The latest developments in the field of robotics have made robots more user-friendly, smarter and, most importantly, more economical. Given these advantages of robotics, it’s no wonder they’ve also found jobs in every sector of the world. That is right, robots are being used from industrial manufacturing to the medical field. According to the International Federation of Robotics’ World Robotics Report, 422,000 industrial robots were shipped around the world in 2018, which is a six percent increase since the previous year. The popularity of robots is still increasing at the same pace in 2020. So, we thought it is important for everyone to have the basic knowledge about the field of Robotics by including its definition, types, benefits and major Robotics Companies in this article and serve the purpose.
What is Robotics?
To have a concise definition of Robotics, “Robotics is an interdisciplinary branch of engineering and science that includes mechanical engineering, electronic engineering, information engineering, computer science, and others. Robotics deals with the design, construction, operation, and use of robots, as well as computer systems for their control, sensory feedback, and information processing.”
Isaac Asimov, an author of science fiction, is often credited for being the first person to use the word robotics in a short story written in the 1940s. The first appearance of modern robots was as industrial robots in factories as simple fixed machines capable of performing manufacturing tasks that allowed production with fewer human assistance. Since the 2000s, digitally controlled industrial robots and robotics have been built using artificial intelligence. The field has expanded much further now because of the merger of intelligent software and more flexible hardware. Let’s look at some of the types of robots being made in this era of advancement.
Types of Robots
Based on the use and movement, the following are some common types of robots:
1. Industrial robots
Industrial robots, as the name suggests, are used in industries to perform laborious tasks that require a lot of effort and energy. They are hardware systems fixed at one place that can revolve around their axis to perform certain tasks that they are programmed for. They can be remotely controlled or programmed within. A typical application is manufacturing including all the related tasks like welding, painting, assembly, disassembly, packaging and labeling, palletizing, product inspection, and testing.
2. Aerospace robots
Robots play a vital role in aerospace systems, both in aircraft engine design and in performing tasks such as drilling and painting of aircraft. Their popularity in the aerospace industry is increasing due to the reliability, flexibility, and precision of the robots. The level of production in aerospace is probably lower but it requires the same level of repeatability and accuracy as in other industries.
3. Consumer robots
Consumer robots are the ones that you can buy and use just for fun or assist with common tasks and household chores. These are so commonplace that they are not even considered robots. These robots are believed to improve the quality of life of a common man as their usage and construction revolve around simple activities. Examples include the Aibo robot dog, the Roomba cleaner, digital personal assistants and a variety of robotic toys and kits.
4. Aquatic robots
Aquatic robots entail a vast unexplored robotics field. They can be used to test any environment of any depth from a pond, a bucket or a swimming pool. These are inspired by fish and navigate in water using their fin-like actuators. Robot fish may be used during ecological disasters caused by humans that affect aquatic life, like oil spillage.
5. Exploration robots
These robots are used to explore the farthest areas of the universe and to reach places that humans can’t reach. The toughness of hardware parts makes these robots possible. They are mostly used for research purposes like space explorations, ocean discoveries, etc. Usually, these robots come fitted with advanced features for observation or analysis. These features allow them to more focused collect data from their assigned environments than their less complex aerospace cousins.
6. Medical robots
These are the robots used in the medical field whether for diagnosis, treatment, surgery, or performing different kinds of tests. Surgical robots are under the special interest of scientists and doctors as they are of great help to the industry. While we will probably not see fully automated surgeons for many years still, doctor-operated robots have stretched the medicine’s limits in terms of what can be done without having to face dangerous invasive procedures.
Benefits of Robots
Following are some of the advantages that we can get by the use of the above types of robots in our world:
Safety for Humans
Safety is the most obvious and greatest advantage of using robotics in workplaces. Heavy hardware, machines and equipment that continue to run at a hot temperature, and sharp objects will injure an individual. Through designating a robot with risky tasks, you’re bound to look at a repair bill rather than a real medical expense or a lawsuit. Employees working on dangerous jobs can understand that robots will evacuate a portion of the hazards. Moreover, robots can go into conceivably unsafe situations and operate without taking a risk to workers’ safety.
Removal of Mundane Tasks
Because robots are often assigned to perform tasks not especially enjoyed by people, such as menial work, repetitive activity, or dangerous jobs, the workers are more likely to be happy. They’ll concentrate on more stimulating jobs, which is less likely to wear their nerves down. This way they can take advantage of additional learning opportunities, take advantage of workplace wellness programs, take part in an innovative project at work, or get more time to pursue a hobby. They will be able to let the robots do the job which makes them feel burnt out.
Improved Quality of Products
Robots perform operations with excellent accuracy, ensure production uniformity which minimizes rejections, and reduces loss. They’re less likely to make mistakes because they’re designed for accurate, repetitive motion. Measures and motions of the instruments used are more precise. Consequently, the efficiency of the manufactured product is enhanced manifold compared to human output.
Increased Speed of Production
Robots are neither overwhelmed by their job nor do they need breaks. They don’t ask for vacation time or they ask to leave early for an hour. A robot will never feel stressed out and will start to run more slowly. We don’t need to be invited to staff meetings or training sessions either. Robots will work all the time, and that will increase growth. They keep the workers from having to overwork themselves to reach the deadlines for high pressure or seemingly impossible requirements.
Major Robotics Companies You Should Know About
Below we give the profile of some companies working in the Robotics industry that are handpicked so you can have an idea about the advancement of this field.
- Boston Dynamics is a very famous company making a host of different robots that have human- and animal-like dexterity.
- Piaggio Fast Forward is a robotics company dedicated to creating lightweight mobility solutions for people and goods.
- iRobot, founded by two MIT engineers, aims at building robots for space exploration and military defense along with consumer robots.
- Rethink Robotics has redefined the market and investment strategy of robotics by introducing extraordinary collaborative robots.
- SCHUNK is the world’s no. 1 company in gripping systems and hydraulic expansion technology.
This was a detailed introduction of the Robotics industry that can help you increase your knowledge and interest in the subject. Explore our Robotics section for more related content.