What are robots?
Robot comes from the Czech word 'robota' which means 'forced work or labor'. We use the word "Robot" today to mean any man-made machine that can perform work or other actions normally performed by humans, either automatically or by remote control.
What do robots do?
Most robots today are used to do repetitive (boring) actions or jobs considered too dangerous for humans. They are used in factories to build things like cars, candy bars, and electronics. Some robots are even designed to explore deep underwater and out in space. NASA has sent robots to explore other planets!
So why use robots?
The reason we use robots is because it is cheaper, easier and sometimes the only way we can get things done! Robots can explore inside gas tanks, volcanoes, Mars and other places too dangerous for humans to go! Robots also can do one thing over and over again without getting bored. Robots never get sick, they don't need to take a day off, they can work 24 hours a day if necessary, and best of all they don't ever complain!
What are robots made of?
Well, Robots can be made from a variety of materials including metals and plastics and most robots usually have at least 3 main parts:
- The Controller also known as the "brain" which is run by a computer program.
- Mechanical parts - motors, pistons, grippers, wheels, gears that make the robot move usually powered by air, water, or electricity.
- Sensors - to tell the robot about its surroundings.
These parts working together control how the robot operates. Without the controller or "brain", motors, and sensors, robots would not be able to function.
Unlike in the movies, Robots are unable to think or make decisions. They are only tools to help us get things done. But, who knows what Robots may be able to do in the future… maybe you will design the "Super Robot" of tomorrow!
"Danger Will Robinson! Warning! Warning! Alien spacecraft approaching!"
Robbie the Robot, Lost in Space (television series)