The advent of robots has revolutionized our lives. Complicated surgeries, space and underwater explorations and many other significant discoveries wouldn’t have been possible without them. With so many varieties of robots out there, the definition of the word ‘robot’ has been evolving over time. A ‘robot’ is a virtual or electro-mechanical artificial agent that can carry out complex tasks. Today, scientists are working on robotic devices that can mimic animal physiology. Here are the 7 applications of robots and how they have influenced our lives.
- Robots in Industries
Industrial robots have increased the production of industries and the efficiency of the supply chain. These robots can be easily programmed and can lift heavy loads. According to the International Federation of Robotics, over 1.63 million industrial robots were operational worldwide in 2015. SCARA robots, gantry, PUMA and Delta robots are some of the common industrial robots. With the technological sophistication, industrial robots are becoming lighter with higher payloads.
- Robots in Rehabilitation and Surgery
Robot-assisted surgeries are usually minimally invasive as these robots are small enough to fit through small areas. The surgeon can control the camera and the robot using a console. With the integration of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) in Image-Guided Surgeries (IGS) using robots, the manipulation of robotic equipment has become easier for the surgeons.
The powered exoskeleton has proved to be a boon for the disabled and elderly patients. Exoskeletons can also be used for strength augmentation and thus, finds use in military operations and industries.
- Robots in Home Automation
With humans becoming busier than ever, robots have invaded our houses to help us with everyday chores. Modern service robots can help you with cleaning the house and maintaining room temperature. Gone are the days when mowing the lawn used to be a punishment for the kids. The dawn of the smart future is closely linked to the evolution of smart robots that can cut the grass in your garden. These robots can be charged easily and require very less maintenance.
- Nanobots In Cancer Treatment
Nanobots assimilating various species in the movie Star Trek can give you nightmare. But they are no longer fictional. Bioengineers at Wyss Institute in Harvard University have been successful in achieving targeted drug delivery in living cockroaches using DNA nanobots. These DNA based robots are biocompatible and can be effective in cancer treatment. A team of researchers at Bar-Ilan University have started human trials of nanobots to fight cancer in 2016. These tiny robots enclose drugs and release them when they collide with the cancerous cells in the human body.
A chatbot is a computer program that is designed to simulate conversations with human users over the internet. Powered by artificial intelligence (AI), chatbots have been effective in engaging with customers and answer their queries. There are some chatbots which are designed to make an emotional connection with the users. Voice-activated chatbots are likely to change business and banking experience in the future.
- Robots in Surveillance
Automated surveillance drones deployed at the borders of countries have been successful in giving timely information about security breach and infiltration. Powerful face recognition technology has enabled robotic systems to detect criminals in the crowd. With computer programs getting better at object tracking, robots can be useful in attacking the enemy tanks.
- Robots in Navigation
Artificial neural network and other machine learning techniques have made robots smart enough to be deployed in navigation. Google self-driving car can be classified as an intelligent robotic system that is going to revolutionize the navigation technology. Robotic drones have been successful in door-to-door delivery of books and pizzas. Since navigational robots can be used in the hazardous environment, they are useful in disaster mitigation.
There have been several debates over robots taking away jobs of people and engineering ethics surrounding them. Further, science fictions have spilled in the idea of robots destroying human societies as they get smarter. Nevertheless, the positive impact of robots in our lives outweigh any other negative connotations associated with them.