History of Robotics and Devices of Shakey and Flakey Robots

Shakey was the first mobile robot with the ability to reason and react to its environment. Developed at Sri’s pioneering Artificial Intelligent Center, Shakey has had a substantial influence on present-day artificial intelligent and robotics.

Using a TV camera, a triangulating range finder, and bump sensors, Shakey was connected to DEC PDP-10 and PDP-15 computers via radio and video links. Interoperating programs with varying levels of sophistication provided Shakey with the ability to combine simple movements and environmental perception into robust, complex tasks, enabling it to achieve goals given by user the system also generalized and saved these plans for possible future use. Inducted into the robot hall of fame in 2004.

Flakey was a custom built platform approximately three feet high and two feet in diameter operating within SRI’s own office environment. Two independently driven wheels provided a maximum velocity of about two feet per second.

Flakey’s sensors included a ring of 12 sonar range finders, wheel encoders, and a video camera used in combination with a laser to provide dense depth information over a small area in front of the vehicle. Flakey’s onboard computers included a workstation and other processors dedicated to sensor interpretation, motor control, and radio communications.

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