Robots: Digital & Analog
David Leech Anderson: Author
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 is controlled by by the water-in-pipes computer and the other by a classic digitigal computer.
This module offers an example of an analog computer which contrasts with the digital computers with which we are all familiar. Our original interactive Flash animations have been replaced with .mp4 videos that contain all of the original content.
This module was supported by National Science Foundation Grants #9981217 and #0127561.