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Most home or entertainment robots I see are either manual human remote control or have the processor on-board and are completely self contained. Contrast to this robots which are neither, but are controlled wirelessly by a cpu elsewhere not in the body. Another cpu in the body is there merely to relay commands and readings back wirelessly to and from the main cpu. A hypothetical example of this are the battle droids from Star Wars, which were controlled by a "droid control ship", without which they were helpless. So this is the type of robotics architecture I am referring to. I have built such a robot already, so this is really a robotics question, not a science fiction question. I just wanted to convey the architecture I am referring to with a well known example.

What is the term for the physical shell?

What is the term for the main external cpu that houses the actual algorithm?

If the term "robot" applies, Which entity is the term "robot" more appropriately applied to? Or are there other actual industry terms which specifically classify the components in this architecture? I'm after the most widely accepted terms that still are precise.

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  • $\begingroup$ I don't KNOW the answer so I will post this as a comment. I believe this architecture is the basis for much of the swarm robotics you see today. It is a specific implementation of hierarchical control. $\endgroup$
    – SteveO
    Sep 15, 2017 at 3:34
  • $\begingroup$ @SteveO, I thought the desktop PC (or server) would be needed to crunch intense numbers in real time and the wifi would not be a bottleneck. But I know that depends on the message payload and traffic. Pwm is generated in the robot shell; only the on/off signal is sent. $\endgroup$
    – toddmo
    Sep 15, 2017 at 21:59
  • $\begingroup$ Perfect example of hierarchical control. $\endgroup$
    – SteveO
    Sep 16, 2017 at 2:02

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Disclaimer: This is not a perfect answer. I liked the topic so much, I've not held back and I'm giving my thoughts on it. I can improve it or delete it, according to comments.

The dumb bots would be called agents.

The main intelligent brain would be called the central command and control system.

Robot is by definition a mechanism that reacts (manipulates) to its environment through its senses (sensors).

In this topology (hierarchical control), I'd say the whole thing forms the "Robot system". However, the agents would be called "robots" too, because for an outsider they are interacting with the environment themselves.

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  • $\begingroup$ Would you say the agents form a "user interface"? Or it that stretching a term that came from 2D screen displays a bit too far? (Of course, ordinary things we use in 3D have a user interface, coffee machine, car, ...) $\endgroup$
    – toddmo
    Sep 15, 2017 at 21:56
  • $\begingroup$ So in my .Net solution, I could have "Agent" and "Controller" projects, if you think those are good names. $\endgroup$
    – toddmo
    Sep 15, 2017 at 22:00

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