Case Study on Robotics

A robot can be defined as a machine that can be programmed and re-programmed to do complex tasks, work according to the need of the hour or even at times replicate humans in looks but mostly priority is given to the work they need to do instead of how they look. These could be programmed externally or could be made intelligent enough to make their own decisions based on data fed by machine learning or artificially intelligent neural networks. A robot was basically invented so it could be used in situations which might pose to be a threat to a human being or wok in hazardous places and conditions like availability of air or extreme temperatures, that were not in the range of capacity of any human. The fact that these kinds of work are done by robots is because it doesn’t matter even if they get damaged while performing the task, they could be easily replaced and made to work again on the same thing. A robot could also be used to replicate human behavior and can be used in situations that are very dangerous and might pose a threat to human life which might even include tasks like diffusing a bomb. The concept of robot and making things automated is not new and dates back to the ancestral times when people used to find a substitute to their work for any reason be it making it better or just because they were lazy, but they couldn’t achieve what they wanted because the technology was not so advanced at that time but it can be seen that things got better with time and it is correctly said that the robotics and automation revolution took place around the 20th century itself. Some of the other uses of robots include teaching help in the STEM which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Further, in this case, study, we will have a detailed look at the areas where robotics is used. In a nutshell, robotics can be defined as a trade of engineering which is the combination of various fields of engineering like electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, computer science engineering and many more.

History of robots:

The term robotics was used in the year 1940 by a fiction writer Issac Asimov, a biochemistry professor from Boston University in his fictional story, the three basic rules of robotics were also stated by Mr. Issac. Years later when these laws were accepted by the people and were commonly being taken into consideration, another law known as the zeroth law was also created which are as follows:

  1. No harm should be done to a human by a robot, a robot should not let any harm being done to a human in any case.
  2. A robot should obey all the orders a human give unless they contradict with rule number one.
  3. A robot’s existence may be protected in all cases unless and until rule 1 and 2 are not being conflicted with.
  4. A robot may not harm humanity, or, by inaction, allow humanity to come to harm in any way.

Application of robotics in various fields:

Military: The way technology is taking up the and the robots that are being made are getting more complex and able to do a variety of tasks, they are taking up tasks to do in the war and military areas and also to maintain law and order in a country. One of the major reasons that robotics is doing such great innovations for the applications in the field of war as compared to other areas is because of the fact that robotics is an expensive subject and to test and produce this kind of highly complex robots require huge amounts of investments. The investment for robotics research in the military area is provided by the government hence they make constant improvements and conduct new research without any restrictions. Basically, the robots used in the military can be classified into two categories, mobile robots, and unmanned vehicles. Both of these have their own kind of importance in the military and the armed forces. Mobile robotics can be defined as small robots which have a variety of sensors placed on them like a camera, hear sensor, ultrasonic sensor, gas sensor and many others, that can be used to perform a variety of tasks based on the requirement and help in maintaining law and order in the area. The work a mobile robot does might include diffusing a bomb or patrolling in the areas which are isolated. In the military, these are used to diffuse and sometimes detonate a potential landmine which could pose a threat to the human life. The other kind of robots used in the military apart from mobile robots is the UAV, that stands for unmanned aerial vehicles that are usually a fleet of small aircrafts that are designed to be controlled in a remote manner and helps in saving a lot of funds from expensive fighter jets and precious human life.

Manufacturing and Automation: The robots that are used in manufacturing or to automate any manufacturing process are known as industrial robots and usually differentiated by the load scale they have. The load scale of these robots may vary from a few kilograms to tonnes. There is any number of advantages of using robots in manufacturing areas like accuracy, consistency, speed, and quality. The accuracy of any manufacturing process increases when it is automated because the machine has everything specific according to the needs of the person operating it. This kind of robots that are used specifically for their accuracy has an error probability of just .0009%. The next quality is the consistency of the robot which will work till it is not switched off unlike humans which get tired after working for a few hours and it affects the production time and the quality of the product manufactured. There are various companies and organizations that specialize only in making robots for industrial and automotive purposes.

Robotics in agriculture: Agriculture is a field that required extensive physical work along with the years of experience physical work is needed multiple times of the week, sometimes days and to reduce the physical work of a farmer or person who is into cultivating, this kind of robots are used that perform tasks of multiple types like planting seeds or watering the crops, spraying the important chemicals that could be dangerous if done by humans and the end process, i.e automation of the harvesting process and stocking the crops as well in the most optimal and space efficient manner.

Medical robotics: The robots that are used in various medical procedures are known as medical robots or sometimes also known as surgical robots. They help the surgeons to complete surgeries with minimum cuts and maximum accuracy. Some other uses of robots in the medical field are that they can be used to automate a pharmacy shop ensuring customers get the right type of medicine they are looking for by correcting the problems faced due to human error. Some of the most exclusive even get to have a gait training robot that helps in the recovery of patients who have serious neurological imbalances.

Robotics and Artificial Intelligence

In recent years, terms like a smart robot and dumb robot have started to emerge that simply mean whether a robot is capable of making smart and good decisions by itself or not. A few years back, all this was considered just a hypothetical thought and the researchers were not getting any lead on the same and hence they did not have their hopes high but once all this started to gain momentum, things that nobody imagined could be possible were discovered and left everyone in a state of shock. There were certain inventions in the field of robotics that enables these machines to think and make an optimal decision from the pool of so many decisions. With the machines getting smarter and more intelligent, they are mostly used in the field of data analytics where high precision prediction is done to achieve better results. In recent times, technologies like deep learning where neural networks and neural nets are used to train the artificially intelligent robot to perform specific tasks based on the optimal decisions made, machine learning where machines are made to learn from specific examples to choose what is the best in the field of prediction and other artificially intelligent work, image processing which allows us to process and use images or videos to train our neural networks model in a way so that we could make the best use of it. Some of the best examples of robots with artificial intelligence are something like a humanoid or a robotics face that is able to imitate human reactions based on all the calculation and predictions of the machine learning algorithms.

Robots and economy

The robots are taking up a variety of jobs in all the different kinds of workplaces resulting in an increased quality of production with lesser manufacturing time but one should also note that this increase in the quality and everything is ultimately resulting in loss of jobs to the normal people.  The reason that the industrial robots or the robots in the medical field are able to perform better than the people who has so much experience in the same field, most of the manufacturing industries or the organisations that need robots for medical purposes are choosing robots over humans and it has resulted in an increase in the sale of number of robots as well as an increase can be seen in the number of organisations that manufacture and cater to the needs of such people by providing custom made to the need robots. The robotics market in the medical industry has been expected to rise from 4.5 billion in the year 2016 USD to 12.9 billion USD in the year 2020. In some studies, done extensively on the revenue generated by the help of robots or when robots have started to take over jobs, a whopping 200 billion USD was the predicted outcome by the year 2020. As per the predictions, it has also been stated that a total number of 1.7 million robots will be overtaking the world and help in revolutionizing the same. No doubt that robots are helping in increasing the economy of a nation but it surely is not helping the common man who has to lose his job due to the work being automated and all the stuff is now done with the help of robots.

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