Did you watch the TV series “Small Wonder” or the cartoon “Richie Rich” when you were a kid? If yes, you’ve grown up watching the concept of robotics. Of course, there’s no end to films that showcase robots too.
However, what you’ve seen in Transformers or Bumble Bee is the most complex version of a robot. Sure, they’re entertaining, but apart from that, you have a lot of other forms and applications of robots.
So, how does the technology of a robot really work? Let’s start from scratch.
What do you mean by Robotics?
Truly, it is a subject in itself that studies the creation, operation, and application of a robot using various sciences.
It begins with the idea of creating a machine that can replace a human being or several human beings to perform complex or dangerous tasks. After in-depth research and development, a team of scientists will come up with one robot that can serve the purpose.
Following are the steps are:
- Discovering the Purpose: Of course, first, you need to know what you want your robot to do. The knowledge of mechanical, electronic, and information engineering along with computer science will tell you of the possibilities of achieving your goal.
- Designing the Structure: Based on the purpose, you need to see what it should look like. This requires the application of mechanical, electronic, and information engineering.
- Programming: Your knowledge in computer science and various coding languages will help in developing the prototype designed to convert it into a robot. There are several robotics programming languages that are used to develop artificial intelligence.
- Testing: Of course, once you’re done you need to check if it’s actually ready to use. Provide the necessary power supply and check for any errors in coding or short-comings in the design.
Meaning & Definition of Robotics and Robot
A robot can be any machine that is able to do something based on your programming. It doesn’t have to look like a human, as you see it in films. It could look like a normal machine in a factory or even a toy. To explain it better, even a drone is a robot.
To define it, it is a machine that is designed and programmed to perform complex tasks on its own, along with sensitivity to the external environment.
It can be programmed to work by remote control or function on its own after providing the required power supply. It totally depends on the scientist as to how smart a robot can be.
Parts of a Robot:
You need to create the following that will make your machine a robot:
While hardware components and energy supply are physical resources to create a robot, the actual device is created through coding. The processor will control the entire working of the robot through the set of codes and commands fed to it.
You require a storage device that stores information required to control the robot. Even if it’s an autonomous robot, its control will be stored somewhere. Not only does it control the functioning, but it also takes feedback on it.
Brain or On-Board Control Unit:
The human brain functions on the basis of its intellect. Like-wise, there is an artificial intelligence that is provided to a machine. This creates the brain of a robot.
It is entirely the job of a computer programmer to make the machine learn and understand instructions.
The set of codes will make it smart enough to perform its function on its own. Not only that, but it can also sense the change in the external environment and act accordingly if required too.
Just like you need hands and legs to get to the action, actuators are the limbs of a robot. The controller instructs the brain to perform a function at a given point of time for a given span. The instruction is passed on to the actuators which will execute these commands to efficiently perform the task.
How do you come to know what’s there in front of you? You have sense organs that tell your brain what’s going around: eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and skin.
Like-wise, a robot will have its own senses to judge any disturbances externally as well as the performance efficiency of the actuators. They will instruct the brain regarding the speed and movement, which is fed to the controller.
Robotics basically follows the structure and function of human beings. A machine is designed to perform like a human and for a human, only to make work simpler & safer. If you read about the applications of robotics in various segments of the economy, you’ll know their true importance.
Would you like to dive deep into this man-made wonder?