Robotics is the intersection of science, engineering, and technology that produces machines, called robots, that substitute for (or replicate) human actions. As technology progresses, so does the scope of what is considered robotics. In 2005, 90% of all robots were used to assemble cars in automotive factories. These robots consist mainly of mechanical arms tasked with welding or screwing certain car parts. Today, we’re seeing an evolved and expanded definition of robotics that includes the development, creation, and use of bots that explore Earth’s harshest conditions, robots that assist law enforcement, and even robots that help in almost every aspect of healthcare.
There are many jobs in industries like manufacturing, agriculture, entertainment, etc., which require repetitive work done with a lot of precision. Robots are better suited to do them. There are also tasks like space and underwater exploration that are very dangerous and unsafe for humans. The use of robots in such fields drastically reduces the number of workplace causalities.
Application of Robotics
Here are a few applications of robotics that help us in our day to day lives even when we sometimes don’t realize it.
- Agriculture is the sector that is the basis of human civilization. However, agriculture is also a seasonal sector dependent on ideal weather conditions, optimal soil, etc.
- Moreover, many repetitive tasks in agriculture are just a waste of farmers’ time and can be performed more suitably by robots. These include seeding, weed control, harvesting, etc.
- Robots are usually used to harvest crops, allowing farmers to be more efficient. An example of a robot used to remove weeds in farms is the Ecorobotix. It is powered by solar energy and can target and spray weeds using a complex camera system.
- Harvesting and picking are some of the most popular robotic applications in agriculture due to the accuracy and speed that robots can achieve to improve yields and reduce waste from crops left in the field.
- Currently, robotics companies are pairing robot guards with human security consultants.
- A very famous company in this field is Knightscope in the United States that has autonomous security robots capable of assisting human security guards with real-time, actionable intelligence. These robots can help with armed robberies, burglaries, domestic violence, fraud, hits, runs, etc.
- Robots also have many applications in the military. They can be used as drones to keep surveillance on the enemy camps or even entire cities. They can also be used as armed systems to attack the opposing forces or Medicare agents to help their powers.
- Some of the popular robots used in the Military sector include MAARS (Modular Advanced Armed Robotic System) which looks like a tank and contains tear gas, lasers, and grenade launchers. DOGO is also a tactical combat robot with a camera for spying on the enemy’s activities and a 9-millimeter pistol for emergencies.
- Search and rescue is another application where robots can play a crucial role in saving lives. The majority of casualties happen due to the delay in providing necessary aid to victims. Many countries invest heavily in minimizing the response time to save the maximum number of lives.
- Search and rescue robots are highly advantageous during war. They can search, track, and rescue even in nuclear, biological, radiologically, and chemically damaging environments. They can be operated remotely by soldiers from a command center. In some cases, they can even work autonomously. Vecna Technologies is developing a battlefield Extraction-assist Robot (BEAR), which can rescue soldiers from the battlefield with no risk to human life.
- Robots are now used in the operating room and in clinical settings to support health workers and enhance patient care.
- Robotic systems when used for surgeries, offer advantages like high precision, lower risk of infection, enhanced visual, better control and more. They have made many surgeries possible which were otherwise very difficult or impossible.
- As motion control technologies have advanced, surgical-assistance robots have become more precise. These robots help surgeons perform complex micro-procedures without making large incisions.
- One of the vital robotic types is the robotically-assisted surgical device (RASD) or surgical robot. They are designed to assist medical professionals in surgeries for minimally invasive surgeries or enhancement of visuals for reaching confined body locations.
- With platforms such as wireless technology and 5G networks, doctors can perform surgeries remotely on patients using RASDs. An example of RASD is TransEnterix Surgical Inc’s Senhance System which facilitates minimally invasive surgeries like the .
- The surgical robotics continue to evolve. Robots will very soon become an integral part of every surgery. AI-enabled robots will eventually use computer vision to navigate specific body areas while avoiding nerves and other obstacles. Some surgical robots may even complete tasks autonomously, allowing surgeons to oversee procedures from a console.
4. Space Exploration
- As robotic technology has improved, more space experiments and tasks have been delegated to robots rather than to living beings; thus preserving lives.
- While humans have set foot on the Moon, scientific knowledge of conditions on planets including Mars, Venus, Titan, and Jupiter comes almost exclusively from exploration conducted by robots.
- As technology progressively allows robots to reach space faster, humans can obtain significantly more data about conditions in space.
- Institutions like NASA frequently use robots and autonomous vehicles to do things that humans can’t. For example, Mars Rover is an autonomous robot that travels on Mars and takes pictures of Martian rock formations that are interesting or important and then sends them back on Earth for NASA scientists to study.
5. Other Sectors
- Robots have made the impossible possible for humans in many fields.
- Many fancy robots are making household tasks easier and manageable. There are robots which can not only clean the floors but also the walls and the ceilings of your home. Some Robotic machines can cook some food completely from raw materials without any human help.
- Robots have made underwater exploration possible. We can now cross frontiers deep on the ocean’s floor that have remained a mystery for the longest time.
With all the advancements in technology in the past decade, improvements in robotics are possibly the most important. Robots can do all the physically demanding tasks that are difficult or impossible for humans, and they are even becoming more intelligent and smarter with the advances in artificial intelligence. In conclusion, robots can be the perfect helper for humans and solve many problems in different industries.