vb.net barcode reader sdk Copyright 2005 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Click here for terms of use. in Software

Creation Code 128 in Software Copyright 2005 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Click here for terms of use.

Copyright 2005 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Click here for terms of use.
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Introduction
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We, however, are interested in the robot as an agent that carries out its tasks automatically or with a minimum of external impulse rather than a recreation of life itself. A smart machine. In this chapter, we rst look at some of the history behind the robot. From there we explore the technologies that make up a robot, laying the groundwork for later chapters on how these technologies work. Once we have a good sense of what a robot is, we peek into the future to see what robots might someday be like.
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A Brief Tour of Robotics
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AUTOMATA AND ANIMATRONICS
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An automaton is a device that has the ability to move under its own power. The mechanism of the motion is normally hidden, giving the illusion that the device is self-motivated or alive. While this de nition can apply to something as mundane as a mechanical watch, automata are usually mechanisms that try to mimic the look and behavior of living creatures. We humans have long been fascinated by the workings of our own bodies and the animals around us. With this fascination has come the urge to recreate these things, to step into the role of divinity and try our hand at the game of life. The ancient Greeks, at around 400 B.C. and continuing on into the common era, are reputed to have used steam and water power to animate statues or drive various mechanisms in their temples. Automatically opening doors, statues that appear to drink o erings of wine, singing birds, self-lighting res, and other wonders are documented in the few remaining writings of that time. There are hints of similar Egyptian and Chinese devices from that era as well. Most of these technologies, the accumulated knowledge of ancient civilizations, were lost until relatively recent times. During the Renaissance, Europe started to drag itself out of the Dark Ages and began discovering (or, in many cases, rediscovering) all manner of ideas, art, technologies, and sciences. Among these, combining both art and technology, were the automata. Some wild stories tell us about an iron y and an arti cial eagle made of wood, constructed by Johannes Muller in the 1470s. In the fourteenth and fteenth centuries, automata were the playthings of royalty. Leonardo da Vinci made an animated lion for King Louis XII, Gianello della Tour of Cremona built a number of mechanical entertainers for Emperor Charles V, and Christiaan Huygens created a robotic army sometime around 1680.
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CHAPTER 1 Introduction
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The rst documented automaton in human form, or android, was made by Hans Bullman in the early sixteenth century. Androids have been a popular subject for automata builders ever since. Inventors built machines to play musical instruments of all kinds, draw, write, and even play chess or at least, pretend to play chess. The eighteenth century was the golden age of automata, with many intricate machines. These were driven by clockwork gears and cylinders containing hundreds, if not thousands, of complicated control tracks. These tracks were composed of sequences of rods of di erent heights xed to a cylinder, or individual cams with complex shapes, that pushed on levers that moved rods that adjusted the automaton creating a speci c sequence of actions. The Turk was a world-famous automaton from this time. Built in 1770 by Wolfgang von Kepelen, and later purchased from Kepelen s son by Johan Nepomuk Maelzel in 1804, the Turk toured Europe and America amazing audiences by playing chess! By the time the Turk was on tour, audiences were familiar with the workings of automata and had been exposed to many ne machines. But they were also con dent that these machines were just that, simple collections of gears and levers whose rote actions were no challenge to the human intellect. The automata may appear to be alive, but they are only vague shadows of life. They couldn t think. The Turk challenged this view. It played, and often won, games of chess against any number of famous gures of the time. Napolean, Charles Babbage, and Edgar Allen Poe all took their turn against this mechanical savant. Of course, it turned out that the machine could not play chess at all. Instead, it provided cramped quarters for a human chess player who in turn ran the machinery that made the Turk move. One very complex automaton wasn t an android, but a duck. Jacques Vaucanson created this avian automaton in 1738 and then went on tour with it. At the price of a week s wages, audiences were invited to see this creation move around, adjust its wings, preen, drink water, and even eat food, digest it, and then defecate. All of this required thousands of moving parts within both the duck and its large base. And yet, automata were just a hobby of Vaucanson s. He sold his collection in 1743 and went on to direct the stateowned silk-mills in France. Among other innovations, he developed a way to weave silk brocade using a machine guided by perforated cards. Owing to hostility among the weavers of the time, his advances in factory automation were ignored for decades. In 1804, Joseph-Marie Jacquard improved and reintroduced the technique and was later credited with its invention. While the automatic loom was still despised by weavers, who went as far as burning down automated factories,
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