Robotics is the branch of engineering, science & technology that helps to study, design, develop, and construct robots or machines to reduce human efforts. It finds new ways to design robots that help humans in the industrial, commercial, and business sectors. Robotics helps to make machines that replace repetitive human actions, reduce excess time, and reduce the extra effort to make the world super fast and safe. In simple words, it is a study of how to make robots and utilize them for specific tasks.
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History of robotics
The first concept of Robotics was developed in 3000 B.C. The Egyptian water clock used Human Figurines to hit the hour’s bell. A wooden pigeon that can fly in the air using steam was designed by Archytas in 400 BC. It shows that from ancient times robotics was at its starting phase.
But after the 19th century, it going to developing more faster. In the medical industry, the manufacturing industry, robotic hands for pick and place, and military human beings were using them. Inventions in robots are becoming faster due to the heat of the Industrial revolution.
In the 20th century, robotics was at its peak. It had improved and advanced so far. Industries were becoming more advanced by using robotic hands. Robots were used for medical surgeries. Robonaut -2 was launched into the international space station to become the first humanoid robot in space.
Robotics and engineering fields for developing robots.
- The structures of the robot are part of mechanical engineering. Design, kinematics and structural dynamics give shape, feasibility, and strength to the robot structure. These parameters decide the aesthetics & ergonomics of the robot. It gives the correct place to every component.
- Electrical Engineering deals with the sensor, motor, the flow of electricity, and storage. As per the design, every electrical component fits its specific position. It gives motion to the robot.
- Electronic systems are mainly controlling devices. These devices give control to the motion of the robot. Every action of the robot is controlled by these devices.
- Without software engineering, the robot is only structured. Computer coding tells the information about the task. It gives the ability to do a specific task. Software development in which machine learning and intelligence, decision-making, basic functional interfaces, and human-machine interface play an important role in advanced robots.
Comparison of the humanoid robot with our human body
In a robot, the whole structure plays the role of the human body. Electrical types of equipment are playing the role of heart, vanes, kidneys, leaver, etc. Electronic control systems are playing the role of born marrow. And the last one is computer programming, AI, and machine learning playing the role of the brain. It makes a complete comparison of the robot with the human body.
Now we are aware of robotics. But what is meant by a robot? Let’s see the next point.
What is a robot?
The word Robot was derived from “Czech,” which means forced labor. It is a reprogrammable, multifunction manipulator device used to move materials parts, and tools by using variable programs to carry out different tasks. A robot is a machine used to replace human efforts.
Robots require special coding. This coding is different from other machines and machine tools. It can be fully automatic, or semiautomatic. It can carry the work with precision and speed.
Types of robots.
Robots are available in various sizes and shapes as per application. Every different application, they have a different construction. Below are some types of robots.
Pre-programmed robots (Ex. Robotic hand)
Pre-programmed robots are used for repeated tasks. The best example of it is an automobile assembly line. In this, the robotic hand is pre-programmed for the applications like welding of various parts, assembly purposes, painting, etc. They are programmed in such a way that, they can work more efficiently, with less time, and with accuracy. There are so many industries using pre-programmed robots for various applications. For hazardous type of applications, these are so much useful.
The word Humanoid itself explains the meaning. It is a robot that looks like a human. It can do activities of human-like walking, swimming, talking, carrying objects, running, and more. They can give expression like humans. Sophia is the best example of a humanoid robot. She can do all kinds of work that humans do. She has so many advanced features like decision-making (starting phase). It is possible due to Artificial Intelligence.
Autonomous robots are advanced robots that do not require human supervision. These robots can do work without any kind of supervision. They are equipped with advanced sensors. With the help of the sensors, these can work without supervision. Roomba vacuum cleaner is the best example of an autonomous robot.
Teleoperated robots are the best example of human-controlled robots. These robots operate remotely by human beings. They are used for the most difficult work where humans can not reach or do it. Such conditions like pipeline leakage underwater with Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), drones to detect the position of enemies or to attack them.
Uses of robots.
Nowadays, robots using in various sectors. Following are the sectors in which robots use as per applications.
It is programmable, and the flexible joint can move on any axis. Those are cost-effective and widely used in manufacturing industries like an automobile. They are usually for performing applications like bolting, welding, checking alignment, painting, and assembly. These robots are very precise to work and do tasks within time, and without errors. As per research, around 2.6 million industrial robots using in industries nowadays.
