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What is Robot Software?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 28 September 2016
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Robot software is software that issues coded commands to some type of mechanical devices, usually referred to as a robot. The software can be configured to automate various tasks associated with these mechanical devices, making it possible for the robots to carry out the tasks without the need for manual intervention. The idea behind robot software is to free human beings to focus their time on more complex tasks, and allow the robot devices to take care of mundane but necessary tasks, such as cleaning the house.

There is also some effort to create robot software that goes beyond the process of simply creating and issuing commands to the receiving devices. Attempts to create software that allows a device to assess information and makes choices based on that data has long been a goal of many programmers. By creating intelligent mechanical devices that are capable of imitating the reasoning processes of human beings, there is the hope of utilizing the devices for more complex tasks than is possible today. For example, while it is possible to use software to prompt a device to vacuum a floor, there is not currently any type of robot software that allows the cleaner to determine that the carpeting is in need of cleaning.

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The success of a robot software program depends on the way that the programming language is crafted. As with any type of programming efforts, the language must be specific, logical, and arranged so that the receiving device can properly interpret the commands, and engage in the specified tasks. Experimentation with voice activation, which would allow the robot to receive audio input and interpret it based on the contents of the programming, has led to increasingly more complex programs. This in turn has led to the development of robotic devices that can manage many more tasks than the simplistic robots used in manufacturing from the mid-20th century to the present.

While many people are in favor of further development of robot software, others are concerned about the potential hazards of creating intelligent mechanical devices that are able to come close to approximate the thinking processes of human beings. At times, this is based on fears that artificial intelligence could reach a point where it exceeded human capabilities, a situation that is often used as part of a plot line in science fiction novels and entertainment programs. Others feel that even the most sophisticated of robot software would never be able to match the complexity of the human brain, effectively preventing the possibility of mechanical devices becoming self-aware and posing any type of threat to the human race.

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