COMPUTER SCIENCE AND ROBOTICS

robotics

DEFINITION

Robotics is an interdisciplinary field that integrates computer science and engineering. Robotics involves design, construction, operation, and use of robots. The goal of robotics is to design machines that can help and assist humans. … Robots can take on any form but some are made to resemble humans in appearance.

What is the use of computer in robotics?

Robotics is the use of computer-controlled robots to perform manual tasks. Robots are commonly used by the military and businesses to complete tasks that are dangerous for people, such as defusing bombs, exploring shipwrecks, and mines. They are also used to perform monotonous jobs, such as on an assembly line.

Robotics is the science or technology of designing, building and using robots. Robotics is the use of computer-controlled robots to perform manual tasks. Robots are commonly used by the military and businesses to complete tasks that are dangerous for people, such as defusing bombs, exploring shipwrecks, and mines. They are also used to perform monotonous jobs, such as on an assembly line. There are personal or service robots to assist with personal tasks. There are robots for the use of entertainment. The appearance of robots depends on their function or purpose. Today, robotics is a rapidly growing field. Robotics research is continuing to make smarter and more capable robots. NASA researchers have developed a way to make a crew of robots work together to grasp, lift, and more heavy loads across rough, varied terrain. The software allows the robots to “share a brain” so that each robot knows what the rest are doing. This enables the robots to work together the develop plans, such as how to maneuver around a rock or other obstacle the crew may encounter.

WHAT IS A ROBOT?

A robot is the product of the robotics field, where programmable machines are built that can assist humans or mimic human actions. Robots were originally built to handle monotonous tasks (like building cars on an assembly line), but have since expanded well beyond their initial uses to perform tasks like fighting fires, cleaning homes and assisting with incredibly intricate surgeries. Each robot has a differing level of autonomy, ranging from human-controlled bots that carry out tasks that a human has full control over to fully-autonomous bots that perform tasks without any external influences.

Types of Robots

Mechanical bots come in all shapes and sizes to efficiently carry out the task for which they are designed. All robots vary in design, functionality and degree of autonomy. From the 0.2 millimeter-long “RoboBee” to the 200 meter-long robotic shipping vessel “Vindskip,” robots are emerging to carry out tasks that humans simply can’t. Generally, there are five types of robots:


1) Pre-Programmed Robots

Pre-programmed robots operate in a controlled environment where they do simple, monotonous tasks. An example of a pre-programmed robot would be a mechanical arm on an automotive assembly line. The arm serves one function — to weld a door on, to insert a certain part into the engine, etc. — and its job is to perform that task longer, faster and more efficiently than a human.


2) Humanoid Robots

Humanoid robots are robots that look like and/or mimic human behavior. These robots usually perform human-like activities (like running, jumping and carrying objects), and are sometimes designed to look like us, even having human faces and expressions. Two of the most prominent examples of humanoid robots are Hanson Robotics’ Sophia (in the video above) and Boston Dynamics’ Atlas.


3) Autonomous Robots

Autonomous robots operate independently of human operators. These robots are usually designed to carry out tasks in open environments that do not require human supervision. They are quite unique because they use sensors to perceive the world around them, and then employ decision-making structures (usually a computer) to take the optimal next step based on their data and mission. An example of an autonomous robot would be the Roomba vacuum cleaner, which uses sensors to roam freely throughout a home.

EXAMPLES OF AUTONOMOUS ROBOTS

  • Cleaning Bots (for example, Roomba)
  • Lawn Trimming Bots
  • Hospitality Bots
  • Autonomous Drones
  • Medical Assistant Bots

 
4) Teleoperated Robots

Teleoperated robots are semi-autonomous bots that use a wireless network to enable human control from a safe distance. These robots usually work in extreme geographical conditions, weather, circumstances, etc. Examples of teleoperated robots are the human-controlled submarines used to fix underwater pipe leaks during the BP oil spill or drones used to detect landmines on a battlefield.


