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Artificial Intelligence - An Introduction to Robotics
Tim Niemueller and Sumedha Widyadharma July 8, 2003
Abstract This document gives a short introduction to the basics of robotics in the context of artificial intelligence. It describes the very basics of robotics like sensors and effectors, gives an overview on robotic history, and introduces some basic problems encountered in modern robotics. It describes possible solutions to those problems without going deeply into theory. The problems introduced are perception, basic pose description, transition and sensor models, localization as a special case of perception (Monte Carlo Localization, Extended Kalman Filter), representation of environment (workspace and configuration space), path planning (cell decomposition, potential fields, skeletonization, Voronoi diagrams, and probabilistic roadmaps), movement of robots, and some real-life examples. This document was created accompanying a talk in the context of the proseminar "Artificial Intelligence" in summer semester 2003 at the RWTH Aachen, Chair of Computer Science V, Knowledge-based Systems Group.


Capek and his Robots

The term "Robot" can be traced back to Karel Capek's play "R.U.R. Rossum's universal robots" (in 1921) that comes from the Czech word for "corvee".

1.2 A brief History of Robots
Robotics are based on two enabling technologies: Telemanipulators and the ability of numerical control of machines. Telemanipulators are remotely controlled machines which usually consist of an arm and a gripper. The movements of arm and gripper follow the instructions the human gives through his control device. First telemanipulators have been used to deal with radio-active material. Numeric control allows to control machines very precisely in relation to a given coordinate system. It was...

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