All About Robots

All About Robots

October 10, 2018

We are currently living in the digital era. But what we'll be witnessing in the near future will be the robotic era. With the advancement in technology, the day is not far when you will have a robot to complete all your tasks. With technologies such as artificial intelligence rising in assistance applications such as Alexa or Siri, we’re already passing on our tasks to our personal assistants.

The first digital robot “Unimate” was created in 1954. Robots have been a part of society since long. The only difference is that now they are being used more extendedly.

But why robots? Are they as efficient as human beings?

Well, because they’re machines, for most tasks they can replace humans because of their efficiency. This is primarily the reason why people are scared of the rise in robots. A rise in the number of robots means a drop in the number of job opportunities available for humans.

Advancement in robots is a very debatable topic, where some say that it has been a blessing and some say that it is nothing more than a disaster. We can rightly call the future as the robotics era.

Here are the basics of robots

What is a robot?

If we ask you to think of a robot, what do you visualize?

A machine that probably resembles either a human or an animal, which is capable enough to carry out certain tasks that a human can also do. These can include fetching things, pressing buttons, cleaning, etc. In short, a robot is a smart machine.

So how do robots learn to do things? Robots are programmed beforehand to carry out certain tasks. It is because of the data that is fed into this smart machine. Some are programmed to perform only a particular task, while some are programmed with an inbuilt program that gives them the ability to think.

For example, a robot that is designed to pick up objects and place them elsewhere will keep on performing the same task until it is turned off. Robots can be very helpful in assembly line processes in factories.

However, an artificially intelligent robot like Kuri is typically designed for homes. It is smart enough to be aware of its surroundings and entertain your family. Not only this, it is also capable enough to react to sound and touch.

How a robot is made

A robot is typically made either of plastic or a metal. There are mainly three parts of a robot-

Controller- The computer program that controls every action of a robot, in short, the brain of the robot.

Mechanical parts- All the mechanical parts like wheels, grippers, motors that help a robot to move. These parts require a sort of energy to work (either water, air or electricity).

Sensors- These help a robot to judge its surroundings, both internal and external. These allow it to determine the size, shape and direction of objects in the external surrounding. These sensors also enable them to gauge the amount of pressure needed to grab an object without damaging it.

How do robots work?

A robot works with the help of an inbuilt computer program and sensors. The inbuilt program decides what all tasks the robot can do and how they will go about doing it. As discussed earlier, a sensor is required to sense/perceive the external as well as internal environment.

There are mainly two types of sensors, one that senses the external world and the other that senses the internal state of the robot. These sensors are similar to a human sensory organ. Without sensors, a robot is unable to perceive its environment and in such cases, it can only perform predetermined tasks.

Types of sensors:

External sensors – these help sense elements like light, touch, sound and proximity.

Internal sensors - these sensors are required to measure the internal state of the robot. They are similar to a human’s eyes, ears and sense of touch.

The self-driving cars by Tesla & Waymo are a perfect example of how sensors are used in real time.

Applications of robots

These can be used in tasks in instances where human safety is endangered. Also, due to better efficiency robots have become a preferred choice.

Education- Many robots such as cyber-pets are used in colleges. Humanoid robots take learning to the next step. Like the robot “Enter Engkey” developed by South Korea helps students to learn English more effectively. Apart from this, it is capable of dancing and singing, making it a more likeable robot.

Exploring outer space- Using robots for unfavourable conditions to human, like studying outer space. It is also used in AI-based support systems for scientific experiments.

Smart driving technology- Scientists are using robots in the field of electric mobility.

Hospitals- Scientists are already on the job to make robots that are similar to doctors. They are used for tasks like delivering drugs to precise locations in the human body, conducting routine monitoring of patients etc.

Apart from this, there are other fields like military and navy that are also implementing robots.

To sum up this blog, a robot is nothing but a smart machine driven by technology. We hope you’re now familiar with the basics of robots and how they work. What do you think about the future of robots? Let us know in the comments below!
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