5) Augmenting Robots

Augmenting robots either enhance current human capabilities or replace the capabilities a human may have lost. The field of robotics for human augmentation is a field where science fiction could become reality very soon, with bots that have the ability to redefine the definition of humanity by making humans faster and stronger. Some examples of current augmenting robots are robotic prosthetic limbs or exoskeletons used to lift hefty weights.

Uses of Robots

Robots have wide variety of use cases that make them the ideal technology for the future. Soon, we will see robots almost everywhere. We’ll see them in our hospitals, in our hotels and even on our roads.

APPLICATIONS OF ROBOTICS

  • Helping fight forest fires
  • Working alongside humans in manufacturing plants (known as co-bots)
  • Robots that offer companionship to elderly individuals
  • Surgical assistants
  • Last-mile package and food order delivery
  • Autonomous household robots that carry out tasks like vacuuming and mowing the grass
  • Assisting with finding items and carrying them throughout warehouses
  • Used during search-and-rescue missions after natural disasters
  • Landmine detectors in war zones

Manufacturing

The manufacturing industry is probably the oldest and most well-known user of robots. These robots and co-bots (bots that work alongside humans) work to efficiently test and assemble products, like cars and industrial equipment. It’s estimated that there are more than three million industrial robots in use right now.   


Logistics

Shipping, handling and quality control robots are becoming a must-have for most retailers and logistics companies. Because we now expect our packages arriving at blazing speeds, logistics companies employ robots in warehouses, and even on the road, to help maximize time efficiency. Right now, there are robots taking your items off the shelves, transporting them across the warehouse floor and packaging them. Additionally, a rise in last-mile robots (robots that will autonomously deliver your package to your door) ensure that you’ll have a face-to-metal-face encounter with a logistics bot in the near future.
 

Home

It’s not science fiction anymore. Robots can be seen all over our homes, helping with chores, reminding us of our schedules and even entertaining our kids. The most well-known example of home robots is the autonomous vacuum cleaner Roomba. Additionally, robots have now evolved to do everything from autonomously mowing grass to cleaning pools.    


Travel

Is there anything more science fiction-like than autonomous vehicles? These self-driving cars are no longer just imagination. A combination of data science and robotics, self-driving vehicles are taking the world by storm. Automakers, like Tesla, Ford, Waymo, Volkswagen and BMW are all working on the next wave of travel that will let us sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. Rideshare companies Uber and Lyft are also developing autonomous rideshare vehicles that don’t require humans to operate the vehicle.   


Healthcare

Robots have made enomous strides in the healthcare industry. These mechanical marvels have use in just about every aspect of healthcare, from robot-assisted surgeries to bots that help humans recover from injury in physical therapy. Examples of robots at work in healthcare are Toyota’s healthcare assistants, which help people regain the ability to walk, and “TUG,” a robot designed to autonomously stroll throughout a hospital and deliver everything from medicines to clean linens.

Recently, robots have been employed by pharmaceutical companies to help speed up the fight against COVID-19. These bots are now being used to fill and seal COVID-19 testing swabs, and are also being used by some manufacturers to produce PPE and respirators.  

CHARACTERISTICS OF A ROBOT

  • Sensing First of all your robot would have to be able to sense its surroundings. It would do this in ways that are not unsimilar to the way that you sense your surroundings. Giving your robot sensors: light sensors (eyes), touch and pressure sensors (hands), chemical sensors(nose), hearing and sonar sensors (ears), and taste sensors (tongue) will give your robot awareness of its environment.
  • Movement A robot needs to be able to move around its environment. Whether rolling on wheels, walking on legs or propelling by thrusters a robot needs to be able to move. To count as a robot either the whole robot moves, like the Sojourner or just parts of the robot moves, like the Canada Arm.
  • Energy A robot needs to be able to power itself. A robot might be solar powered, electrically powered, battery powered. The way your robot gets its energy will depend on what your robot needs to do.
  • Intelligence A robot needs some kind of “smarts.” This is where programming enters the pictures. A programmer is the person who gives the robot its ‘smarts.’ The robot will have to have some way to receive the program so that it knows what it is to do.

How are computer science and robotics related?

Computer science

Computing technology is a crucial part of robotics. … Computer scientists deal with the motion planning, computer vision and machine learning aspects of robot creation. A lot of computer science courses include topics like artificial intelligence and software design.

