Automated machines in many cases tends to move in a straight line, as this can be very beneficial for most operations carried out in the laboratory or in industry. If a robot moves in a linear fashion its control is relatively simplified, as the robot can only meander in certain directions and more importantly at a single tangent. Straight-line movement is possible by performing complex calculations on the direction and distance between two points. This can then be dissected into a number of moves that can be programmed into the robot, allowing the machine to move in a straight-line in a given direction. There plenty of algorithms that permit the computer program to ascertain to what degree each motor has to move when moving between two points. To the naked eye the robot seems to move in a straight line but in actuality it is moving slightly from side to side. The moves are masked into a single motion and this type of motion is very useful in laboratory automation.
These calculations are not carried out in real-time but are calculated in advance. The positions of the devices are pre-calculated and stored in data silos or arrays, with only the most rudimentary calculations carried out in real-time. The stored data is then executed as in when it needs to be processed. The algorithm is then further refined to make the movement smoother. Laboratory tests clearly show that human beings cannot detect that the robots are moving in a zigzag fashion but rather see the movement as being in a straight-line.