The history of applied robotics is complex and goes way back. Of course, robotics developed at the same time as science and technology did, as the necessary resources for upgrading robots and making them easy to program was entirely based on how the world of technology progressed. The main industry that influenced how robotics evolved is electronics. Electronics combined with hydraulics gave birth to great advancements in the field of robotics. Most people believe that robots were discovered and created for the first time in history around the 20th century. The truth is the idea of building an artificial being that could replace humans in realizing certain activities can be found much farther in history.
Egyptians (BC era) were known for their innovative ways to come up with machinery that was able to complete certain tasks that usually required the intervention of humans. Scientist started to be interested in creating technology-based beings in the far history, but they have only managed to do it when technology reached a point where this was truly possible. Today, robots can be found everywhere, in all sorts of shapes and sizes, being used with professional purposes in all industries. Here are some more details about applied robotics that you should know about:
Where It All Started?
The history of applied robotics starts somewhere around the ’20s when the first robot was used in playing a game. It is a robot that was called by its creator a word robot that deals with a certain type of labor. This inspired other scientists to go further with their researches and more advancements happened in the industry of applied robotics. It is important to mention that several principles were made public to make people stop fearing the use of robots in their lives.
Asimov came up with a set of laws that are still respected by robotics scientists and creators all over the world. By the ‘60s, the first company that dealt entirely with robotics was finally launched. Slowly, robotic manufacturing emerged several markets, which influenced many industries at the time. The first robotic arm was designed in 1963 and it was meant to help disabled people engage in normal activities. There are many other inventions that revolutionized the use of applied robotics in the world. Currently, robots are truly impressive. At the 2018 International Conference on Robotics and Automation, applied robotics creators present the RoboFly, which is a flying robot the size and weight of a fly. A similar invention is represented by a DARPA project – search-and-rescue robots that are smaller than a fraction of an inch.
A Few Types of Robots
There are a lot of types of robots that are currently being under development, but this list contains the ones that are:
Cobots, or collaboration robots, are usually adopted in small to medium businesses that want to rapidly automate some of their processes and tasks. In most cases, Cobots still need to be assisted by a human employee, which is good for the manufacturing industries because jobs remain intact. The only thing that matters is that tasks are handled more effectively, faster and easier, with fewer errors. Automating processes through Cobots only requires programming and a quick install. More than that, Cobots are entirely safe to use after running in-depth risk assessment tests. Universal Robots is one of the companies that offer more details about the use of Cobots in automating the tasks and processes of a business.
Exploration robots are the mechanical inventions that help humans gather more information about hostile environments that would normally hurt a person if he tried to explore that area. Exploration robots are mostly used by NASA to explore the underwater life, volcanos or even other planets, such as Mars. See more about NASA’s Mars Exploration Program here.
A new project in Japan rapidly stirred the interest of researchers and scientists in the field of applied robotics, as it presents the idea of a robotic suit which could be used in the medical field to help nurses maneuver patients without affecting their backbones while doing it, which is a very common problem for them.
These robots are mostly used for entertainment purposes, as they can learn certain behaviors and have education skills. Such robots are able to respond to verbal commands and they can be used in contests or entertainment events.
The industries in which applied robotics can be used are very numerous, but these are the ones that are most affected (positively, in most cases) by the use of robots. Most robots in these industries are still controlled by humans in one way or another, while others are fully automated.
Robotic arms are widely used in heavy industry because of their speed and accuracy. Moreover, such robots keep employees away from the dangers that this industry includes. The manufacturing industry also makes great use of collaborative robots. The only downside is that the number of jobs in this sector has been reduced drastically during the past few years, as robots replace human workforce.
The best example of a domestic robot that was rapidly adopted in households is represented by robotic vacuum cleaners. There are other robots that can perform household tasks as well, and people seem to enjoy the automation of house chores.
In medicine, it is highly important to emphasize the use of robots during surgical treatments. As mentioned before, lifting support can be provided by robotic suits. There are many other applications of robotics in medicine that revolutionized the way surgeries are handled.
In military forces, the most used robots are drones and bomb-discarding robots. Armed forces can make great use of such robots while no longer putting people into dangerous situations in a hostile environment.
Applied robotics is a field that is currently studied in universities and profile schools, which means students use their knowledge to come up with innovative robots that can participate in contests and competitions.