Robotics might sound like a daunting word, but, in reality, it’s simply an educational tool that allows children to let their creativity run wild. A child who is versed in robotics can create anything their imaginations can think up. 

So, what is robotics? Robotics is a field where science, technology, and engineering meet to make the machines we know as robots. It helps to have a good understanding of science to work in robotics and a fair amount of creativity to solve problems that have never been seen before. That’s the robotics definition in a nutshell.

Robotics is a popular field, and one of the fastest-growing industries out there, and there’s been a lot of advancements in the last few years. Machine learning, artificial intelligence, and many more advances in technology have made it easier than ever before to get into the field. Robots are also commonly used in many industries today; businesses love robots because they help them make more products more efficiently. 

When people hear the word “robot,” they often think about two-legged, two-handed machines that walk and talk like people. But that’s not always the case. Many robots are just disembodied hands that sit at the ends of conveyor belts, picking up things and moving them.

While most robots aren’t human-like, this is quickly changing as technology moves forward and humanoid robots become more popular. What is a humanoid robot? We’ll cover that later. So, what is robotics used for?

Let’s look at just a few of the uses of robotics.

Robots:

  • Help fight forest fires.
  • Work alongside humans in factories, helping them build things like automobiles.
  • Deliver online orders to people.
  • Work in dangerous situations and save human lives.
  • Do household chores like cleaning and vacuuming your pool.
  • Find and carry boxes in warehouses.
  • Discover landmines in dangerous war zones.
  • Search for people during emergency search and rescue programs.

*Sourced from Builtin.com

What are the Different Types of Robotics?

Now that we know what robotics is and what robots do, let’s understand the different kinds of robots. Robots come in many shapes and sizes. Some are small, and some are big. Some are smart, and some are not. What’s similar about every robot is that they’re all built to serve a function.

Pre-programmed robots: These robots can be simple, and they’re designed to do repetitive things in place of humans. But the robotics benefits are that they can do it faster, easier, and more efficiently than any human.

A good example of a pre-programmed robot is one you find at factories. They sit at assembly lines and pick things up, put things down, and build objects by putting different pieces together. They can pick up big things, so they’re used for things like building automobiles.

What is robotics’ advantage in doing this work? Well, they don’t get tired easily, so they’re perfect for the difficult jobs that tire humans out quickly.

Humanoid robots: These robots are ones you might be familiar with. Humanoid robots are made to look like people. They come with sensors that understand the world around them so they can walk around naturally.

The Hanson Robotics’ Sophia is a great example of a humanoid robot. Sophia can walk, talk, understand why you’re happy or upset, and do many things a human can do. 

Sophia is so good at what she does that she’s ended up becoming the first robot citizen of the world. She’s also the first robot innovation ambassador to the United Nations Development Program. She’s everything you might find in a science-fiction book.

Autonomous robots: These are robots that are made to do particular jobs. They’re somewhat intelligent, but not really. Self-driving cars are one example of autonomous robots. They are just smart enough to do their job. 

Autonomous robots are machines that can do their job without a human telling it what to do. Think of a Roomba that moves around your house. It needs to understand how to not bump into the walls, your dog, and knock over the vase. So it’s smart; it has the sensors to understand the layout of your house, but it’s not smart enough to file your taxes.

Autonomous robots can think for themselves, which is one of the strongest robotics advantages there is.

Tele-operated robots: These robots do super dangerous work and end up saving lives in the process. They need intelligent, expert humans to tell them what to do and how to do it. Think of what happens when an underwater pipe system explodes. It’s dangerous for any human to go near it. 

An exploding pipe system causes huge problems and needs to be fixed fast. This is where a human can control a robot that can go near the explosion site with tools. They can then fix the damage without endangering any human lives in the process. 

These kinds of robots use wireless technology to get instructions from their human handlers. Then there are robots that walk in war zones and trip landmines on purpose so that humans won’t accidentally step on them. These robots save lives. 

Augmenting robots: These robots help human beings become faster, stronger, or more capable in some way. For example, they can make you run without getting tired or lift gigantic things that no human would be capable of.

