Robots have walked the Earth with us since decades ago. Today, they are immortalized in film, pop culture and are essentially living among and with us. The application of robotics technology has been tremendous, especially in various businesses. A report from robots.net says that major benefits are widespread. At the forefront, the manufacturing processes.
But in this modern era of smartphones and connectivity, how are robots faring? Pretty good, actually. The advancements in robotics technology have been nothing short of extraordinary. From emotion-sensing robots to self-repairing electronic wonders, it’s a great time for robots. Recently, Japan introduced the future of robotics. It’s a robot with the ability to repair itself. It knows in advance if something has gone wonky in its parts. And it’s a revolutionary thing to behold.
To reach this level of advancement, there needs to be a surmountable challenge along the way. And for the Japan robotics company, the goal has always been to create a “Blade Runner” type robot. The replicants, if you can recall. These creatures were better, stronger and more intelligent than humans. But won’t be evil, like in the movie, of course.
Short History of Robotics
The word robots have only been in circulation for a century. The 1924 play Rossum’s Universal Robots may have been the first one to coin the term. It is a Czech word that meant “forced labor”. The definition of robots on that play, however, was vague and loose. And since then, there isn’t one way to define what robots actually are.
The universal definition of robots in today’s landscape is clear. A robot is an intelligent machine. This means that any machine can be a robot, but not all machines are robots. Roboticists follow some general guidelines when making them. They should be autonomous, can sense their environments, and help people in their day-to-day tasks.
What most people don’t understand about robotics is that the daily tech gadgets that we use are not robots. The difference between robots and gadgets is that robots have autonomy. This means they can think for themselves. Robots perform tasks by themselves and decide for or against certain scenarios. The gadgets we own are operated by us, hence there is human interaction.
The beginning of robotics started in Silicon Valley. A company produced a robot that can navigate in complex environments. The robot was a tower, and it was janky-looking. But what it had was a camera and the system to know where it is going and make decisions on what directions to go to.
It wasn’t until Asimo though that those robotics took off. Asimo is a biped. Honda, the car company, painstakingly crafted it and it was once the pinnacle of robotics technology. In the years before Asimo came about, robots were generally used in the car industry. Their main job was to lift heavy parts and assemble them. When Asimo arrived, the idea of robots being household assistants was again revived.
The Focus on Making Robots As Replacements
Today, robots are used as replacements for people doing difficult jobs. But that’s not the be-all and end-all of the industry. Today’s technology is becoming more advanced and personalized. And robotics is now pushing towards the next generations of electronic wonders. This is with the help of actuators, sensors, and artificial intelligence.
Sensors are the more streamlined version of peripherals. Robots can access these to know the stats around it. Robot sensors can be cameras, gyros, etc. Their main function is to send signals to the mainboard. In turn, when that signals hit, the robot can then think for itself what to do next. Artificial intelligence, on the other hand, comes hand-in-hand with virtual reality. It is the next big thing in the tech world.
The importance of self-repairing robots can’t be understated. This is a feat not seen in the robots we have at the moment. It advances the cause of autonomy in a way never seen before. This also means that there will be more sustainability in the future. This, in terms of materials and the environmental costs of producing them.
At the moment though, the technology for self-repairing robots is impaired. This is mainly by their disability to reach the parts that need to be rectified. Self-repairing robots only have the ability to know exactly which parts are needing care. However, they can’t identify which particular screws are. It will need another robot or human intervention to do such.
The technology is ripe for a robot that has all the abilities to make itself present and at peak all the time. But, it still needs a few years or so of tweaking and pondering to make it perfect. In parts of the world other than Japan, self-repairing robots are also gaining in presence. Take for example, the one at the University of Brussels. It’s a robot with soft hands used for picking fruits for big farms. It’s been outfitted with the ability to repair itself while working.
The future of robots certainly is a positive development for mankind. It may be impossible for this generation to see a robot that’s perfectly capable of blending in. But we are not far from that. We are near that technology. And scientists are working round the clock to make that happen. Self-repairing robots are here, that much is true!