Robotics is the new trend in this technological era. These days schools have added robotics to there curriculum to help kids learn programming and that sort of stuff. But anyway, I am here to tell you about the basic functions, what it takes for something to be a robot, and some cool robots that already exist. So without further ado let’s look at this cool stuff!
What the heck Is Robotics?
Definition wise it is, “the branch of technology that deals with the design, construction, operation, and application of robots.”- oxford dictionary. In simple terms it’s basically how technology can design, build, and work a robot. If you like robots, then you’ll certainly love robotics cause it’s basically the process of making, designing, and functioning a robot. In robotics, you have to be able to code well and understand programming languages to create and understand robots. Through robotics, you can create different robots for different functions like delivering packages, vacuuming, building cars, etc. The point is that you can create any type of robot for any type of use.
All robots have basic functions and need them. The three main types of machinery that help a robot function are: sensors, end effectors, and last but not least the brains. Now lets talk about these three topics. What are Sensors? Sensors are tech in robots that allow the robot to be able to sense the environment it’s in. Sensors help robots keep track of where they are moving and make sure they don’t knock things over while they are doing the work. They also help the robot keep track of where it has done a certain task so it doesn’t repeat it. It makes the robot effective in a way that it gives it an important sense just like a human.
What are End Effectors? End Effectors are the machinery or tools at the end of a robot's arms. There are different types of end effectors, these can include: welding end effectors, gippers (two-finger gripper, three-finger gripper, suction gripper.) etc. What is a welding end effector? Welding end effectors are machinery at the end of a robotic arm the melts together different type of metal. This can be useful for many things like putting a car part with another if there are two different parts then it will help to mold them together to make it look like it’s part of the car. another thing that welding end effectors can be used for is buildings. If you had a building 40 stories high, then you would probably not have a pillar or rod 40 stories tall. You would be able to use a welding machine to melt the rods together piece by piece while building on it. What is a two-finger gripper end effector? A two-finger gripper end effector is sort of a wrench. It moves inward and outward side to side but it cant move its finger grippers. All that moves is the screw while pushing the two fingers inwards. This end effector can be used for grabbing things and moving them from one place to another. What is a three-finger end effector? A three-finger end effector is the same thing as a two-finger but it can move its fingers inward and rotate like an alien. This one can be used to pick up things and transport them while being moved and rotated in another position. What is a suction end effector? A suction end effector is an effector that uses vacuuming/suction cups to move things around. These can be very useful as fingers might not wrap around big items and so suction can lift it up easily. and it is really effective. It can be used for car doors or big wood planks etc.
Controlling Systems aka the Brains
Ok, I’ve got good news and bad news, which one first?… bad news… ok, the bad news is that there are only two control systems, the good news is that there are only two control systems! In robotics, I personally love complicating things, but at the same time being less complex sort of makes it sort of easier in a way. The two control systems are Pre-Programmed robots and Autonomous robots. What are Pre-Programmed robots? Pre-Programmed robots are robots that have a certain coding in its brain telling how to do specific things and react to other things in a very specific way. These types of Pre-Programmed robots just keep doing what you have coded in it again and again until you manually stop it. Pre-Programmed robots can’t learn or fix from their past experiences because it does whatever you code just perfectly the right way but then it doesn’t adjust to new environments or new peoples needs. What are Autonomous robots? Autonomous robots are really cool because they learn on their own and function without hardcore layers of coding. However, what I think is the best part is that it can adjust to new environments and keep learning new things about its surroundings. It might not do it perfectly the first time but it ends up being more fast and efficient than a Pre-Programmed robot. For example, if you compare a Pre-Programmed vacuum cleaner vs an autonomous vacuum cleaner, the Pre-Programmed one will always take the same path but if it’s an autonomous one then it will adjust and find shortcuts that will get the job done quicker and more efficient.
My favourite part of this article is that I get to show you some cool robots that already exist.
- Sophia The Robot.
This robot is the first ever robot to get a citizenship! It sounds so bizarre but it’s true. Saudi Arabia has actually given this robot a citizenship at Saudi Arabia.
This is a 6 foot robot that can interact with people as well as do parkour and backflips! It can even stay upright when pushed with a big wooden stick! I personally love this robot and believe that Boston Dynamics has taken their creativity to the next level.
This is another robot by Boston Dynamics, it is called the spot mini. This is a canine robot that can do cool tricks and like the one before (Atlas) this dog can stay upright as well while getting pulled by a leash.
So I hope you had fun reading this article and learned something new. I know I did while researching this stuff. So implement it in your understanding of robotics and maybe you create the new multi-million dollar robot that disrupts the market.
Article Written By Arqish Minhas