob.

Most people wouldn't call a CNC machine "robotic", it's automation... I think part of the key definition is flexibility (possibly function). There "machines" that 10years old and less sophisticated than our modern CNC that we'd call robots, based upon flexibility - most would be manipulator of some sort, where you could change the tooling to move from pick'n'place to spot welding or paint spraying or some other task.

Ultimately, if our sentient washing machine can only wash then surely it's just sophisticated automation - I think of examples from Hitch Hicker's Guide at this point ;)

regards,
colin
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Bob
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United Kingdom
1263 Posts

Posted - 08 Feb 2007 :  10:54:52  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
How about working the other way?

Which of these would you call a living thing?

23. Human

2.1 Dog

5 Marigold

100 Paramecium

17 Escherichia coli

4 Influenza virus

11 BSE prion

0.1 MyDoom virus

11 R2D2

32 Automatic washing machine

0.125 Colony of ants

1 Anything made by Mark Tilden

1a Rodney Brooks (OK, getting silly now?)

Bob

postscript We are snowed in!


Edited by - Bob on 08 Feb 2007 10:55:25
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suzo
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Australia
1360 Posts

Posted - 09 Feb 2007 :  08:01:11  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Bob

postscript We are snowed in!




Got a photo???
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Bob
Serious Geek!

United Kingdom
1263 Posts

Posted - 09 Feb 2007 :  11:25:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by suzo

quote:
Originally posted by Bob

postscript We are snowed in!




Got a photo???


Hi Sue

Is this OK?


Bob

Edited by - Bob on 09 Feb 2007 11:27:08
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GP
Geek!

242 Posts

Posted - 09 Feb 2007 :  13:37:31  Show Profile  Visit GP's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Bob

How about working the other way?

Which of these would you call a living thing?

23. Human

2.1 Dog

5 Marigold

100 Paramecium

17 Escherichia coli

4 Influenza virus

11 BSE prion

0.1 MyDoom virus

11 R2D2

32 Automatic washing machine

0.125 Colony of ants

1 Anything made by Mark Tilden

1a Rodney Brooks (OK, getting silly now?)

Bob

postscript We are snowed in!





over simplistic, but:

Anything that can replicate by means of a self-contained metabolic process I would class as 'alive'.

a Virus is not alive by that definition, for instance.
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GP
Geek!

242 Posts

Posted - 09 Feb 2007 :  13:41:15  Show Profile  Visit GP's Homepage  Reply with Quote
here's a definition of robot I previously posted on another forum:

An adaptive device that can interact and respond phsyically to it's environment, and perform a task - and/or that allows a remote operator to do so, either in real time or via preprogrammed command.

So, my definition would mean that the 'robotishness' starts at number 5.
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