It is the ease of which they can be programmed that makes robots so versatile and it is this accessibility that drives the creativity of automation pioneers. Programming of industrial, laboratory or commercial robots can range from manipulation of a simple tool to the intricate programming of computer chips and microprocessors. One of the greatest difficulties in programming robots is to effectively translate the robots frame of reference across to the human who is operating the machine. When most of us consider the space around us we think of right versus left or up versus down but for robotic devices is is very different. Automated machines think of space in terms of their movement within that space and how their axes require to be moved to get to a pre-determined point. The tools that these machines use can be classed as another frame of reference. For teaching that is both practical and effective, the system being programmed must accommodate transformations between various co-ordinate systems.
Programming methods that are considered to be powerful and versatile, use two devices; a keyboard and a teach pendant. The many software languages I have referenced on this website were used to signal the relationship between teaching the robot and programming the robot using a keyboard. Both of these methods are required if you are to build a robot that executes with perfection and does not encounter any error routines. I suppose this post is like a summary for the articles that have preceded it, as I like to recap on the lessons I have taught. I hope you the readers are getting as much out of reading this information, as I am getting from writing it. Computer aided design and robotic manipulation have been used for many years, helping to alleviate some of the tasks carried out by manual processes.