What is robotics?

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What is robotics?

The term “Robotics” was first coined by Isaac Asimov, a science fiction author who used the term in a short story back in 1940s. In that story, he suggested three principles to guide the behaviour of robots.

  1. Robots must never harm human beings
  2. Robots must follow instructions from humans without violating rule 1
  3. Robots must protect themselves without violating the other rules

Yes, it is the storyline of the “IRobot” movie. Suggest you to watch, if you hadn’t already :)

In reality, robotics is the industry that relates engineering, construction and operation of robots. Robotics is a broad and diverse field that is being used by commercial industries and consumers to carry out various activities. Robotics can also be defined as an engineering branch that involves conception, design, manufacture and operation of robots.

The robotics field greatly overlaps with other technologies like electronics, computer science, artificial intelligence, mechatronics, nanotechnology and bio-engineering.

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Great Robotics Projects with Kits and Video Tutorials for Engineering Students

This technology enables engineers to develop robots that can assist humans and also replicate in industrial activities which are generally dangerous, dull or delegate. Robots can actually take any form, but in most cases they are made to look like some animals (humans included).

The robots are also manufactured to replicate the behaviours of animals. Such type of robots can replicate walking, running, lifting, speaking, and cognition, basically anything that an animal would do.

This particular technological field generally integrates all the latest technological advancements to produce an innovative robot.

Recent technology enhancements in connectivity, sensors and computing capabilities enable the robotics industry to manufacture more complex and sophisticated robots that can be integrated into industries like production, health, defence, etc. to improve their operational efficiency.

Even robots are used in dangerous environments such as bomb detection and deactivation, assistance in outer space, carrying out activities in nuclear power plants etc.

Here are some important applications of robotics,

Military Robots: Robots find its application in military from diffusing the bombs to carrying out stealth missions. These robots can be controlled from a remote location and can avoid human causalities.

Manufacturing Robots: A number of industries have already started to implement robotics on to their operations to improve their efficiency. This is done greatly because of the ability of robots to operate without any relaxation and errors.

Agricultural Robots: Ever since the industrial revolution started man started to depend more on the agriculture for their existence needs. But to improve the efficiency of production, robots are being implemented by huge numbers in the recent years and the impact of them is huge.

Medical Robots: We have started using robots for surgeries that needs extreme precision. This had helped us to reduce the medical error that was happening due to the inefficient medical procedures.

So, what are the different embedded platforms in which robotics projects are developed?

This is a common question among the enthusiasts and innovators around the globe who are interested on robotics. Following are the major development platforms which are being generally used,

  1. Arduino: It is an open source hardware platform that is readily available for hobbyists & enthusiasts across the globe to build robots. It comes with an ATMEGA microcontroller that process the data and facilitates the proper working of robot. And the beauty is that the Arduino can be programmed ‘n’ number of times making it possible for you to build various types of robots just by changing a simple code. Check robotics projects that you can make with Arduino here
  2. Raspberry Pi: It is one of the advanced microcontroller board available in the market that facilitates easier building of innovative robotics projects. Raspberry Pi is actually a miniature size computer that can be used to build complicated robotics projects also. This platform is not recommended for beginners as it involves complex architecture and programming. But if you had already done some basic programming projects and have some decent knowledge on Python Language, then you can opt for this platform. This particular platform would provide you a lot of bandwidth to modify your robot to perform various functionalities.
  3. 8051 Microcontroller: This platform is a very good example of embedded systems and uses C language for programming. Like Arduino, this platform also provides the bandwidth for you to reprogram and make the robot perform multiple functionalities. You can select this platform if you want to understand electronics from core and get into the embedded systems technology. Check robotics projects that you can make with 8051 microcontroller here

If you are beginner and aspiring to build your very own robot for the first time, then we would suggest you start with Arduino. As its architecture is simple to understand and programming language is easier to implement, using this platform will make it easier for you to build a robot.

What about the different types of robots based on their controlling mechanism?

The following are the three major categories in which robots will fall,

  1. Manual: These are the type of robots that need to be operated manually. Manual robots cannot operate on their own and will need step by step instructions from a user to facilitate the actuation. Crane is an excellent example for this category.
  2. Semi-autonomous: These are the types of robots that take some inputs from the user and performs the tasks on their own. These are not same as manual robots, because step by step instructions are not needed to make the robot work. Mobile or Gesture or Bluetooth controlled robot is a very good example for semi-autonomous robot.
  3. Autonomous: These are the types of robots that can perform all their tasks completely on their own with zero human interaction. These types of robots will be embedded with sensors that can detect and guide the robot’s actuation/motion with the help of a micro-controller. Fire Fighting Robot or Edge Detection Robot is a very good example for the autonomous robot category.

In the recent times, robotics is becoming an essential component in modern industries. As the industries increase the number of robots employed onto their operations, more jobs related robotics is steadily increasing. Since employing robots in industries increases productivity and efficiency of operations, a lot of industries are looking for skilled engineers who can integrate robotics for them.

So, if you are an aspiring student who wants to have a career in robotics, start developing your skills today. Since robotics is a latest technology, there is no other way to learn robotics effectively than building actual robots that works.

Suppose, if you want to build great robotics projects but don’t have the necessary technology knowledge, don’t worry!

We at Skyfi Labs have developed an innovative learning methodology through which you can learn robotics by building robots hands-on right from your home. With the hardware kits delivered to your doorstep and 1-1 technical assistance provided, developing great expertise on robotics technology will never be tough for you.

Also shoot out your queries by commenting below, we will assist you at the earliest.

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