Roboticss Essay, Research Paper
Two old ages ago, the Chrysler corporation wholly gutted its Windsor, Ontario, auto assembly works and within six hebdomads had installed an wholly new mill inside the edifice. It was a wonder of technology. When it came clip to travel to work, a whole new work force marched onto the assembly line. There on gap twenty-four hours was a crew of 150 industrial automatons. Industrial automatons don & # 8217 ; t look anything like the humanoids from sci-fi books and films. They don & # 8217 ; t act like the evil Daleks or a fusspot C-3P0. If anything, the industrial automatons laboring on the Chrysler line resemble elegant swans or babe apatosaurs with their fat, knee bend organic structures, long arched cervixs and little caputs. An industrial automaton is basically a long operator arm that holds tools such as welding guns or motorized screwdrivers or grippers for picking up objects. The automatons working at Chrysler and in legion other modern mills are highly expert at executing extremely specialized undertakings & # 8211 ; one automaton may spray pigment auto parts while another does musca volitanss dyer’s rockets while another pours radioactive chemicals. Automatons are ideal workers: they ne’er get bored and they work around the clock. What & # 8217 ; s even more of import, they & # 8217 ; re flexible. By changing its scheduling you can teach a automaton to take on different undertakings. This is mostly what sets robots apart from other machines ; seek as you might you can & # 8217 ; Ts make your lavation machine do the dishes. Although some critics complain that automatons are stealing much-needed occupations off from people, so far they & # 8217 ; ve been given merely the dreariest, dirtiest, most soul-destroying work. The word automaton is Slav in beginning and is related to the words for work and worker. Robots foremost appeared in a drama, Rossum & # 8217 ; s Universal Robots, written in 1920 by the Czech dramatist, Karel Capek. The drama Tells of an applied scientist who designs man-like machines that have no human failing and go vastly popular. However, when the automatons are used for war they rebel against their human Masterss. Though industrial automatons do dull, dehumanising work, they are however a delectation to watch as they crane their long cervixs, swivel their caputs and pigeon berry about the country where they work. They satisfy & # 8220 ; that vague hankering to see the human organic structure reflected in a machine, to see a life map translated into mechanical parts & # 8221 ; , as one author has said. Just as much merriment are the legion & # 8220 ; personal & # 8221 ; automatons now on the market, the most popular of which is HERO, manufactured by Heathkit. Looking like a fictile step-stool on wheels, HERO can raise objects with its one clawed arm and arrant computer-synthesized address. There & # 8217 ; s Hubot, excessively, which comes with a telecasting screen face, blinking visible radiations and a computing machine keyboard that pulls out from its tummy. Hubot moves at a gait of 30 centimeters per second and can work as a burglar dismay and a aftermath up service. Several old ages ago, the swank section shop Neiman-Marcus sold a automaton pet, named Wires. When you boil all the plumes out of the ballyhoo, HERO, Hubot, Wires et. Al. are truly merely ace playthings. You may woolgather of life like a faineant grand Turk surrounded by a clique of metal amahs, but any farther mechanization in your place will alternatively include things like visible radiations that switch on automatically when the natural visible radiation dims or rugs with lasting suction systems built into them. One of the earliest efforts at a automaton design was a machine, nicknamed Shakey by its discoverer because it was so wobbly on its pess. Today, hapless Shakey is a corroding heap
of metal sitting in the corner of a California laboratory. Robot engineers have since realized that the greater challenge is not in putting together the nuts and bolts, but rather in devising the lists of instructions – the “software – that tell robots what to do”. Software has indeed become increasingly sophisticated year by year. The Canadian weather service now employs a program called METEO which translates weather reports from English to French. There are computer programs that diagnose medical ailments and locate valuable ore deposits. Still other computer programs play and win at chess, checkers and go. As a results, robots are undoubtedly getting “smarter”. The Diffracto company in Windsor is one of the world’s leading designers and makers of machine vision. A robot outfitted with Diffracto “eyes” can find a part, distinguish it from another part and even examine it for flaws. Diffracto is now working on a tomato sorter which examines colour, looking for no-red – i.e. unripe – tomatoes as they roll past its TV camera eye. When an unripe tomato is spotted, a computer directs a robot arm to pick out the pale fruit. Another Diffracto system helps the space shuttle’s Canadarm pick up satellites from space. This sensor looks for reflections on a satellites gleaming surface and can determine the position and speed of the satellite as it whirls through the sky. It tells the astronaut when the satellite is in the right position to be snatched up by the space arm. The biggest challenge in robotics today is making software that can help robots find their way around a complex and chaotic world. Seemingly sophisticated tasks such as robots do in the factories can often be relatively easy to program, while the ordinary, everyday things people do – walking, reading a letter, planning a trip to the grocery store – turn out to be incredibly difficult. The day has still to come when a computer program can do anything more than a highly specialized and very orderly task. The trouble with having a robot in the house for example, is that life there is so unpredictable, as it is everywhere else outside the assembly line. In a house, chairs get moved around, there is invariably some clutter on the floor, kids and pets are always running around. Robots work efficiently on the assembly line where there is no variation, but they are not good at improvisation. Robots are disco, not jazz. The irony in having a robot housekeeper is that you would have to keep your house perfectly tidy with every item in the same place all the time so that your metal maid could get around. Many of the computer scientists who are attempting to make robots brighter are said to working in the field of Artificial Intelligence, or AI. These researchers face a huge dilemma because there is no real consensus as to what intelligence is. Many in AI hold the view that the human mind works according to a set of formal rules. They believe that the mind is a clockwork mechanism and that human judgement is simply calculation. Once these formal rules of thought can be discovered, they will simply be applied to machines. On the other hand, there are those critics of AI who contend that thought is intuition, insight, inspiration. Human consciousness is a stream in which ideas bubble up from the bottom or jump into the air like fish. This debate over intelligence and mind is, of course, one that has gone on for thousands of years. Perhaps the outcome of the “robolution” will be to make us that much wiser.