These robots are mainly for household applications like cleaning homes with a vacuum cleaner, gardening applications, and others. In some countries, cleaning robots are used for large commercial purposes as well.
Healthcare or Medical
These robots using for surgery, rehabilitation, pharmacy automation, and biorobots. Delicate medical surgery is being carried out telemanipulator. It is being operated on by a surgeon. Robot-assisted surgery can be conducted in any part of the world.
These robots are used in difficult situations where human error can be adverse, and the situation can be dangerous. Drones bomb disposal and rescue robots are used in such situations. Those can transverse through tough conditions without self-destruction in any part of the earth and have better results.
Those robots can be visitor registration grant access through facial recognition and offer information in malls for narrating shopping guidelines communication. These can use for security purposes. It can guard the premises and alert in abnormal conditions, in some leakage and breakdown. It can serve agriculture, travel, and entertainment purpose as well.
Three laws of robotics
Famous writer Isaac Asimov proposed three laws of robotics. Those laws prevent robots to harm a human.
1. The robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2. A robot must obey the orders given by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3. A robot must protect its existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law. (Asimov 1984)
After some time, the Zeroth law is added. It states, “A robot may not harm humanity or by inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.”
Above, Asimov’s laws of robotics are not related to scientific laws. Those are the instructions needed for every robot in his stories to prevent them from malfunctioning in a way that could be dangerous.
Fear of layoff due to the use of robotics and robots in industries
The combination of Robotics and AI (artificial intelligence) had taken us to the top level of our luxurious life.
Many day to day work for humans and manufacturing parts have been precisely and cost-effectively done by robots. Will it wipe out human labor in the future?
Some research stated that by putting a robot to work over 1000 people in the US, wages were decreased by 0.42%. It degrades the ratio of employment to the population by 0.2%.
The utilization of robots in the industry increases productivity. But, it adversely affects the labor demand and incomes. The use of robots in the industry has been increasing four-fold worldwide.
In the electronics industry, 15 % of robots using while 10% are in the chemical industry. Those lead to some layoffs of employees in those industries.
Automotive industries had way far ahead. It has adopted 38% of robots, which gives the gross count of 7.5 robots over 1000 workers.
Reports presented by IBM’s Watson proved on Jeopardy that robots are getting smarter than humans. So this will be going to impact the human labor available.
Let’s have a look at the advantages and disadvantages of robots in industries. It will give us a brief idea of the cause of layoffs that might occur.
Advantages of Robots in Industries
- The production rate increases with constancy due to the use of robots.
- The products were obtained with higher dimensional accuracy and errorless.
- These are more reliable than humans and can work full-time.
- These can use in difficult & dangerous fieldwork.
- Delicate surgery can carry out with positive results.
- Robots can be cost-effective and require less time.
- High demand for robots will create new job opportunities.
Disadvantages of Robots in Industries
- Robots require a high initial cost to set up install and configure.
- Highly expertise and trained professionals require to take care of the robots.
- The maintenance cost is high as they require a maintained temperature to work.
- Small malfunctions in the operating system can lead to disastrous effects.
- Cybersecurity becomes an area that needs constant inspection. Because it is the heart of the whole working system. There is a chance of getting hacked.
- Robots need to be multifunction rather than perform a single task.
Future job opportunities due to robotics
As one door closes, then another door opens with double opportunities.
As future for robotics is quite bright than in any other industry. Advanced developments in robotics will lead to the creation of plenty of jobs. It will open the door to the ocean. It has captured many industries. Some of the fields are Automation, Artificial Intelligence, micro-robotics, digital electronics, biocybernetics, robot manipulators, Robot motion, Computational geometry, pharmaceutical, packaging, etc. There is no doubt that it will change the whole world.
To full fill the above purposes, there is a need for the programmer, AI engineer, ML engineer, computer-aided designer, Mechanical engineer, Electrical engineer, and more.
Frequently asked questions about robotics.
It can make the life of the human being more effortless in the aspect of security, accuracy of work, efficiency, and ability to provide various kinds of services. In industries, robots are helping human beings in critical and repeated work.
Nowadays, robotics is everywhere. It is mostly used in the military, navy, army, medical field, research labs, warehouses, homes, production & manufacturing industries.
It is a study of how to make robots and utilize them for specific tasks. It is used in various industries like automobile, manufacturing, and others to reduce human effort, do repetitive tasks & increase production.
Special thanks to Mr. Akshay Pawar for contributing.