Robotics is a technology which deals with the design, construction, operation, structural disposition, manufacture and application of robots. Robotics includes multiple areas of skills and engineering disciplines like mechanics, electronics, electrical, computer science etc.
Robotics is a rapidly growing field. Robotics is used in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). Research, design and building new robots with enhanced technologies will help in serving many practical problems irrespective of whether it is commercial or domestic or military. Many robots are built to do the jobs that are hazardous to human beings. For Ex: bomb detection and its diffusion, exploring mines, finding survivors in natural catastrophes, shipwrecks etc.
Soft robotics is a branch of robotic technology, which deals with non-rigid robots constructed with silicon, fabric, rubber and other compliant mechanical parts like spring. These have a large number of advantages over rigid robots. For example, locomotion in rough and unknown terrain, grasping of unknown objects etc. Used materials are much economic as compared to rigid robots.
There are some ethics for robots as well which is termed as roboethics. The concerns are about whether the robots pose a threat to humans (Ex: in health care sector, war field). Some of the fields included in roboethics are cognitive science, neurosciences, psychology, industrial design, philosophy, biology, theology, law, and sociology.
Commercial and Industrial robots are widely used to perform tasks as they are more accurate and reliable compared to humans. They are also widely used in surgery, manufacturing, assembling, weaponry, packing, transporting, laboratory research, mass production of goods, earth and space exploration. Some robots are specially built for heavy duty hence called “heavy duty robots” . With the advancement in technology, there are applications that can be developed, create the behaviors and play interactive robotic games. There are multiple toy robots to play with.
Cloud robotics is one more interesting field of robotics. It invokes cloud computing, cloud storage and other shared services of robotics.Some of its applications are:
Autonomous mobile robots:
Google’s self-driving cars to use the network to access the enormous database of maps and satellite.
Cloud medical robots:
By connecting to the clinical cloud they can assist doctors (co-surgery robot), service to patients etc
Robots can share information for collaborative tasks. A consumer can order customized product to the manufacturing system.
Robotics has its vast application in the military. Military robots are autonomous robots or remote controlled robots. Military robots date back to World War 2. Military robots are fitted with multiple cameras, radar, sensors, firearms etc
Using the robotics technology several robots are built to help in various activities. To name a few of them are listed below.
- Ant robotics – Robots with this technology have limited sensing and computational capabilities.
- Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) – These robots travel underwater without requiring input from an operator. In the military, they are often referred to as Unmanned Undersea Vehicles. Scientists make use of these robots to study the ocean. These are also used to find wreckages of missing airplanes.
- Justin – It’s a space robot; light weighted, tends to repair other satellites and is controlled from earth.
- Mobile manipulator – It has advantages of both robotic manipulator and mobile platforms, that reduce their drawbacks.
- Robotic mapping – Autonomous robots construct the maps and localize themselves in it.
- Rover (space exploration) – It’s a space exploration vehicle.
- Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (commonly known as a drone, Unmanned aircraft system) – It’s an aircraft without a pilot onboard.
- Humanoid Robots – It resembles the human form. Many companies across the globe have invested in these humanoid robots. They are now used in the research field. They are also developed to assist the sick and elderly, receptionist jobs, education, retail, distribution, tourism etc. They are also becoming extremely popular for providing entertainment. One such example is Ursula, a female robot which sings dances and speaks to her audiences at universal studios.
Some robots are also built with the combination of navigation hardware and software in order to traverse. There are some advanced robots which are capable of sensing the environment well and make decisions on the navigation based on the information gained. Most of these robots are built GPS navigation with waypoints, radar, and other sensory data like lidar, video cameras and inertial guidance systems for better navigation between waypoints.