Glossary of Robot Terms - S

  • Serial manipulator - an articulated robot or manipulator with a single series kinematic chain of actuators. c.f. parallel manipulator.
  • Service robots - machines that extend human capabilities.
  • Servo, a motor that moves to and maintains a set position under command, rather than continuously moving.
  • Servomechanism - An automatic device that uses error-sensing negative feedback to correct the performance of a mechanism.
  • Servo Motor - A rotary servomechanism.
  • Single Point of Control - The ability to operate the robot such that initiation or robot motion from one source of control is possible only from that source and cannot be overridden from another source.
  • Slow Speed Control - A mode of robot motion control where the velocity of the robot is limited to allow persons sufficient time either to withdraw the hazardous motion or stop the robot.
  • Snake robot - A robot component resembling a tentacle or elephant's trunk, where many small actuators are used to allow continuous curved motion of a robot component, with many degrees of freedom. This is usually applied to snake-arm robots, which use this as a flexible manipulator. A rarer application is the snakebot, where the entire robot is mobile and snake-like, so as to gain access through narrow spaces.
  • Solar cell - A wafer, typically made of silicon, that converts light into electricity.
  • Solder - a low-melting alloy used for joining less fusible metals which is usually lead-based. The quality of a solder joint can have effects on an electronic device's operation.
  • Stepper motor - a brushless DC electric motor that divides a full rotation into a number of equal steps. The motor's position can then be commanded to move and hold at one of these steps without any feedback sensor, as long as the motor is carefully sized to the application.
  • Stewart platform - A movable platform using six linear actuators, hence also known as a Hexapod.
  • Subsumption architecture - A robot architecture that uses a modular, bottom-up design beginning with the least complex behavioral tasks.
  • Surgical robot - a remote manipulator used for keyhole surgery
  • Swarm robotics - robotic operations which involve large numbers of mostly simple physical robots. Their actions may seek to incorporate emergent behavior observed in social insects (swarm intelligence).

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