The question we discussed was “what is a robot?” I personally defined it as something, often mechanical, that follows orders and performs tasks that are either too repetitive or impossible for humans to perform. At the beginning of the unit, we drew pictures of what we thought robots looked like, and I drew a stereotypical science fiction robot. However, I learned that the definition of a robot is not set, and can be both manipulated and changed to suit the speaker’s needs.
Throughout the unit we challenged the definition of a robot, such as when I did a presentation attempting to convince the class that my friend was a robot (which he is). I explained that he performs repetitive tasks (video games), lacks human emotion, and is 100% expendable. Although perhaps I may have stretched the definition a bit too far, I believe that I fit the definition of a robot to apply to my friend pretty well.
A picture of my friend I used in my presentation.
We also had a Hebocon tournament, where we built robots to fight each other. By looking at a more traditional style of robot, we got to compare our extreme ideas of robots (in the presentations) with what is normally thought of as a robot (Hebocon). It was a good way to see many definitions of the same thing, so we could get a deeper understanding of robotics in general.
My Hebocon robot. 🙂
In the exploration process of the unit, I often questioned what a robot is, because we all had different definitions. I do feel confident talking to other people about the topics in this unit now, because I have a better understanding as to what a robot is and what people define it as.
To learn together better as a group, we must work together as a group. When we shared ideas for definitions of a robot, we all came up with improved definitions based on the ones we heard. When we were arguing against presentations of what a robot is, we learned more from each other and our opinions. When I sacrificed my motor in the Hebocon competition, I did it for the good of our team (or the classmate I helped).
Our class. 🙂 🙂 🙂
Another question I am thinking of are “what makes a definition of a word?” We all looked up definitions of a robot, but we all found different definitions. If words are defined by dictionaries, why do some of them have different definitions than others? And if words are defined by those who speak them, who’s going to keep track of all of the definitions of a word?