Modeling, simulation and experimental verification of contact/impact dynamics in flexible articulated structures
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Robots are used in diverse applications, ranging from entertainment to manufacturing to space applications. Each application has its own requirements in terms of performance, design and operating environment. Based on these requirements, a designer/researcher will have to design a robot that performs its designated task with maximum possible efficiency. Robots are widely used in manufacturing for machining, assembly line operations, welding, painting, inspection, etc. They are also used in a host of other areas like laboratories to place and remove test tubes in centrifuges and to handle hazardous chemicals. In the nuclear industry, they are used to handle radioactive fuel as well as radioactive waste. Robots are also used in remote or highly contaminated areas to measure radiation or toxic levels. Robots have also found their way into the field of agriculture. An interesting application is their use as a sheepshearing machine, where it is used to shear wool off sheep. There are submersible robotic vehicles used for deep sea exploration. These submersible vehicles are used for mining the ocean floor. Last, but not least, there is the space industry which uses robots in various forms. Robots in space applications usually face environments that are hostile to human survival. Planetary rovers with manipulator arms, satellite maintenance robots, manipulator arms for space manufacturing and construction of space stations and space ships and unmanned exploration vehicles are some of the applications of robots in space.