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Technology (Gr. τεχνολογια < τεχνη "craftsmanship" + λογος "word, reckoning" + the suffix ια) has more than one definition. One of the definitions is:"the development and application of tools, machines, materials and processes that help to solve human problems." As a human activity, technology predates both science and engineering. It embodies the human knowledge of solving real problems in the design of standard tools, machines, materials or the process. Technology can also be used not only for machines, but for biological purposes such as stem cell researching.

In export situations, technology is often defined in terms of information. For example the UK DTI define it as: "For the purposes of export control, “technology” is defined as specific information necessary for the “development”, “production” or “use” of “goods”, ... this information may take the form of blueprints, plans, diagrams, models, formulae, tables, engineering designs and specifications, or manuals and instructions, either written or recorded on other media or devices such as disks, tapes or read-only memories. The EC regulation also refers to information such as skills, training, working knowledge or consulting services."

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An industrial robot is officially defined by ISO (Standard 8373:1994, Manipulating Industrial Robots – Vocabulary) as an automatically controlled, reprogrammable, multipurpose manipulator programmable in three or more axes. The field of industrial robotics may be more practically defined as the study, design and use of robot systems for manufacturing (a top-level definition relying on the prior definition of robot).

Typical applications of industrial robots include welding, painting, ironing, assembly, pick and place, palletizing, product inspection, and testing, all accomplished with high endurance, speed, and precision. Manufacturers of industrial robots include: Intelligent Actuator, Adept, Epson Robots, Yaskawa-Motoman, ABB, EPSON-SEIKO, igm Robotersysteme, Comau, Cloos GmbH, KUKA Robotics, Kawasaki and FANUC Robotics.

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