Robotics emerged with the aim of developing a machine which would provide a helping hand to the humans in their everyday lives and ease their random tasks.
This branch of science or particularly, ‘computer science’ came to light with the vision of creating a machine that would be a replica of humans and copy their actions. Robots are electrical devices that are programmed to perform autonomous tasks. Today, robots are used in numerous processes and life activities. They are used extensively in areas where human’s life tends to be in danger. Robots can exist in a variety of forms but generally they are they are made to appear as humans. These robots perform various humanly activities such as ‘walking’, ‘talking’ or ‘running’ etc. In order to deal with robotics, an individual must have the basic knowledge of electronics, mechanics and software.
History and Origin
The term robotics is derived from a Czech word ‘Robota’ meaning “forced labour”. It was used the very first time to depict a fictional humanoid. Thus, the word robotics has history dating back to 1921. However, the early concepts of robotics evolved around 3000 B.C. It involved the use of human figurines to strike the hour glass of Egyptian water clocks.
In 400 B.C, the great Greek philosopher, Archytus invented a wooden pigeon that could fly. The Egyptians constructed statues that could speak and gesture. The tale also extends to the past when invention of a robot in the form of a doll took place in the first century A.D. In 1557, Giovanni Torriani created a robot that was capable enough to buy daily use items from the store. The 19th Century, witnessed numerous robotic creations in the form of steam-powered robot and talking doll. These inventions played a vital role in igniting the spark of ‘robotics’, but, the 20th Century surpassed all previous the inventions and proved itself to be the most important in the robotics history.
The earliest robot was created in the early 1950s. The inventor, however failed to draw the attention of the market to his curative invention. In 1960s, a businessman named ‘Joseph Engleberger’ bought Gerorge C. Devol’s invention and modified it into an industrial robot to satisfy the company needs. Engleberger, therefore, is entitled as ‘Father of Robotics’. In 1958, a research team headed by ‘Charles Rosen’ invented a robot named ‘Shakey’. ‘Shakey’ was far more advanced than the rest of the robots that ever made their place into human lives. ‘Shakey’ was capable enough of moving around the house and respond according to the present conditions.
Some of the vital fields of Robotics
- Human Robot Interface - It is a field of study that deals with designing, understanding and evaluating robotic systems. It aims to improvise the way robots interact with humans. Interaction of robots with humans can take place in various ways. An important parameter that determines how robots interact with humans is whether human and robots are in close proximity of each other
- Mobility - The term mobility includes AI and robotic solutions. Robots take into account mobility in the form of walking, sitting, or even squatting. Advanced robotic systems include mobility. Robots programmed in a way that are capable of travelling a certain distance are known as mobile robots. Humanoid robots, drones, unmanned robots are important example of mobile robots. They find their wide application in nuclear power plants.
- Programming - Robots are mostly programmed using numerical coordinates, robot coordinate or other coordinate system. Robotic programming is an important field of robotics that helps robots perform simple tasks.
- Sensors - They allow the robot to become more autonomous because it can perceive its own environment and can make decisions based on that. Robotic sensors are used to estimate the conditions around a robot. Sensors in robots are based on functions of human sensory organs.