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Robotics Terminology

Acceleration A change in speed over time.
Actuator Mechanical device for moving a mechanism or system.
Accumulator A robot mechanism designed to pick up large number of similar objects.
Arcade Style Drive A one-joystick robot drive code that utilizes the x and y axes for locomotion, allowing the operator to operate a robot drive system much like a one joystick arcade/video game.
Brainstorming A group creativity technique designed to generate a large number of ideas for the solution to a problem.
Bumper Switch In the Vex system, is a type of switch that is encased inside a plastic casing. It can be exposed to impacts without risking damage to the switch itself. For this reason it is useful in any application where the trigger could be high impact.
Chain A connected flexible series of links used for fastening or securing objects and pulling or supporting loads.
Channel Refers to any of the six labeled inputs on the VEX transmitter.
Coefficient of Friction A term which describes the amount of friction between two surfaces when they are pressed together. Determines how hard it is to slide the materials past each other. “Grippiness” of the materials.
Compression The reduction in volume (causing an increase in pressure) of an object.
Control System A program that tells the robot how to act in different circumstances and the electronics that process the information. This programming can be very simple or extraordinarily complex, but it is designed to allow the machine to react to its environment thro
Conveyance Something that carries the objects from the intake up into a storage chamber.
DC Motor An electric rotating machine energized by direct current and used to convert electric energy to mechanical energy.
Default Code Factory/initial control program code loaded into the VEX (or other) Microcontroller.
Degree of Freedom The ability to move in a single independent direction of motion. To be able to move in multiple directions means to have multiple degrees of freedom. Moving up and down is one degree of freedom, moving right and left is another, something which can move u
Elasticity Property enabling some objects/systems to overcome deformation and regain original shape and size when externally applied balanced forces are removed.
Force Accelerations are caused by forces. For example, when a robot is accelerating it does so because of the force its wheels exert on the floor.
Four-Bar Linkage A closed loop linkage system that can provide a wide variety of motion types. The most basic type of four-bar linkage is one where the links are equal length and parallel to each other.
Friction The resistance that one surface or object encounters when moving over another.
Friction Grabber (Gripper) An Object Manipulator that utilizes friction to grab, hold, and manipulate objects and/or perform tasks.
21. Gear One of a set of toothed wheels that work together to alter the relation between the speed of a driving mechanism and the speed of driven parts.
22. Gear Ratio (In a gearbox, transmission, etc.) the ratio between the rates at which the last and first gears rotate.
Gear Reduction Involves using gears/sprockets/pulleys of two different sizes to work together, usually slowing output speed and increasing torque. Desired gear reductions can be accomplished in one or multiple stages.
Gearbox The simplest form of a transmission. Uses multiple gears to alter motor speed to achieve desired output.
Geartrain (Powertrain) Represents the part of the Drivetrain, which transmits power from the Motor to the ground.
Hard Stop A point at which a mechanical system cannot go any further because it has hit a fixed limit.
Idler (Tension Wheel) Component that transmits no power but guides or tensions a track, belt, or rope.
Intake Entrance area of an Accumulator for robotic object gathering.
Limit Switch In the VEX system, is a type of switch similar to a Bumper Switch. Unlike the Bumper Switch the Limit Switch has a thin sheet-metal arm as its trigger mechanism that can be bent into custom shapes for specific applications.
Linkage A linkage is designed to convert some input motion into a different output motion. It typically consists of a series of rigid links. Each link has one or more joints that rotate freely connecting the links together. Typically one link is fixed and cannot
Microcontroller Uses logic (programming software) to receive commands and interpret signals from the Transmitter and/or sensors that control a robot’s movement and functions.
Motor Load Gearing Determining drivetrain gearing based on maximum motor load.
Motor Port Refers to any of the 8 ports for connecting Motors and/or Servo Motors to the VEX Microcontroller.
Object Manipulator A mechanism specifically designed to interact with objects in the robot’s (or other vehicle’s) environment.
Plow An Object Manipulator that applies force to the side of an object to push it.
Prototype A full-scale working model of a product frequently used for testing.
Power The time-rate of doing work, measured in watts or less frequently horsepower.
Receiver A device that passes signals from the Transmitter to the Microcontroller for interpretation.
Robot A programmable, mechanical device that can perform tasks and interact with its environment.
Roller Claw A specific type of Friction Grabber that rolls the object into its claw by use of a powered wheel or roller.
Rotating Joint A joint in which the axis of rotation is perpendicular to the robot arm. The human elbow illustrates this degree of freedom.
RPM Revolutions Per Minute.
Scoop An Object Manipulator that utilizes gravity to lift up an object from beneath.
Shock Load An instantaneous spike of loading on a mechanical system.
Sliding Joint A joint where the axis of motion is linear.
Speed A measure of how fast something moves. Commonly expressed as a distance traveled over a period of time.
Sprocket A profiled wheel with teeth designed to mesh with a chain.
Spur Gears Spur gears the simplest and most common type of gear. Their general form is a cylinder or disk.
Stall Torque A motor’s maximum torque; the torque at which a motor stalls.
Subsystem A type or component or set of components that make up part of a whole. There are 6 subsystems in VEX.
Switch A mechanical device used to make or break connections within an electrical circuit.
Systems Integration Refers to the act of combining several smaller subsystems into one overall system (ex
Tank Drive Style A two-joystick drive code that typically utilizes the y-axis (up and down) only for locomotion. Each joystick controls a single side of the robot drive system.
Tele-Operated Control of a robot by a human operator using a remote control.
Test Putting a product through a controlled exercise simulating actual use to discover problems with a design.
Torque A measure of force about a rotating axis. “How hard something is rotating”.
Traction The friction between a drive member (wheel) and surface it moves upon. The amount of force a wheel can apply to a surface before it slips.
Transmission Mechanism by which power is transmitted from a power source to the wheels of a robot or other vehicle.
Transmitter Primary input device utilized from teleoperation of a VEX (or other) robot.
Twisting Joint A joint in which the axis of rotation is parallel to the robot arm. Twisting the human wrist illustrates this degree of freedom.
Wheel Base Distance between the center of front and rear wheels of a robot or other vehicle.
Wheel Speed How fast a robot wheel is spinning. Used to calculate how fast the robot moves across the floor.
Created by: artnarchitecture