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Robot Builder's Bonanza, 4th Edition, 4th Edition by Gordon McComb

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Chapter 34An Overview of Robot “Brains”

“Brain, brain, what is brain?” If you’re a Trekker, you know this is a line from one of the original Star Trek episodes of the 1960s, entitled “Spock’s Brain.” The quality of the story notwithstanding, the episode was about how Spock’s brain was surgically removed by a race of women who needed it to run their air-conditioning system. Dr. McCoy rigged up a gizmo to operate Spock’s brainless body by remote control.

“Brains” are what differentiate robots from simple automated machines—brainless Spocks who might as easily crash into walls as move in a straight line. The brains of a robot process outside influences, such as sonar sensors or bumper switches; then, based on their programming or wiring, they determine ...

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