The world of robotics is rapidly changing, with mind-blowing innovations encountered daily. One can only imagine the amazing experiences that await man.
Robotics is a part of engineering that focuses on the configuration, production, and operation of robots. The main purpose of robotics is to create machines called robots that can carry out tasks effectively like humans.
History of Robotics
Different scientists like William Grey Walter and Hisashege Tanaka started research into several aspects of robotics. Significant progress wasn’t made until the 1950s when George Devol digitally operated the first robot called the Unimate which he later sold to General Motors in 1960.
Several updates were made in this industry by Victor Schienmann who created the first computer-controlled robotic arm and the building of the first mobile robot named Shakey by the Stanford Research Institute.
Latest Developments In Robotics
1. Autonomous Vehicles
Just like its name, autonomous vehicles are automobiles that have the capacity to drive themselves. This was never considered in the past but was envisioned due to the growth in the robotics industry. Autonomous vehicles function effectively through the use of sensors, actuators, GPS and other electronic components.
The different stages of autonomous driving are listed below.
- Level 1: Shared control
- Level 2: Hands off
- Level 3: Eyes off
- Level 4: Mind off
- Level 5: Full automation
Automation is also utilised in the train sector and logistics.
- One major benefit of autonomous vehicles is their use during emergencies. The driver can concentrate on performing first aid for the patient while the car drives to a nearby hospital.
- Robotics has also contributed immensely to the shipping and logistics industry through the use of 3D laser vision and software in the loading and unloading of containers at the port.
- Systematic arrangement and packaging of goods by humanoids.
2. Energy Efficiency
The rise in the need and supply of energy has heralded the importance of robotics and automation in this sector. Robotics is used to identify errors in energy systems, create robots that are used in performing repetitive tasks, measure energy performance effectively and carry out automated energy supervision and management.
- Reduction in energy waste and cost.
- Adequate record keeping of energy consumption and management.
- Monitor the differences and comparisons of energy consumption among several industries.
- Increased efficiency in energy management systems.
3. Artificial Intelligence
Robotics is a major contributor to artificial intelligence and it can’t be discussed without mentioning AI and vice versa. AI increases the performance of robots by embedding the attributes of humans in them. Imagine a child born without the full capabilities of the brain. That is what happens when artificial intelligence is not embedded in robots. This is one major milestone archived in the robotics industry.
- Creation of humanoid robots, ocean robots, Saul Robot, Asus Zenbo and a host of other robots.
- AI has reduced the risks professionals undergo in certain industries as dangerous tasks are now executed by robots.
- AI has also reduced the possibility of errors occurring during tasks.
Reshoring is simply the process of returning the manufacturing of goods to the home country of the producer. For example, companies in the US have their manufacturing plants in China, Japan and Malaysia. Reshoring entails the relocation of these production plants to the United States. Robotics help companies to quickly reprogramme their operations and increase efficiency when moving from one country to another.
- The use of robotics in reshoring leads to a rise in domestic manufacturing.
- Reduced cost in reshoring due to technological advancement.
5. Environment Conservation
With the rise in climate change and global warming, it is a plus for humans if robotics can help in the fight to save our planet. Robots can be utilised in the removal of debris from water bodies, stabilise the soil and prevent erosion. Wildlife monitoring and planting of trees can also be done by robots. Robots like Dusbot, Robobees, and Romu, have contributed immensely in this regard.
- Reduction in the use of manual labour.
- Effective monitoring of different types of pollution.
- General environmental patrol.
Robotics has contributed to significant changes seen in the healthcare sector today. From the production of cutting-edge technology used in the operating rooms to its use in physical therapy for the rehabilitation of patients. Robots are also used in the automated delivery of drugs, monitoring and treatment of patients.
- Better health care services.
- Improves hospital operations.
- Reduced cost due to low need for manpower.
Robotics has come to stay in the technological growth of man with several opportunities for investors, companies and individuals. Take a pick of the viable options and expand your horizon in this ever-growing field.