Robotics nowadays demands a special approach and comprehensive knowledge. First of all, it is necessary for one to distinguish between the three different groups of machines robotics deals with: terrestrial robots, tele-operators, and tele-robots. Their names and descriptions may sound similar but differences do exist and identifying them is the most important factor indicating that this branch of technology develops (Howard, 2010). The most commonly known type is a terrestrial robot, typically limited to industrial manufacturing. Normally terrestrials appear to be heavy, inflexible machines using pre-programmed control in strictly predetermined conditions in order to perform highly repetitive tasks. Such types of robots do not present much scientific interest for the given research. There is, however, a favorable asset of these robots that is worth mentioning – high level of autonomy. Very small amount of person-hours is required for them to operate and perform tasks properly.
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The next commonly-known type of robots is tele-operators, usually operated directly and manually by the manipulators-humans. In such a way tele-operator are limited in real-time manual control, which contributes a considerable investment in person-hours. An obvious advantage of tele-operators over the terrestrial robots is that they are able to perform non-repetitive tasks. Originally they were designed to be applied in subaquatic, nuclear and other semi-structured environments, which are hostile to human beings in general. Pre-programming responses to all of the contingencies and failures that may occur during performing the task is rather complicated given that the environment cannot be controlled to the extent that it would permit inerratic robot operation. On the other hand, an operator with a direct control over the robot has an advantage when compared to dealing with completely autonomous machines.
The last class is comprised of tele-robots with the technological design presenting a combination of tele-operation and automated control. One of the examples of a tele-robot operation is supervisory control. According to this system a problem is divided into a sequence of tasks, and a robot can fulfill them independently. When a robot is under self-control, it is expected that the tasks would be completed without human intervention. In order to measure the performance of a robot during such automatic action, an operator monitors the progress on display. If a problem occurs, it is the operator who is responsible for finding a solution and developing a plan for the new task.