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AI and Robotics

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 - Overview

Robotics is an interdisciplinary research area at the interface of computer science and engineering. Robotics involves design, construction, operation, and use of robots. The goal of robotics is to design intelligent machines that can help and assist humans in their day-to-day lives and keep everyone safe. Robotics draws on the achievement of information engineering, computer engineering, mechanical engineering, electronic engineering and others.

Robotics is a branch of engineering that involves the conception, design, manufacture, and operation of robots. The field of robotics has been undergoing a major change from manufacturing applications to entertainment, home, rehabilitation, search and rescue, and service applications. Although robots seem to possess fantastic skills in science fiction and movies, most people would be surprised to learn how much remains to be accomplished to provide today's robots with the ability to do relatively simple tasks. 

Autonomous robots are only able to complete very simple tasks within limited environmental conditions. Humans can be incorporated to teleoperate or supervise robots, but as the robot complexity increases so does the human's workload. Robotics requires research in many areas that include hybrid systems, embedded systems, sensory fusion, distributed artificial intelligence, computer vision, machine learning, human-machine interaction, localization, planning, navigation, etc. This large field provides ample research problems.


- Applications

As more and more robots are designed for specific tasks this method of classification becomes more relevant. For example, many robots are designed for assembly work, which may not be readily adaptable for other applications. They are termed as "assembly robots". For seam welding, some suppliers provide complete welding systems with the robot i.e. the welding equipment along with other material handling facilities like turntables, etc. as an integrated unit. Such an integrated robotic system is called a "welding robot" even though its discrete manipulator unit could be adapted to a variety of tasks. Some robots are specifically designed for heavy load manipulation, and are labeled as "heavy-duty robots". 

Current and potential applications include:

  • Military robots.
  • Industrial robots.
  • Cobots (collaborative robots).
  • Construction robots. Construction robots can be separated into three types: traditional robots, robotic arm, and robotic exoskeleton.
  • Agricultural robots (AgRobots). The use of robots in agriculture is closely linked to the concept of AI-assisted precision agriculture and drone usage. 1996-1998 research also proved that robots can perform a herding task.
  • Medical robots of various types (such as da Vinci Surgical System and Hospi).
  • Kitchen automation. Commercial examples of kitchen automation are Flippy (burgers), Zume Pizza (pizza), Cafe X (coffee), Makr Shakr (cocktails), Frobot (frozen yogurts) and Sally (salads).[32] Home examples are Rotimatic (flatbreads baking) and Boris (dishwasher loading).
  • Robot combat for sport – hobby or sport event where two or more robots fight in an arena to disable each other. This has developed from a hobby in the 1990s to several TV series worldwide.
  • Cleanup of contaminated areas, such as toxic waste or nuclear facilities.
  • Domestic robots.
  • Nanorobots.
  • Swarm robotics.
  • Autonomous drones.
  • Sports field line marking.


- Components

Robotics is the science and technology behind the design, manufacturing and application of robots. A robot is a programmable mechanical device that can perform tasks and interact with its environment, without the aid of human interaction. 

The components of a robot are:

  • Power source
  • Actuation
  • Electric motors
  • Linear actuators
  • Series elastic actuators
  • Air muscles
  • Muscle wire
  • Electroactive polymers
  • Piezo motors
  • Elastic nanotubes
  • Sensing
  • Touch
  • Vision
  • Other: Other common forms of sensing in robotics use lidar, radar, and sonar.[58] Lidar measures distance to a target by illuminating the target with laser light and measuring the reflected light with a sensor. Radar uses radio waves to determine the range, angle, or velocity of objects. Sonar uses sound propagation to navigate, communicate with or detect objects on or under the surface of the water.

[More to come ...]

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