A simple robot is a machine that can move independently. It can perform household tasks, industrial tasks or serve as entertainment for children. Washing machines, automatic car washers, and remote-controlled toys are examples of simple robots. They contain various components that are designed to work together and perform the desired tasks automatically. Hobbyists of all ages can buy robot kits. Given the wealth of information available on the Internet, they may also find textual and visual instructions for creating a simple robot.
A controllable program, power source and sensors are some of the components of a simple robot. Some simple robots remain stationary. Many programmable home appliances are stationary devices that consumers can use to wash clothes and dishes and make coffee. Other stationary robots have sensors that open doors when someone needs to pass through. Vending machines are another type of simple robot that deliver food or other goods when consumers deposit money and press pre-programmed buttons.
Manufacturers also design simple robots that are mobile. Programmable devices that vacuum or scrub floors or mow lawns are common simple robotic technologies. By placing sensor towers in strategic locations, the robot performs the required task within a specified set of limits. Some robots can move from place to place. Automated car washes typically contain motorized units that dispense water, soaps and waxes as they move around a vehicle.
Numerous children's toys are nothing more than simple robotic designs. Remote-controlled cars, trucks and airplanes appear to move without assistance and incorporate robotic technology. Toys that walk, talk and interact with children include electronic sensors and programs that mimic human activity. Other toys perform typical movements, make sounds and resemble animals. Toys resembling typical science fiction stories, humanoid robots capable of producing sounds and moving physically are also available.
Simple robot kits are also produced that children of different ages can assemble and operate using battery or solar power. The simple robotics contained in these devices allow the robot to move on wheels, mimic walking, and avoid obstacles. Sensors built into the devices use infrared radiation, radio frequencies or audio signals to trigger, stop and direct movement. With some kits, hobbyists can build simple robot arms with a 360-degree range of motion. These robots replicate the human shoulder and elbow in motion and are generally equipped with some sort of claw or hand capable of grasping, lifting and moving objects.