What is a robotics?
The word “robot” originates from the Czech word for forced labor, or serf. It was introduced by playwright Karel Capek, whose fictional robotic inventions were much like Dr. Frankenstein’s monster — creatures created by chemical and biological, rather than mechanical, methods. But the current mechanical robots of popular culture are not much different from these fictional biological creations.
Robotics technology is developing at a rapid pace, opening up new possibilities for automating tasks and enriching the lives of humans. From the automobile assembly line to automatic home, vacuum cleaners, robotics has become part of our world.
Robotics is the branch of engineering science and technology that deals with the design, manufacture, operation, and application of robots. Robotics is related to electronics, mechanics, and software.
According to the “Robot Institute of America,” 1979, “A robot is defined as a re programmable, multi functional manipulator designed to move material, parts, tools, or specialized devices through various programmed motions for the performance of a variety of tasks.” A robot is described as a machine designed to execute one or more tasks repeatedly, with speed and precision. There are as many different types of robots as there are tasks for them to perform.
Robotics is the branch of technology that deals with the design, construction, operation, and application of robots, as well as computer systems for their control, sensory feedback, and information processing. These technologies deal with automated machines that can take the place of humans in dangerous environments or manufacturing processes, or resemble humans in appearance, behaviour, and/or cognition. Many of today’s robots are inspired by nature contributing to the field of bio-inspired robotics.
The concept of creating machines that can operate autonomously dates back to classical times, but research into the functionality and potential uses of robots did not grow substantially until the 20th century. Throughout history, robotics has been often seen to mimic human behaviour, and often manage tasks in a similar fashion. Today, robotics is a rapidly growing field, as technological advances continue, research, design, and building new robots serve various practical purposes, whether domestically, commercially, or militarily. Many robots do jobs that are hazardous to people such as defusing bombs, mines and exploring shipwrecks.
There are some essential characteristics that a robot must have and this might help you to decide what is and what is not a robot. It will also help you to decide what features you will need to build into a machine before it can count as a robot.
A robot has these essential characteristics:
- Sensing First of all your robot would have to be able to sense its surroundings. It would do this in ways that are not similar to the way that you sense your surroundings. Giving your robot sensors: light sensors (eyes), touch and pressure sensors (hands), chemical sensors (nose), hearing and sonar sensors (ears), and taste sensors (tongue) will give your robot awareness of its environment.
- Movement A robot needs to be able to move around its environment. Whether rolling on wheels, walking on legs or propelling by thruster a robot needs to be able to move. To count as a robot either the whole robot moves, like the Sojourner or just parts of the robot moves, like the Canada Arm.
- Energy A robot needs to be able to power itself. A robot might be solar powered, electrically powered, battery powered. The way your robot gets its energy will depend on what your robot needs to do.
- Intelligence A robot needs some kind of “smarts.” This is where programming enters the pictures. A programmer is the person who gives the robot its ‘smarts.’ The robot will have to have some way to receive the program so that it knows what it is to do.
PARTS OF ROBOT
The ‘Robotic Arm’ of an industrial robot with six joints closely resembles a human arm — it has the equivalent of a shoulder, an elbow and a wrist. Typically, the shoulder is mounted to a stationary base structure rather than to a movable body. This type of robot has six degrees of freedom, meaning it can pivot in six different ways. A human arm, by comparison, has seven degrees of freedom. Your arm’s job is to move your hand from place to place. Similarly, the robotic arm’s job is to move an end effector from place to place. You can outfit robotic arms with all sorts of end effectors, which are suited to a particular application.
Digital computer is major controller of a robot. The robot’s computer controls everything attached to the circuit. To move the robot, the computer switches on all the necessary motors and valves. Most robots are re programmable — to change the robot’s behaviour, you simply write a new program to its computer. The actuators are all wired to an electrical circuit. The circuit powers electrical motors and solenoids directly, and it activates the hydraulic system by manipulating electrical valves. The valves determine the pressurized fluid’s path through the machine. To move a hydraulic leg, for example, the robot’s controller would open the valve leading from the fluid pump to a piston cylinder attached to that leg. The pressurized fluid would extend the piston, swiveling the leg forward. Typically, in order to move their segments in two directions, robots use pistons that can push both ways.
