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Robots | Design Technology and Variations

Different Types of Robots
Written by Shikha Mehta

If I ask you, what is Doremon, what will your answer be? Well, if you want a more precise answer than a cartoon, I’ll say it’s a humanoid, household robot. This is one of the most common types of robots we’ve grown up seeing.

So, how would you categorize a robot?

Well, to make it a little clearer for you, all robots don’t look like a human. It could look like a tractor picking up materials in a factory. Of course, they aren’t as “cool” as Bumblebee. However, they save the lives of laborers by working with hazardous materials.

You can categorize a robot on several bases:

1. Robots are on the Basis of Operation & Control

Do you need a remote control to operate the robot or is it smart enough to understand things on its own? Let’s take a look.

1.1 Tele-Operated 

They are controlled by humans from a long distance. That distance could be from land to water, the US to China or even Planet Earth to Mars. So, they aren’t smart, they’re rather slaves following instructions.

1.2 Pre-Programmed 

They are neither too smart nor controlled directly by humans. Pre-programming refers to setting up specific instructions well in advance to restrict the robot to perform only those. Mostly, you’ll find them in the medical and manufacturing industries.

1.3 Autonomous 

A lot more flexible and smarter than a pre-programmed robot, this one is independent in its functioning. It’s because it can sense changes in the environment, recognize voice and language and act accordingly.

1.4 Augmenting 

They’re a different category when it comes to controlling. This is because they function when they become part of the human body. For example, if you break your hand, the doctor might insert a robotic arm to replace it. So, the arm will function according to your brain’s instructions, just like a human’s arm does.

2. Robots are on the Basis of Movement

Some robots work from a fixed place, while some fly into the air. To be very brief, they can be categorized in two ways here:

2.1 Stationary 

The base of these robots is fixed in one place but the arm that performs moves in various angles. Mostly, robots used in factories are stationary.

2.2 Mobile

These robots can move on their own completely. Some have legs while some have wheels to help them move. You also have swimming robots that can dive deep underwater as well as flying robots like drones.

3. Robots are on the Basis of Form

When I talk of form, I refer to the shape, size, and structure.

3.1 Swarm 

They are a group of small robots that act together to fulfill a particular task. They aren’t that flexible as they work cooperatively. They’re usually pre-programmed.

3.2 Humanoid 

As the name suggests, they have the shape of a human. Inspired by human bodies, they’re designed to work in the household sector as well as used by the entertainment industry. Even sex dolls belong to this category!

4. On the Basis of Scale of Operation

Robots function according to the program used to design them. It operates mathematically, using measurements and codes.

4.1 Micro 

Robots that can operate on a micrometer scale and resolution. They don’t have to be tiny enough to be measured in micrometers but have to be capable of working in that unit.

4.2 Nano 

Smaller than a micrometer is a nanometer. These robots work on that little scale, irrespective of size.

5. On the Basis of Application

You’ll find robots in all sectors of the economy, from household to defense. They can replace or assist a maid, a nurse, a surgeon, a laborer, an astronaut as well as a soldier.  Let’s take a look.

5.1 Industrial 

There are many types of robots in manufacturing industries, the most common being an articulated robot. It can work along 6 axes and is used for picking and handling material. They can reduce the number of laborers required, mostly performing jobs that can be dangerous for a human.

5.2 Medical 

These assist in performing crucial surgeries. They could be remote-controlled by a surgeon, pre-programmed to perform a very crucial operation or autonomous to operate delicate parts.

5.3 Mining 

We know of the dangers involved with mines. Instead of putting humans to trouble, why not have a robot getting inside?

5.4 Educational 

They’re designed to get students familiar will mathematics, science and technology, mostly related to robotics.

5.5 Military 

The military has not only made advancements in weapons but has started using robots to perform tasks of surveillance in some high-alert areas too.

5.6 Entertainment 

You don’t get all serious to use technology only for work. You can, of course, use them for fun too. Robot toys are becoming common for that.

5.7 Space 

If you’re aware of the mission of ISRO to Mars, let me tell you the object that took pictures of the planet is nothing but a flying, space robot.

5.8 Agricultural 

From manual labor to machinery like tractors, technology has advanced agriculture to using robots for plowing and harvesting crops.

5.9 Household 

If you’re a married woman, you are just waiting to find out if you can afford to have a robot maid. Not only is your housework done quickly, you know you can trust the house with it too.

So, now you know robots are not all you see in Hollywood. They can be your best servants, trust-worthy and accurate. After all, a machine could be intelligent but not cunning, isn’t it?

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About the author

Shikha Mehta

I discovered my talent in writing while I was in high school. Since then, I discovered the joy of sharing your knowledge with people around you. This is the reason why I love making my contributions to Insights of Technology. Being a certified content writer, I have been writing on several topics, science & technology being one of my favorites.

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