Robots: Digital & Analog

Overview:

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MODULE DESCRIPTION:

Most robots are controlled by digital computers, where all information is reduced to the binary language of 0's and 1's. But not all. Robots can be controlled by analog systems which do not require that information be packaged in discrete "chunks" of information. Instead values are allowed along a continuum.

In this module we "imagine" an analog robot, where the computer processing is done with water flowing through pipes rather than with switches that turn on and off. Flash animations have been created which show two robots that look identical and that behave identically. One, however, is controlled by a classic AI program (ProtoThinker).

MODULE COMPONENTS:

CURRICULUM

The pages below include the entire curriculum -- text plus embedded Flash animations.

FLASH ANIMATIONS

These are the Flash animations alone. The Flash-only versions can be helpful for presentations and other contexts when the text will only be a distraction.


Credits:

Funding
This module was supported by National Science Foundation Grants #9981217 and #0127561.