The Robotics is a branch of technology that deals with the
- Operation and
- Application of Robots
Robots are the automated machines which take the place of us where we cannot go and work such as mining, space exploration etc. They can do Repetitive task without getting bored. They need minimal rest. The best part of the Robots is they never complain.
Fundamental Blocks of Robot
- Mechanical System
- Power Supply
- Signal Processing System
- Control System
The mechanical system is most basic part of the robot. It comprises of chassis, wheels and placement of them. Chassis is the base frame of the Robot. It is very important part in design because it helps in balancing the Robot. Thus mechanical system is the heart of the Robot and locomotion of the Robot. By this we can move our Robot in the required direction. We need devices that coverts electrical energy into mechanical energy to move the Robot and such devices are called Actuators. Most Popular Actuator is the DC Motor.
For the Robot to work we need to provide power supply. In most of the Applications DC power supply is used to power the robot and it is supplied by the battery. Most of the Integrated chips and actuators are DC powered.
We humans are independent to extent because of our senses. Sensors are the most fascinating and interesting things of Robots. Sensors are of two types they are Active and Passive sensors. Active sensors are those which need external energy source for example Digital camera, Radar and Ultrasonic sensors etc. Passive sensors are those which does not need external energy source for example Thermopiles and Thermocouples. Sensor is a device which is capable of sensing physical parameters such as temperature, humidity, pressure, magnetic fields, radio waves, light etc. Thus sensors help the Robot to be independent that is they help the Robot to be autonomous that robots can work without human interference.
Signal Processing System
The processing system might be analog or digital. In most of present day applications Digital signal processing units because of its advantages over Analog signal processing units. Electronic components are used for signal processing. Many application integrated circuits are available in the market. The physical parameters that are sensed by the sensors are sent to the processing unit and are processed so that the Robot analyzes the situation and make a move accordingly.
Control system is the major governing system of the robot. Every system and function present inside a Robot can be represented by a control system. Control systems will have feedback system in which the input takes the feedback from the input and works accordingly. Based on the type of the control the Robots are classified as
- Semi autonomous
- Self Learning
Working can be understood by the classification itself to some extent. The example of pre-programmed is Line Follower Robot. Line Follower follows the line present in its path and it does not take its own decision whereas Obstacle Detection Robots are example for Self learning Robots because they take a decision to change their direction when they detect an obstacle in their path.
Some of the important sectors where Robots have their presence
- Military - For surveillance, attack etc
- Manufacturing industry - For automating things
- Mining industry - For exploration and excavation
- Laboratories - For Science and Engineering research
- Space exploration - For research and testing
- Automobile industry - For assembly and testing
- Agriculture - For crop harvesting, monitoring and animal grooming
- Construction - For Wielding and Floor Finishing
- Ware house - For material movement
Advantages of Robots
- Robots are much faster than human beings
- Most of them automatic. They work without the interference of human beings
- We can use them where humans cannot go. For example they can be sent near volcanoes, Deep into the sea etc
- Accuracy is very high compared to human being.
- They can get the information more than the human beings. For example number of photographs taken by robot during an eclipse will be much more than us.
- Spying the people. For example Drone cameras.
- They perform repetitive work without getting bored.
Disadvantages of Robots
- Huge investment would be required.
- They need continuous power supply.
- People lose their jobs because of automation of Robots.
- They should be maintained regularly.
Recent trends in Robotics
Many companies in which we think Robots have very little to do are investing more in acquiring Robotic companies. Countries nowhere are playing an emerging role in Robotic arena.
1. Investments Google has bought many robotic companies. Amazon bought Kiva systems. China which is the largest economy and leading manufacturer in the world thinking bring million Robots to manufacturing sector in coming few years.
2. Decline in cost of hardware The price of the hardware for manufacturing robots, drones is decreasing globally.
3. Increase in use of Drones Drones usage in civilian sector both internationally and domestically will grow at a faster rate but unfortunately these drones can he hacked. That is they have security threat as they are operated wirelessly. As of now companies like Amazon has started Drone Delivery of the e-commerce products. We will see more in coming near future.
4. Advent of Personal Robots Some people want robot as their personal assistant. Already we have seen robots are serving in hotels. So it is clear that robots will act as personal assistant in near future. The challenge in manufacturing personal assistant robots they lack of emotions but it may be possible with Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning.
5. Sharing knowledge between Robots With the introduction of machine learning now robots are learning thing as they progress. It is very fascinating to know that designers are designing robots in such way that they even share the knowledge which they have with the help of internet.