Czech writer, Karel Čapek who is responsible for first using use the word Robot in his play R.U.R created in 1920. Was unlikely to be aware of how common this word would become.
In his play they were not exactly robots according to the current definition of the term, they were similar to a Cyborg or of human clone as they could think by themselves.
Recently they are closer to this definition as a result of robotic evolution which has reached a stage where some kinds of robots can think autonomously which means to have actions that are similar to thinking on their own.
Robots are present in assembly lines for cars, maritime explorations and in advanced surgical centers.
With so many developers today, it is quite impossible to list all of the Robot types.
However, we could easily divide them into four groups in order to be able to understand a bit more about Robotics:
These robots are handled by multifunction systems and are computer controlled. They are still able to interact with their environment via sensors and make real-time decisions.
Remote controlled robots – are similar to intelligent robots, but do not have the ability to interact and learn from the environment. These robots are normally controlled by an operator or a computer application. If these robots are equipped with sensors and appropriate software, they can be considered Intelligent Robots.
Have the function of repeating a sequence of movements performed with the intervention of an operator. The greatest example in 2015 of a learning robot is the “Sawyer” robot by rethink robotics. These robots are currently being developed at a rapid pace and cause the most concern of a robot takeover.
These are multifunctional mechanical systems, where the control system allows you to manage the movement of its members. These are often found in production lines and automation systems.
The simple idea that originated in the 1920’s play has become an integral part of our society. In the modern world we don´t need to go too far to see a robot. Robots are becoming more common within society and can now live in your home in the form of a vacuum cleaner or lawn mower.
If we start exploring each of the above groups of robots, we will find subgroups with several types used for different functions:
- Mobile robot – Have the capability to move around in their environment and are not fixed to one physical location. When talking about mobile robots we are not only focused on ground based robotics. Increasingly robots are using other forms of movement. Some examples of robotic movement are:
- The sky in the form of Drones & UAV’s (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle)
- The ground as wheeled and tracked vehicles
- Through water as amphibious fish, submarines and boats.
Industrial robots (manipulating)
Industrial robots usually consist of a jointed arm (multi-linked manipulator) and an end effector that is attached to a fixed platform. One of the most common types of an end-effector is a gripper assembly. These robots are commonly found in production lines and especially in car and aviation assembly.
Most commonly used in service based industries and can be end customer facing. Some examples include:
- Checkout robots in retail outlets
- Online and telephone technical support to filter out basic questions
- Patient care especially for the ageing population
Robots are used as educational assistants to teachers. Schools and colleges use robot kits to educate there pupils. Some of the most popular robot kits are:
- Lego Mindstorms
- OLLO from ROBOTIS
Educational Robots can help students to learn about mathematics, physics, programming, and electronics.
Modular robots are a new breed of robots and are often shockingly well designed and multipurpose. Modular robots are designed to increase the utilization of robots by breaking the robot down into small modules and then reusing the modules in different ways. It is currently being applied in:
- Hybrid transportation
- Industrial automation
- Duct cleaning and handling
Many research centers and universities are currently studying this technology, and have developed prototypes some of which can be seen below.
Are robots that can safely and effectively interact with human workers while performing simple industrial tasks. They are most widely used for industrial and manufacturing but will advance in the future to allow many robots to collaborate together to achieve more complicated goals. The common term for collaborative drone technology is a “swarm”. This comes from the terminology used to describe bees and wasps when they collaborate in the air.
Military robots are under high scrutiny at the moment. The main focus is on the subject of robots killing humans and the ethics, morals and safety precautions. People are generally frightened at the speed which robots are advancing and the threat this poses to human’s existence.
General-Purpose Autonomous Robots
General-purpose autonomous robots can perform a variety of functions independently. General-purpose autonomous robots typically can navigate independently in known spaces, handle their own re-charging needs, interface with electronic doors and elevators and perform other basic tasks. Recently featured on our site was a robot which will bring you room service when you stay in a hotel.
Over the last three decades, automobile factories have become dominated by robots. The most common uses are Car production, Packaging and Electronics. These have reduced the number of jobs for humans significantly. This is because of increased precision and reduced cost of production.
There are many types of robots and we will be exploring the different types over the coming months, so stay tuned.
The Team @ Roborei.com