A Brief Look at Robotics

A Brief Look at Robotics - = WIRED HANDS A Brief Look at...

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=================================================================== WIRED HANDS - A Brief Look at Robotics NEWSCIENCE ------------------------------------------------------------------- Two years ago, the Chrysler corporation completely gutted its Windsor, Ontario, car assembly plant and within six weeks had installed an entirely new factory inside the building. It was a marvel of engineering. When it came time to go to work, a whole new work force marched onto the assembly line. There on opening day was a crew of 150 industrial robots. Industrial robots don't look anything like the androids from sci-fi books and movies. They don't act like the evil Daleks or a fusspot C-3P0. If anything, the industrial robots toiling on the Chrysler line resemble elegant swans or baby brontosauruses with their fat, squat bodies, long arched necks and small heads. An industrial robot is essentially a long manipulator arm that holds tools such as welding guns or motorized screwdrivers or grippers for picking up objects. The robots working at Chrysler and in numerous other modern factories are extremely adept at performing highly specialized tasks - one robot may spray paint car parts while another does spots welds while another pours radioactive chemicals. Robots are ideal workers: they never get bored and they work around the clock. What's even more important, they're flexible. By altering its programming you can instruct a robot to take on different tasks. This is largely what sets robots apart from other machines; try as you might you can't make your washing machine do the dishes. Although some critics complain that robots are stealing much-needed jobs away from people, so far they've been given only the dreariest, dirtiest, most soul-destroying work. The word robot is Slav in origin and is related to the words
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This note was uploaded on 04/10/2008 for the course EN 01012 taught by Professor Carey during the Spring '07 term at BC.

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A Brief Look at Robotics - = WIRED HANDS A Brief Look at...

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