2. Terms and Basic Concepts of Robotics

Getting the language down is the first step. Robotics is like any other engineering field with lots of jargon and specialized terms. The terms do convey important concepts which we will introduce here.

There are three examples which we will examine: the serial two link arm, the parallel two link arm and the differential drive mobile robot. The serial two link manipulator is a simple robot arm that has two straight links each driven by an actuator (like a servo). They serve as basic examples of common robotic systems and are used to introduce some basic concepts. The parallel two link arm is a two dimensional version of a common 3D Printer known as the Delta configuration. Last is the differential drive mobile robot. This design has two drive wheels and then a drag castor wheel. The two drive wheels can operate independently like a skid steer “Bobcat”.