This is another kind of robot that looks like it came right out of the pages of a comic book. They can be an exo-skeleton suit that you wear on your whole body. Or a prosthetic arm you can transplant onto the shoulders of people who lost their arms.

The aim of augmenting robots is to help people live a normal life or help them do difficult labor without getting tired.

What Are The Benefits Of Robotics?

Robots can take over manual labor jobs: There are lots of jobs that need people to do back-breaking manual labor for hours on end. This kind of work is often very damaging over time and requires precise and repetitive movements for long hours.

The greatest importance of robotics is that it reduces the amount of work that humans have to do.

Robots make jobs safer: There are plenty of jobs that are just too dangerous for humans. This is where many robots can truly shine. As long as humans can control the robots and tell them what to do, we can use robots to do the extreme jobs that aren’t safe for humans.

Robots can work in radioactive environments, for instance, through remote control and help with the cleanup process to make things safer for humans.

Robots work tirelessly: Even the most astounding workers need to sleep at some point. But robots are tireless. They can work within razor-thin margins or error. They have many precise tools to be as accurate as possible, while humans judge things based on their feelings and gut instinct.

Many jobs require tireless workers, and this doesn’t just apply to physical jobs, either. There are plenty of mentally stimulating jobs requiring constant logic, and people simply get drained after working for a while. Robots don’t.

Robots work precisely: Think of all the high-stakes jobs that exist that require lots of precision, like a surgery robot that, in some cases, can do surgical treatments even better than human surgeons because they have high-definition cameras and measurement tools. They don’t panic if they see something unexpected lessening the human error factor. 

While they might need some maintenance every now and then, robots are precise in what they do. One of the best features of robotics is how sturdy and precise they are. 

Some of the Real World Applications of Robotics?

Let’s explore what robotics is used for.

Robots are perfect for the manufacturing industry: The manufacturing industry needs robots. This is one of the more dangerous industries out there, so they’ve been early adopters of using robots. They regularly use co-bots as well. Co-bots are another kind of robot that works alongside humans in assembly and factory jobs. 

Robots in this industry often have sophisticated vision systems and force sensing mechanisms to be extra precise in what they do. These are necessary to keep everyone safe. These robots commonly pick things up from a conveyor belt, rotate them, insert them into other things, and even assemble cars and trucks.

Robots are incredibly reliable in the logistics sector: 

Reliability is more important in the logistics sector than speed or capacity. They can easily help transport goods from one place to another safely, reliably, and more quickly than human beings. 

Robots are great at household chores: They remind us of our shopping list, clean our floors, and even vacuum the swimming pool. 

They can also mow the lawn and regulate your home’s temperature without you needing to say so. 

Robots help people travel: The biggest automakers in the world are looking into making self-driving cars.  These might completely change the world one day and make it that no one needs a driving license anymore. 

Tesla, Ford, BMW, and Volkswagen are all looking into self-driving cars and thinking of making them a reality. Other companies such as Lyft and Uber can use self-driving cars to provide ride-sharing services.

Robots are life-savers: The medical industry has some of the most complex and expensive robots globally for a reason. They use them to do everything from prescription delivery to surgery. 

We’ve already covered remote surgical robots, but did you know that patients treated with surgical robots heal faster than patients treated by people?

The advanced technology in the robots allows them to do extremely precise work, which means you get less scarring after your surgery than before. They also mean faster recovery times and lower risks of complications because they’re that much better than human treatments.

Key Takeaways

  • Robotics is a promising field that makes use of machines to do human jobs. They have been widely adopted in many industries, and trends show that we’ll be seeing them more as time goes on. 
  • Robotics requires artificial intelligence engineers, hardware engineers, and all kinds of intelligent people with STEM qualifications to help build and maintain them. 

You can find more resources on robotics at BYJU’S FutureSchool. We are an online STEAM school with 211,000+ students in 39 countries taking courses in Coding, Math, and Music, with even more expanded curriculums on the way. Click here to book a FREE trial with BYJU’S FutureSchool.

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