Best countries to study robotics

  • USA.
  • Germany.
  • Sweden.
  • Lithuania.
robotics2

Major Fields of Robotics

Sophisticated robot design typically requires the talents and expertise of teams of engineers. There are five fields of expertise in robotics:

Operator Interface: A robot must be able to communicate with its human controller. The interface is the mechanism of communication between the person and the robot. For example, a joystick controller for a video game is an interface used to communicate with the game.

Mobility or Locomotion: Locomotion is how the robot gets from place to place–how it moves in its environment. Mobility can be achieved with wheels, legs, fins, propellers, and much more.

Manipulators and Effectors: The parts of the robot that interact with objects may touch things, pick them up, place them in containers, spray them with paint, and more. Examples include claws, pushers, and mechanical arms and fingers.

Programming: Programming is how you talk to a machine. Some forms of advanced programming allow a robot to learn and adapt to changes in its environment.

Sensing and Perception: A robot needs information from sensors to know where it is, to go where it needs to go, and to avoid obstacles.

Advantages Of Computer Robots In The Workplace

Many people fear that robots or full automation may someday take their jobs, but this is simply not the case. Robots bring more advantages than disadvantages to the workplace. They enrich a company’s ability to succeed while improving the lives of real, human employees who are still needed to keep operations running smoothly. If you’re thinking about investing in some robots, share the advantages with your employees. You might be surprised at how many of them are quick to support the idea.

1. Safety

Safety is the most obvious advantage of utilizing robotics. Heavy machinery, machinery that runs at hot temperature, and sharp objects can easily injure a human being. By delegating dangerous tasks to a robot you’re more likely to look at a repair bill than a serious medical bill or a lawsuit. Employees who work dangerous jobs will be thankful that robots can remove some of the risks.

2. Speed

Robots don’t get distracted or need to take breaks. They don’t request vacation time or ask to leave an hour early. A robot will never feel stressed out and start running slower. They also don’t need to be invited to employee meetings or training session. Robots can work all the time, and this speeds up production. They keep your employees from having to overwork themselves to meet high pressure deadlines or seemingly impossible standards.

3. Consistency

Robots never need to  divide their attention between a multitude of things Their work is never contingent on the work of other people. They won’t have unexpected emergencies, and they won’t need to be relocated to complete a different time sensitive task. They’re always there, and they’re doing what they’re supposed to do. Automation is typically far more reliable than human labor.

4. Perfection

Robots will always deliver quality. Since they’re programmed for precise, repetitive motion, they’re less likely to make mistakes. In some ways, robots are simultaneously an employee and a quality control system. A lack of quirks and preferences, combined with the eliminated possibility of human error, will create a predictably perfect product every time.

5. Happier Employees

Since robots are often assigned to perform tasks that people don’t particularly enjoy, like menial work, repetitive motion, or dangerous jobs, your employees are more likely to be happy. They’ll be focusing on more engaging work that’s less likely to grind down their nerves. They might want to take advantage of additional educational opportunities, utilize your employee wellness programme or participate in an innovative workplace project. They’ll be happy to let the robots do the work that leaves them feeling burned out.

6. Job Creation

Robots don’t take jobs away. They merely change the jobs that exist. Robots need people for monitoring and supervision. The more robots we need, the more people we’ll need to build those robots. By training your employees to work with robots, you’re giving them a reason to stay motivated in their position with your company. They’ll be there for the advancements and they’ll have the unique opportunity to develop a new set of tech or engineering related skills.

7. Productivity

Robots can’t do everything. Some Jobs absolutely need to be completed by human If your human employees aren’t caught up doing the things that could have easily be left for robots, they’ll be available and productive. They can talk to customers, answer emails and social media comments, help with branding and marketing, and sell products. You’ll be amazed at how much they can accomplish when the grunt work isn’t weighing them down.

While we’re still lightyears away from a fully robotic workplace, the robotic capabilities that many companies are currently utilizing have proven to be one of the greatest innovations of our time. Start by adding a few robots, and see where it takes you.

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