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Introduction to Robotics

Robotics is the term used in artificial intelligence that deals with a study of creating intelligent and efficient robots.

What are Robots

Robots are multifunctional, re-programmable, automatic industrial machine designed for replacing human in hazardous work.

Robots can be work as:-

  • An automatic machine sweeper
  • In space
  • A machine removing mines in a war field
  • An automatic car for a child to play with
  • In military, etc.


The aim of the robot is to manipulate the objects by perceiving, moving, picking, modifying the physical properties of object.

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What is Robotics

Robotics is a branch of Artificial Intelligence (AI), it is mainly composed of electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and computer science engineering for construction, designing and application of robots.

Robotics is science of building or designing an application of robots. The aim of robotics is to design an efficient robot.

Aspects of Robotics

  • The robots have electrical components for providing power and control the machinery.
  • They have mechanical construction, shape, or form designed to accomplish a particular task.
  • It contains some type of computer program that determines what, when and how a robot does something.

Components of Robot

Consider the robot structure showing different components of robots are: components of robot1 learnerscoach Consider the key components of robotics are:-
  • Power Supply – The working power to the robot is provided by batteries, hydraulic, solar power, or pneumatic power sources.
  • Actuators – Actuators are the energy conversion device used inside a robot. The major function of actuators is to convert energy into movement.
  • Electric motors (DC/AC)– Motors are electromechanical component used for converting electrical energy into its equivalent mechanical energy. In robots motors are used for providing rotational movement.
  • Sensors – Sensors provide real time information on the task environment. Robots are equipped with tactile sensor it imitates the mechanical properties of touch receptors of human fingerprints and a vision sensor is used for computing the depth in the environment.
  • Controller – Controller is a part of robot that coordinates all motion of the mechanical system. It also receives an input from immediate environment through various sensors. The heart of robot’s controller is a microprocessor linked with the input/output and monitoring device. The command issued by the controller activates the motion control mechanism, consisting of various controller, actuators and amplifier.
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Robot Locomotion

Locomotion is the method of moving from one place to another. The mechanism that makes a robot capable of moving in its environment is known as robot locomotion.

There are many types of locomotion’s:-

  • Wheeled
  • Legged
  • Tracked slip/skid
  • Combination of legged and wheeled locomotion

Legged locomotion

  1. It comes up with the variety of one, two, four, and six legs. If a robot has multiple legs then leg coordination is required for locomotion.
  2. Legged locomotion consumes more power while demonstrating jump, hop, walk, trot, climb up or down etc.
  3. It requires more number of motors for accomplish a movement. It is suited for rough as well as smooth terrain where irregular or too smooth surface makes it consume more operational power. It is little difficult to implement because of stability issues.

The total number of possible gaits (a periodic sequence of release and lift events for each of the total legs) a robot can travel depending upon the number of robot legs.

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If a robot has K legs, then the number of possible events is,
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In case of a two-legged robot (K=2), therefore the number of possible events is
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Hence, there are six possible different events:-

  • Lifting the Right leg
  • Lifting the Left leg
  • Releasing the right leg
  • Releasing the left leg
  • Releasing both the legs together
  • Lifting both the legs together

In case of K=4 legs, there are 5040 possible events. Hence the complexity of robots is dependent on number of legs of robots. On increasing legs of a robot the complexity of robotic system increases.

Wheeled Locomotion

It requires less number of motors for accomplishing a movement. It is little easy to implement as there are lesser stability issues in case of more number of wheels. It is more power efficient as compared to legged locomotion.

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  • Castor wheel – It rotates around the offset steering joint and wheel axle.
  • Standard wheel – It rotates around the contact and the wheel axle.
  • Ball or spherical wheel – This wheel is technically difficult to implement due to architectural complexity. It is an Omni directional wheel with only one directional movement is allowed.
  • Swedish 45 and Swedish 90 wheels – It is an Omni-wheel, which rotates around the contact point, around the wheel axle, and around the rollers.

Slip/Skid Locomotion

In Slip/Skid locomotion the vehicles use tracks as available in a tank.

The robot is steered by moving tracks with different speeds in the same or opposite direction.

It offers stability because of large contact area of ground and track.

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Types of Robots

1) Mobile Robots

Mobile robots are able to move from one location to another location using locomotion. It is an automatic machine that is capable of navigating an uncontrolled environment without any requirement of physical and electromechanical guidance devices. Mobile Robots are of two types:

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(a) Rolling robots – Rolling robots require wheels to move around.

They can easily and quickly search. But they are only useful in flat areas.

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(b) Walking robots – Robots with legs are usually used in condition where the terrain is rocky.

Most walking robots have at least 4 legs.

Industrial robots perform same tasks repeatedly without ever moving.

These robots are working in industries in which there is requirement of performing dull and repeated tasks suitable for robot.

An industrial robot never tired, it will perform their works day and night without ever complaining.

2) Industrial Robots

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3) Autonomous Robots

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Autonomous robots are self-supported. They use a program that provides them the opportunity to decide the action to perform depending on their surroundings.

Using artificial intelligence these robots often learn new behavior. They start with a short routine and adapt this routine to be more successful in a task they perform. Hence, the most successful routine will be repeated.


Remote controlled robot used for performing complicated and undetermined tasks that autonomous robot cannot perform due to uncertainty of operation.

Complicated tasks are best performed by human beings with real brainpower. Therefore a person can guide a robot by using remote. Using remote controlled operation human can perform dangerous tasks without being at the spot where the tasks are performed.

Let’s see a NASA robot designed to explore volcanoes via remote control:

4) Remote Controlled Robots

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Getting Started

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