Skip to main content

Robotics: The Necessity of Digital Age

robotics-the-necessity-of-digital-age

The digital age is the current era of technological development and advancements in which digital technologies play a significant role in shaping society, economy, and culture. It is characterized by the widespread use of computers, the internet, and mobile devices, as well as advances in areas such as artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Robotics has become the necessity of contemporary society as robots are becoming increasingly intelligent and autonomous due to advancements in technology. Robotics is one of the key technological areas that has been impacted by the digital age. Robotics and AI are used to automate tasks and improve productivity in a variety of industries, such as manufacturing, agriculture, transportation, and healthcare.

The digital age has enabled the development of robots that can learn and adapt to new situations, can understand human speech, and can even make decisions on their own. Robotics is being used in manufacturing to automate tasks, in agriculture to improve crop yields, and in healthcare to perform complex procedures

Robotics

Robotics is the branch of engineering and technology that deals with the design, construction, operation, and use of robots. Robotics technology involves the use of various mechanical, electrical, and software systems to create machines that can perform tasks autonomously or semi-autonomously. Some of the key technologies used in robotics include:

  1. Sensors:Robots use a variety of sensors to gather information about their environment, such as cameras for visual data, lidar for distance measurement, and touch sensors for tactile feedback. Sensors are devices that convert physical phenomena (such as light, temperature, sound, or motion) into an electrical signal that can be read and processed by a computer or microcontroller. Sensors are a critical component of robotics, as they allow robots to perceive and respond to their environment. There are different types of sensors, including:
    • Light sensors: These sensors detect the intensity and/or color of light. They are used in applications such as line following, object detection, and color recognition.
    • Temperature sensors: These sensors measure temperature and are used in applications such as temperature control or monitoring.
    • Sound sensors: These sensors detect sound waves and are used in applications such as speech recognition or obstacle detection.
    • Proximity sensors: These sensors detect the presence of objects or obstacles within a certain distance. They are used in applications such as obstacle avoidance or navigation.
    • Force sensors: These sensors detect the amount of force exerted on an object and are used in applications such as grasping or manipulation.
    • Accelerometer/gyroscopes: These sensors detect the acceleration and angular velocity of an object and are used in applications such as navigation and localization.
    • Magnetic sensors: These sensors detect the presence of magnetic fields and are used in applications such as navigation and localization.
    • Ultrasonic sensors: These sensors use sound waves to detect the presence of objects or obstacles and are used in applications such as obstacle avoidance or navigation.
    • Infrared sensors: These sensors detect the presence of infrared radiation and are used in applications such as object detection, temperature sensing, and motion detection.
    • Camera sensors: These sensors capture images or videos and are used in applications such as object detection, tracking, and facial recognition.

      All these sensors are used by the robots to sense the environment and take decisions based on the information they receive from the sensors.
  2. Actuators: Actuators are the devices that allow robots to move, such as motors for movement, and servos for precise positioning.
  3. Control systems: Robots use control systems to process sensor data and make decisions about how to move and interact with their environment. This can include simple rule-based systems or more complex artificial intelligence algorithms.
  4. Programming languages: Robots are programmed using a variety of programming languages such as C++, Python, and Java.
  5. Mechanical structure: Robots have mechanical structure like arms, legs, wheels, tracks, etc. to move and perform task.
  6. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning: AI and machine learning are becoming increasingly important in robotics as they allow robots to learn from data and improve their performance over time.
  7. Computer vision: Computer vision technology allows robots to interpret visual data from cameras and make sense of the environment around them.
  8. Natural Language Processing: NLP allows robots to interact with humans in a natural way through the understanding and generation of human language.

Overall, these technologies are used in combination to create robots that can perform a wide range of tasks in various industries, such as manufacturing, transportation, healthcare, and more.

Robotics has a wide range of applications, including:

  1. Manufacturing: Robots are widely used in manufacturing and assembly lines to increase efficiency and reduce labor costs.
  2. Healthcare:Robotics technology is being used to assist surgeons in performing complex procedures and to help patients with physical therapy and rehabilitation. Additionally, robotic technology improves surgical precision, stability, and dexterity. Some of the applications of robots in medical surgery are:

    • Robots employ magnetic resonance and computed tomography image data to direct devices to the treatment location during image-guided operations.
    • The use of remotely operated robots during minimally invasive operations allows the surgeon to operate within the patient's body without creating significant incisions.
    • Brain lesions can be biopsied by image-guided robots in neurosurgery with little collateral tissue injury.
    • In orthopedic surgery, robots are commonly employed to accurately form the femur for prosthetic hip replacements.

    Additionally, robotic devices are being developed for closed-chest heart bypass, microsurgical ophthalmology operations, and surgical training and simulation (Howe & Matsuoka, 1999).

  3. Transportation: Self-driving cars and drones are examples of robots being used in transportation.
  4. Agriculture: Robotics technology is being used to plant, cultivate, and harvest crops.
  5. Space exploration: Robots are used to explore space and to collect data on other planets and moons.
  6. Search and rescue: Robots are used to search for survivors in disaster-stricken areas, such as earthquakes or floods.
  7. Entertainment: Robotics technology is being used to create lifelike animatronics for theme parks and movies.
  8. Service industry: Robots are increasingly being used in customer service roles, such as hotel front desk receptionists or customer service representatives. Further, some companies such as Starship and Kiwibot, have deployed hundreds of food-delivery robots on college campuses and city streets in the United States and the United Kingdom.


