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Robotics Definition

Robots are machines that can be used to do various activities either by themselves, or under a person’s control or instructions. Robotics is the study of robots. Czech playwright Karl Capek popularized the term “robot” in a play called R.U.R. (Rossums Universal Robot). The word was derived from the Czech word “robota”, meaning drudgery or forced work.

The application of robotics is vast and expanding in fields comprising Outer Space – Robotic arms under human control to launch satellites.

The Intelligent Home – Robotic systems to monitor home safety and energy consumption.

Exploration – Robots can help explore and study environments like within a volcano or deep marine life, along with dangerous locations like earthquake sites.

Military Robots – Flying robot drones are utilized for military reconnaissance and future robotic airplane and automobiles could be employed to transmit fuel and clear minefields.

Farms – Programmed robots help harvesters and milk farm workers collect crops and milk cattle respectively.

The Car Industry – Robotic arms execute numerous tasks in the car manufacturing & assembling procedure such as sorting, cutting, welding, lifting, painting and bending.

Hospitals – A robotic suit (under development) shall allow nurses to raise patients without injuring their backbones.

Entertainment – Interactive robots like the humanoid robot developed by SONY exhibits behaviors and education capability serving as a source of entertainment as well.

The history of robotics can be traced back to 1400 BC when the Babylonians developed one of the first robotic devices in history, the clepsydra, a clock that measures time using the flow of water. Aristotle, Leonardo da Vinvi, Vancanson, Kempelen, Jacquard, among others are few of the innovative thinkers who invented or designed robotic devices that were developed further with time. George Devol and Joseph Engelberger founded the world’s first robotics company, Unimation in 1956. Unimate, the first industrial robot, developed by Devol, started working on a General Motors assembly line.

In 1993, new era of robotic exploration of hazardous environments was begun using an eight legged robot named Dante. Within the next decade, a toy robot (Furby) with evolving language use, a robot-dog called AIBO and a humanoid robot called ASIMO that could walk and run with near human gait were developed. The Roomba robotic vacuum became very commercially successful. This is how the application of robotics expanded from entertainment and simple tasks to more complex ones. In 2004, robotics became a 1.06 billion dollar industry in the U.S. along with the development of the robotic humanoid named Speecys SPC-003.

In the years to come, robotics is bound to play a significant role in business and general life, with expansion of robotics into Ecommerce, collaborative robotics, software defined robotics, growth of Robot as a service (RaaS) business model, and evolution of a competitive robotics business landscape, among others.


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