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RoboMine:  Robotics and Intelligent Systems in Mining

  Glossary Of Terms

Here, we have compiled a glossary of terms relevant to mining robotics and intelligent systems.  

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Industrial robot

An automatically controlled, programmable multipurpose manipulator that can be programmed in three or more axes. The robot may be fixed in place or mobile for use in industrial automation applications.

Impulse change:

A forcing function in which the input variable is suddenly increased to a very large value and then immediately returned to its initial level.


(1) The term for any item of electrical or electronic equipment designed to carry out a specific function or set of functions. (2) A device for measuring the value of an observable attribute. The instrument also may control the value.

Integral control:

A controller relationship or transformation in which the area under the error-time curve is used to determine the controller output. The cumulative area is divided by a constant called the Integral Time Constant. Often referred to as reset control. 

Intelligent manufacturing system:

An automated system that controls a factory or process using "intelligent" methodologies such as expert systems, fuzzy logic, artificial neural networks, and agent-based software.

Interacting control systems:

When the control variable in one control system either directly or indirectly affects another control system and vice versa, these systems are said to be interacting.


(1) A shared boundary between two pieces of equipment. (2) The hardware and software needed to enable one device to communicate with another.


The networking of tens of thousands of public and private networks throughout the world. The Internet's TCP/IP communications standards mean computers anywhere in the world even though running different operating systems and applications can communicate with one another. Hypertext markup language (html) lets the computers display the accessed information in graphical pages.


A network within a business enterprise that uses the same technology as the global Internet. Similar to a Local Area Network but generally bigger in size.

Island of automation:

A stand-alone pocket of automation, such as a robot, CAD/CAM system or CNC machine that is not connected into a cohesive system.

Just-in-time (JIT):

An approach to manufacturing that stresses the benefits inherent in a system, whereby material is brought to the work site only when it is needed. To achieve this goal, each operation must be synchronized with those subsequent to it.


The Japanese methodology for achieving JIT, often involving the use of Kanban, or cards, to indicate parts' status.

Kansei Engineering:

Kansei is a Japanese term where the syllable kan means sensitivity and sei means sensibility. The term is used to express the quality of an object to produce pleasure through its use. Therefore, there are objects with much kansei and others with little or no kansei at all.  Kansei engineering translates consumers' psychological feelings into perceptual design elements. It is also sometimes called "sensory engineering" or "emotional usability." The technique involves determining the sensory attributes that elicit particular subjective responses and then designing a product using those attributes that elicit desired responses.
     A set of diverse products are used to provoke a wide range of emotional responses. These are assessed using sets of bipolar attribute rating scales. A typical rating scale uses a pair of opposed terms, such as simple vs. complex or enticing vs. repulsive, located on the ends of a continuum. Participants place marks on this continuum indicating where they think a product falls relative to the two attributes in question.

Knowledge-based system:

Software using A.I. techniques and a base of information about specialized activities to control systems or operations.

Ladder logic:

The basis behind the programming method used with a PLC. The logic is usually displayed in the form of a diagram that resembles a ladder (or series of steps). These steps can include multiple conditional statements.

Lean production:

A system of production developed in Japan that stresses quick tool changeover times, minimum parts and work-in-progress inventories, high levels of quality and continuous improvement.

Load cell:

A transducer for the measurement of force or weight. Action is based on strain gauges mounted within the cell on a force beam.

Local area network (LAN):

A system of computers and terminals connected within a limited geographical area, usually at moderate to high data rates.


The process of adjusting the controller constants to achieve a particular system response.

Machine vision:

(1) A computer perception of a visually based sensory output used to produce a concise description of an image. (2) A device used for optical non-contact sensing to automatically receive and interpret an image of a real scene in order to obtain information or to control a process.

Maintenance management system:

An automated software system for handling maintenance work orders as well as associated inventory, purchasing, accounting and human resources functions.

Manufacturing execution system (MES):

A system using network computing to automate production and process automation by downloading recipes and work schedules and by uploading production results to bridge the gap between business and plant floor or process control systems.

Manufacturing resources planning (MRP II):

A computerized method for planning the use of a company's resources, such as scheduling raw materials, vendors, production equipment and processes; system includes financial manufacturing and distribution management.

Mass customization:

A system that stresses production of small lots of customized goods rather than large volumes of standardized products.

Materials requirements planning (MRP):

A software module using the bill of material, inventory data and the master production schedule (MPS) to calculate requirements for materials and to make recommendations to release replenishment orders (POs) for materials; since it is time-phased, it makes recommendations to reschedule open orders when due dates and need dates are not in phase. Time-phased MRP begins with the items listed on the MPS and determines:

- the quantity of all components and materials required to fabricate those items.

- the date that the components and materials are required.

Membership function:

A function used to represent the degree of belief of a statement or variable at various settings on a universe of discourse.

Model-based control:

A control system in which a mathematical model is used to predict a system response and adjust controller settings based on the deviation of the model from the actual output.









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