Sensors are the instruments that measure position, force, temperature, etc. Not all robots have sensory systems, and few have the ability to see, hear, smell or taste. The most common robotic sense is the sense of movement — the
robot’s ability to monitor its own motion. A standard design uses slotted wheels attached to the robot’s joints. An LED on one side of the wheel shines a beam of light through the slots to a light sensor on the other side of the wheel. When the robot moves a particular joint, the slotted wheel turns. The slots break the light beam as the wheel spins. The light sensor reads the pattern of the flashing light and transmits the data to the computer.
End Effector is like human palm and fingers. We can outfit robotic arms with all sorts of end effectors, which are suited to a particular application. One common end effector is a simplified version of the hand, which can grasp and carry different objects. Robotic hands often have built-in pressure sensors that tell the computer how hard the robot is gripping a particular object. This keeps the robot from dropping or breaking whatever it’s carrying. Other end effectors include blowtorches, drills and spray painters.
Robots in Industry:
Modern industrial robots are true marvels of engineering.. Furthermore these robots can do that 24 hours a day for years on end with no failures whatsoever. Though they are re programmable, in many applications (particularly those in the auto industry) they are programmed once and then repeat that exact same task for years. Industrial robots are found in a variety of locations including the automobile and manufacturing industries. Robots cut and shape fabricated parts, assemble machinery and inspect manufactured parts. Some types of jobs robots do: load bricks, die cast, drill, fasten, forge, make glass, grind, heat treat, load/unload machines, machine parts, handle parts, measure, monitor radiation, run nuts, sort parts, clean parts, profile objects, perform quality control, rivet, sand blast, change tools and weld.
Intelligent systems is one of the new technologies with various applications. It depends mainly on making the machine capable of dealing with the surrounding elements. The applications when introduced to robots make a new robotic generation that is capable based on certain instructions and out side effects to take the decision of moving or doing some certain actions.
Robots in Medicine:
Robots are critical to the medical field where extreme precision and delicacy is necessary, and the margin for error slim One of the main areas of robotics applications in medicine is in surgery. This is Because robots are able to perform major operations while only making small incisions, patients receive many benefits. Robots are used to perform heart surgery without opening patients chests. Another important area is in Prosthetic where Mechanical replacements for missing limbs and organs that can interact with the human organic system are a long-standing goal of the robotics community. Robotic devices can also provide assistance to people with severe restrictions on movement, in many cases allowing them at least some capability to move around or nearby their homes. On the other hand Rehabilitation Robots can provide exercise platforms to help restore limb function and can monitor the condition of patients undergoing rehabilitation from the effects of injuries, stroke or other brain or nerve damage.
Robots in Recreations and Sports:
Sports and recreations is one of the main areas of robotics industry. One of the main areas of robots in to make it look like humans . those robots are called humanoid robot which a robot with its overall appearance, based on that of the human body, allowing interaction with made-for-human tools or environments. examples of those are toys used for kids. Robots in sports are also another important issue like what is happening in soccer fields robots .where teams used to play real matches using just robots.
Robots in Space:
Applications outside the Earth’s atmosphere are clearly a good fit for robots. It is dangerous for humans to get to space, to be in space and to return from space. Keeping robots operating reliably in space presents some unique challenges for engineers.. This is actually more of an opportunity than a challenge and leads to the possibility of some unique designs Robot in space can do all the work that man can not do there. It easy for manipulator to restore parts , to fix the space ship and to direct the wholes space shuttle.
Robotic underwater rovers are used explore and gather information about many facets of our marine environment. One example of underwater exploration is to use robots for underwater cable inspection, and for telecommunications. one of the example is the robot done by Sydney university where the robot is send by itself with a mapping system and all the work is done autonomously.
Robots in Military and Security:
Some robots are used to investigate hazardous and dangerous environments. In these environments robots are used for firefighting, for entering into dangerous areas and for removing of injured persons in natural disasters. Another important applications of robots in security is for inspection and search for dangerous materials. In this robots will prevent and harms to humans operating it in case that something explodes during the inspection. Also robots are used during war for mine removal and entering into dangerous areas where robots will use guns as their manipulators.
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