With the changing and advancing technology, the demand for innovations has been rising and advancing. The branch of technology that deals with the composition, construction, functioning, effectiveness, and built computer system for giving sensory feedback and information processing is known as robotics.
Usually, when it comes to robots, people form thinking of self-working devices for human word aid. These devices are to reduce our burden. So, here you will learn about different aspects and the history of robots. Also, learn about their different types.
What is a robot?
A robot is a mechanical device that needs the power to apply force. An external control device controls its movements, or maybe the controller is embedded within its body. All types of robots can be autonomous or semi-autonomous. In 1920 Josef Capek and Karel Capek (brothers) used the word ‘robot’ in the play R.U.R. which they used to denote a fictional humanoid.
All types of robots can be re-programmed according to their nature to behave differently, but some are limited based on their physical form. The uses of robots are unlimited. They can be used in manufacturing, assembly, packing, earth, and space exploration, laboratory research based on their artificial intelligence, surgery, weaponry, and mass production of industrial goods.
History of robots
As we have heard, the history of robots has its roots in the ancient world. After the Industrial Revolution, the modern concept of robotics takes birth, which allows the use of sophisticated machines. And in the wake of electricity, it now becomes possible to use power machines with compact motors.
In the early 20th century, the assumption of the humanoid machine-made headway. And today, in the technological era, one can easily visualize a human-sized robot with abilities similar to humans, including thoughts, appearance, movement. Firstly robots were used in the industrial area for manufacturing purposes as it needed less human assistance.
There are many mythologies of the different cultures around the world about the idea of automata, including Ancient China, Ancient Greece, Ptolemaic Egypt, where inventors and engineers try to create self-operating machines that bear a resemblance to animals and humans. Other automata from earlier history include the artificial dove of Archytas, artificial birds of Mozi and Lu Ban, the washstand automaton by Philo of Byzantium, the ‘’speaking’’ automaton of Hero of Alexandria, and most importantly human automaton delineates the Lie Zi.
All types of robots
It is not easy-breezy to define what robots are and to group them either. Every robot is different in size and shape, capabilities, and have their unique features and function. Types of robots that help humans are defined below:
1. Pre-programmed robots
We do not need to tell what to do. Simply a program is built, and they perform it without human guidance, and they can not make any change with their working behavior. It is the type of robot that helps humans with their tasks to perform.
2. Humanoid robots
These are the type of robot which resembles the human body. These are designed for the experimental purpose to study bipedal locomotion. Features are similar to humans, including eye movement, hand movement, shape, and size. Usually, functioning is also about interacting with the surrounding environment.
3. Autonomous robots
These are auto robots or Autobot that have a high degree of autonomy without any external influence—especially used in space flights, household maintenance like cleaning, wastewater treatment, delivering goods, and services.
The autonomous robot features include gathering information about the environment, working for an extended period without human intervention, avoiding a situation that is harmful to people, property, and moving all its parts without social assistance.
4. Teleoperated robots
These are semi-autonomous robots controlled from a distance, using wi-fi, Bluetooth, deep space network, or tethered connections. It is a combination of teleoperation and telepresence. Uses of robots include videoconferencing, marine applications like remotely operated vehicles that can go deep inside the water, which is dangerous for divers, used to handle radioactive materials.
5. Augmenting robots
These robots help improve the capabilities that a person has or help a person get back his lost capabilities. For example, prostheses’ arms can be connected to muscles in the chest so that person can cause the arm to move characteristically.
Use of Robots
The use of robots was to pick up the objects from one location and place them in another location. Thus they enhanced the quality of living by helping people. Mainly, these robots were used in production activities. However, the main use was to simulate human functioning.
Classification of robots
It could be challenging to classify the robots and define them. But it is a science that has unique features to aid humans. However, most people have classified it according to shape, size, and capabilities. Here following are the 14 categories that we use to classify robots.
This category includes different types of flying robots like the SmartBird robotic seagull and the Raven surveillance drone. Robots that can be used to operate in space are the Mars rover and NASA’s Robonaut. The name clearly defines the use that is aerospace.
Hence the major use of these robots is in aerospace. Also, these are used in the construction of the aircraft or to perform big tasks like drilling and painting of airframes.
Mainly purchased for entertainment or to perform small tasks and household chores. There are many growing categories of robotics toys and kits; some examples are Aibo, the robot dog, and AI-powered robot assistants. Consumer robots have been a part of the past many decades.
Usually, people use these robots at home to help in different tasks of home, entertaining humans, socializing, and for education. However, many companies have been using AI in their consumer robots. It is to ensure making these robots smarter and to help them extend their capabilities.
These types of robots are used to perform dangerous jobs like after the effect of an emergency. Usually, these are also known as rescue robots. If in case of natural disasters like earthquakes, people are stuck in some problems, these robots are used to rescue them. There could be many other emergency problems solved by these robots like mining accidents, urban disasters, explosions, and hostage situations.
These are also known as uncrewed aerial vehicles that come in different sizes and have different levels of autonomy. Usually, drones have the best used in military aids. They help in saving the pilot’s lives and don’t put their life at risk. Usually, people call it an unnamed aerial vehicle.
The main features in Educational include hands-on programmable sets from Lego, 3D printers with lesson plans, and teacher robot-like EMYS. This seems to be the next level of roboticists. These can be used in the classroom or home-based study, best for those who can’t go out of town to get the best education. These robots help as a teacher to students and tend them in the analysis, design, and application of the robots.
These are the types of robots designed to evoke an emotional response and make us laugh or be surprised or in awe. As the name clearly depicts, entertainment robots are mainly for utilitarian usage. Also, they tend to domestic or production services. They are used in many cultures and for entertainment purposes.
These can be used for treating physical rehabilitation and for validating paralyzed patients walk again. These are the wearable machines that operate on electric motors. Also, there is a combination of technology that makes the limbs move. Thus it works with good strength and endurance. Usually, people use these robots as their back support.
Robots which look like humans, act like a human. Example- Honda’s Asimo, which has a mechanical illusion. These robots are mainly used for functional purposes and also as bipedal locomotion. These robots have two arms, two legs, one head, and a torso just like humans.
It includes the da Vinci surgical robot and bionic prostheses, and exoskeletons. These are also known as healthcare robots to give manual supervision. Thus it helps in the medical field with the aid of surgeons, nurses, and other staff members. Thus they help in relieving medical personnel from routine tasks.
Military and security
It includes ground systems like Endeavor Robotics PackBot and BigDog (assist troops in carrying heavy gear). These robots are also famous as autonomous robots that are basically mobile robots. These are specially designed for military helps—also, these help in transporting, rescuing, and attacking.
These robots do not perform useful things in research but help the researcher to perform well. As the name suggests, research robots are mainly to collect and analyze the complete data. Also, these are used in assessing the efficiency of the new appliances. Usually, these robots involve human movement, locomotion, and interaction.
One of the categories for which we are waiting for is self-driver cars when we see cars without drivers. Also, these cars are called autonomous vehicles that work without drivers. These cars move by sensing the environment around them. Hence these cars move safely with no input of human efforts. These have a variety of sensors to sense their surroundings.
Help to be present at a place without actually going there. It would be helpful for doctors to check patients or collaborate with colleagues at the distant office. These are basically, remote-controlled and wheeled devices that work with wireless internet connectivity. Thus these robots provide good audio and video capability. Usually, people use these robots for tour guiding.
As we read above, robots can be used everywhere in industries, factories, warehouses, laboratories. All types of robots help business owners to be competitive and can perform better and faster than humans without wages.
So far, you have been through different types of robots and the explanation for their specialty. This is science and the technology which has been developing day by day.