Robotics, as the name suggests, is the science and study of robots. The term robot comes from the Czech word ‘Robota’ meaning ‘forced labour’ which was coined by Karel Capek in 1921. Robots, as by what comes first to the mind, areman made computerized machines which performs tasks on human commands or by themselves and seek to make work easier for human beings.
A robot is an integrated system made up of sensors, manipulators, control systems,power supplies and a software, which work co-dependently in order to perform a task. The study of robot therefore requires a multi disciplinary approach which includes subjects like science, physics, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, structural engineering, mathematics, computing as well as biology, chemistry and medicine may also be involved. Making of robots has never been an easy task and not all machines can be classified as robots. There are certain characteristics that makes a machine to be called as a robot.
Those characteristics are Sensing One of the most important aspect of a machine to be called as a robot is its ability to sense the environment in which it is working. The sensing ability of robots are very not much different from that of humans. They are engineered to have light sensors which performs the function of eyes, touch and pressure sensors which perform the function of hand, chemical sensors which performs the function of nose, hearing and sonar sensors which perform the function of ears and taste sensors which perform the function of tongue and all of these sensors together make a robot aware of its surrounding.
A robot has the ability to move and loco mote from one place to another like Sojourner or either move one of its parts like Canada Arm to carry out movement of products. This can be done by the use of rolling wheels,walking legs or propelling on thrusters.
A robot is required to have a power source to carry around tasks. A robot can get its energy through solar charging, electrical charging or battery charging depending on the nature of the task to be performed by the robot.
One of the most important characteristic of the robot is that it is required to be intelligent. The robot is required to have its ‘smarts’ to be able to complete task son human command and a robot gets its ‘smart’ by the programmer. It is essential for the robot to have some way of receiving program for its efficient working. The humans have their earnest desire to do their work with maximum possible ease and comfort and to make this happen, they invented robots. Taking an example of screwing a nut over a toaster again and again, day after day, for numerous days, months or years.
This would be a difficult task to perform for the humans. In such scenarios, robots function well to perform such repetitive tasks. Manufacturing of bombs and grenade etc exposes a human being to a danger to life and therefore robots are engineered well to perform such tasks. A robot is also considered ideal for going in buildings where there is a possibility of bomb. Robots are also installed in factories like that of cars, candy bars and electronics to carry out its manufacturing and production processes. The use of robots has expanded to the fields of medicine,military, underwater and to explore other planets.
Robots have been proven to be a boon for the mankind since the time of its construction. The use of robots is encouraged as its use is much cheaper than the use of human resources. It has also been found that it is easier for robots to carry out tasks in even dangerous or difficult situations which may seem impossible for the human beings to perform.
Robots can explore inside the gas tanks and volcanoes, diffuse a bomb, travel the mars and go to places with extreme conditions (high or low temperature, pressure etc)or contaminated places where survival of humans is next to impossible. The robots can do repetitive tasks multiple number of times without getting bored in less times and with much more accuracy cutting down on losses, mistakes or hazards.
Also, the robots never get sick, don’t require sleep, don’t need food, doesn’t require to take rest and never complain about the work proving to be best of the reasons why use of robots is encouraged in today’s times. The robots can be made from a variety of materials,the most common being metals and plastics. The making of robots is not an easy process and requires ample amount of knowledge, will power, strength and patience.
However, there are three basic components which are found in every variety of robots. These components are…!
The controller is referred to as the ‘brain’ of the robot which is programmed to respond to commands for completion of the task. The command given to the robot by the controller is detailed in nature as it provides with every minute information required to make the move.
It consists of parts like pistons, grippers, wheels and gears that helps the robot to carry out functions such as holding, griping, turning, twisting and lifting. These parts require regular source of energy through means of charging to be able to complete the commanded task.
The robots are also endowed with sensors which allows the robot to make an estimate about its surrounding. These sensors help the robots to determine sizes, shapes, space between objects, direction and other properties of substance. Some even have the capability to determine the pressure that needs to be applied to pick an item without destructing it. All these components of the robots working in relation with each other for obtaining the desired output through the work of robot.
Artificial Intelligence also known as the machine intelligence is in corporate into the robots to give them the ability to exhibit human like behavior. The main aim of the artificial intelligence was to recreate the human intelligence. Some robots are capable of learning through situations and using the learned knowledge to make future decisions. The robots can even count the number of cookies that they are packing into boxes or can estimate the time interval of the interchanging of traffic light colors to regulate traffic etc.
The face recognition software, complicates scheduling software, or games that requires players response are all examples of artificial intelligence which are presently used. All the things in and around come with its set of pros and cons and this therefore indicates that there are certain limitations to the use of robots. The robots are not able to take decision of their townie they lack decision making ability and perform only those tasks that they are programmed for.
Even though they are engineered to be artificially intelligent and possess the ability to learn they still are limited by the commands from the controller. The field of science is never-ending and continuously advancing field and robotics is a part of it which started to gain importance in the mid-21st century. The manufacture of robots has been proven to be useful in various fields and its production continues for achieving maximum profits and development benefits.