Robot Programming Systems Review

A review of robot programming systems was conducted in 1983 by Tomas Lozano Perez. At that time, robots were only common in industrial environments, the range of programming methods was very limited, and the review examined only industrial robot programming systems. A new review is necessary to determine what has been achieved in the intervening time, and what the next steps should be to provide convenient control for the general population as robots become ubiquitous in our lives.

Lozano Perez divided programming systems into three categories: guiding systems, robot level programming systems, and task-level programming systems. For guiding systems the robot was manually moved to each desired position and the joint positions recorded. For robot-level systems a programming language was provided with the robot. Finally task-level systems specified the goals to be achieved (for example, the positions of the objects).

By contrast, it divides the field of robot programming into automatic programming, manual programming, and software architecture. The first two distinguish programming according to the actual method used, which is the crucial distinction for users and programmers. In automatic programming systems the user or programmer has little or no direct control over the robot code. These include learning systems, Programming by Demonstration and Instructive.

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