What is teach box? - Definition from WhatIs.com
Part of the Software applications glossary:

A teach box is a device that registers and memorizes mechanical motions or processes for later recall and execution by an electronic or computer system. The term especially applies to programmable robots.

Robot programming can be divided into levels, starting with the least complex and progressing to the equivalent of human intelligence. The table shows a four-level scheme.


Programming Level Description
4 Human intelligence
3 Complete tasks
2 Sequences of motions or operations
1 Single motions or operations

An example of a level-1 teach box is a remote-control for the doors of a car. When the wireless receiver gets the signal from the remote unit, it locks or unlocks the doors. Another example of a level-1 teach box is the remote box that controls a hi-fi sound system or videocassette recorder (VCR).

An example of a level-2 teach box is the microcomputer that controls a telephone answering machine. When a call comes in, the sequence of operations is recalled from memory. The machine answers the phone, makes an announcement, takes the message, and resets for the next incoming call.

Level-3 teach boxes are used in aerospace, miliatary, and industrial applications.  Level 3, just below human-equivalent artificial intelligence ( AI ), is called task-level programming. Programs at level 3 can instruct a robot to execute complete operations, such as shoveling the snow from a driveway or flying an aircraft on a reconnaissance mission.

The intended movements of a robot are entered into memory by pressing buttons or guiding a joystick or other three-dimensional control device. The robot's path, variations in speed, rotations, and gripping/grasping movements are all programmed. Then, when the memory is recalled, the robot reproduces these movements in the exact sequence, and to the exact extent and speed in all dimensions.

Also see artificial intelligence and robotics .

This was last updated in May 2011
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms


  • IFTTT (If This Then That)

    - IFTTT is an online service that automates Web-based tasks so that if one specified event occurs, another is triggered. IFTTT stands for "If This Then That" and the acronym is pronounced to rhyme wi... (WhatIs.com)

  • smart home app (home automation app)

    - A smart home app, sometimes referred to as a home automation app or a smart home automation app, is an application used to remotely control and manage connected non-computing devices in the home, t... (WhatIs.com)

  • Safari

    - Safari is Apple's default Web browser for OS X and iOS-based devices. (WhatIs.com)


  • Software applications

    - Terms related to software applications, including definitions about software programs for vertical industries and words and phrases about software development, use and management.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question. Find an Answer.Powered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Ask An IT Question

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Ask Question

Tech TalkComment



    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.