Starship Technologies delivery robot

Starship Technologies delivery robot

Service Robots in a Restaurnt

What are robots?

Robots are machines that can perform tasks autonomously or with minimal human supervision. They can be programmed to perform a wide range of functions, from simple repetitive tasks to complex and sophisticated operations. Robots are typically controlled by a computer or microcontroller, which receives input from sensors and sends commands to the robot's actuators (motors, servos, etc.) to control its movement and actions. Robots can be classified into different categories based on their design, function, or application, such as:

  1. Industrial robots: These are robots that are used in manufacturing, assembly, and other industrial processes. They are typically large and stationary and are used for tasks such as welding, painting, and material handling.
  2. Service robots: These are robots that are designed to interact with humans and perform tasks such as vacuuming, cleaning, or providing customer service.
  3. Mobile robots: These are robots that can move around, such as self-driving cars, drones, or robots used for search and rescue.
  4. Collaborative robots (cobots): These are robots that are designed to work alongside humans and can be programmed to perform specific tasks.
  5. Humanoid robots: These are robots that are designed to resemble humans, either in appearance or functionality. They are used in a variety of applications, such as entertainment, research, and education.
  6. Medical robots : These are robots that are used in medical industry to perform surgeries or other medical procedures with high precision and accuracy. The benefits of robotic surgery include shorter hospital stays, lower rates of complication as well as the ability to execute finer tasks than traditional laparoscopic and open procedures. (Hussain et al., 2014)
Scroll to Continue

All these robots are controlled by a computer program which gives them instructions on what to do and how to do it.

Navigation is the process of determining the position and movement of an object or a vehicle in a given environment. In robotics, navigation refers to the ability of a robot to move around and navigate through its environment. This includes the ability to sense and interpret the environment, determine the robot's location and orientation, and plan and execute a path to a desired destination.

There are several types of navigation techniques used in robotics, including:

  1. Dead Reckoning: This is a navigation technique that uses sensor data and mathematical calculations to determine the robot's location and orientation. It is based on the idea that if you know the robot's starting position and the distance and direction it has traveled, you can calculate its current position.
  2. Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM): This is a navigation technique that uses sensor data and mathematical algorithms to create a map of the robot's environment and to determine its location within that map.
  3. Global Positioning System (GPS): This is a navigation technique that uses satellite signals to determine the robot's location.
  4. Visual odometry: This is a navigation technique that uses visual sensors, such as cameras, to track the robot's movement and determine its location.
  5. Obstacle avoidance: This is a navigation technique that uses sensor data to detect obstacles in the robot's environment and plan a path around them.
  6. Path Planning: This is a navigation technique that uses mathematical algorithms to plan a path for the robot to reach a desired destination.

Overall, Navigation is a critical aspect of robotics, as it enables robots to move around and interact with their environment safely and efficiently.

UAVs: Drones

Drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), are aircraft that can fly autonomously or with minimal human supervision. They are typically controlled by a computer program or a remote control, which gives them instructions on where to fly and what to do. Drones come in a variety of sizes and shapes, and can be classified into different categories based on their design, function, or application. Some examples include:

  1. Military drones: These drones are used by the military for reconnaissance, surveillance, and targeted killings.
  2. Civilian drones: These drones are used for civilian applications, such as aerial photography and videography, agriculture, search and rescue, and delivery services.
  3. Recreational drones: These drones are used for hobby and entertainment purposes, such as aerial photography and videography.
  4. Industrial drones: These drones are used in industrial applications, such as inspection and maintenance of large structures such as buildings, bridges, and power lines.
  5. Autonomous drones: These drones are equipped with advanced sensors, software, and algorithms that allow them to fly, navigate, and perform tasks autonomously, without human intervention.
  6. Fixed-wing drones: These drones have a winged design, similar to that of an airplane, which allows them to fly longer distances and at higher speeds.
  7. Multi-rotor drones: These drones have multiple rotors that allow them to hover in place and make precise movements, making them ideal for tasks such as aerial photography and videography, as well as search and rescue operations.

All these drones are equipped with various sensors, cameras, and other technologies that allow them to gather information and communicate with the ground control. They can fly at high altitudes and travel long distances, providing a unique perspective and making them useful for a wide range of applications.

Overall, the digital age has brought about many changes to contemporary society, and it continues to shape the way we live, work, and communicate. The integration of robotics and AI in the digital age has led to the creation of new forms of technology that are having a significant impact on society.

References:

  1. Hussain A, Malik A, Halim MU, Ali AM. The use of robotics in surgery: a review. Int J Clin Pract. 2014 Nov;68(11):1376-82. doi: 10.1111/ijcp.12492. Epub 2014 Oct 6. PMID: 25283250.
  2. Howe RD, Matsuoka Y. Robotics for surgery. Annu Rev Biomed Eng. 1999;1:211-40. doi: 10.1146/annurev.bioeng.1.1.211. PMID: 11701488.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2023 Sonal Shrivastava

Related Articles