In many programming languages we can see the robot’s ability to interact with its environment, by using a specific set of instructions. There are certain instructions that allow the robot to respond rapidly to external communications. There is a specific instruction that will cause the robot to halt whatever it is doing at that precise time, if one of its input channels becomes low, engaging an erroneous sub-routine. The idea behind this process is to halt any operations currently taking place if one of the sensors is triggered, indicating the robot’s motion area has been encroached upon. There is a huge difference in how these instructions are processed and what actions they lead to. If the robot is to sit in an idle state, the program will instruct the device to do nothing while the input channels are low. But if the robot is to be called into action, a sub-routine will trigger this process once an appropriate level has been achieved in the channels. The robot will remain at an alert status while it is waiting for further instructions. The machine can then be made inactive by instructing the robot to ignore all channel data and await further instructions. These instructions are fed through an automated software program but can be over-ridden by manual commands.
This short introduction to programming languages does not cover the entirety of the power of these techniques. My aim is to give a quick preview into what these languages can do and some of the processes that can be carried out. The fetes achieved by these machines and the languages which control them is truly amazing. Most modern languages have a semantic make-up similar to C and you will find that most languages are based on this early programming approach. There is a programming modularity used which provides efficient calling of sub-routines which is vital to how the C language functions. These sub-routines seed control to each other at various points throughout the programs life-cycle. The language was intended to be a general language for various types of lab automation equipment and not just for industrial robots. It is basically a manufacturing language and this is reflected in the programs name. I am only going to scratch the surface of what this language does, as I plan a much more detailed article on this subject in the future. To do this subject justice, I feel a more complete look at the language needs to be carried out, so the full power of this application can be envisaged.