- Robotics, Science

Robots: Rising Heroes

21st century has witnessed various marvels of human creation; technology has risen from a simple personal computer to palmtops within a span of 60 years. One very promising sector and an enthralling field is that of Robotics. Remember watching those sci-fi movies and imagining “what could have happened if I too had a robot?”Well, friends this dream could be made realizable on a very large scale that too very soon. In the present age already automatic machines have found extensive usage in our society. It is a matter of few more years when robots will be seen on a very extensive scale globally.

The term Robot was coined by a Czech novelist Karel Capek in a 1920 play titled Rossum’s Universal Robots (RUR). Robota was the root word meaning worker or servant in Czech. According to Robot Institute of America: A robot is a reprogrammable, multifunctional manipulator designed to move material, parts, tools or specialized devices through variable programmed motions for the performance of a variety of tasks. There can be different types of robots like a Manipulato, Legged Robot, Legged Robot, Autonomous Underwater Vehicle, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, etc. The most valuable use of a machine using Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) is to perform those jobs which are dangerous for humans. Just imagine how many valuable human lives could be saved by the use of robots. Nowadays, robots are used in rescue operations which not only save time but also provide safety for the rescuer. They are also used for cleaning the main circulating pump housing in the nuclear power plants. A welding robot can perform jobs which are repetitive and boring at a much faster pace than humans, thus saving both time and money for the business owner. Robots have extensive usage worldwide many robots have been developed very recently which can even act as non-living friends for people.

A professor of biochemistry and science fiction author Isaac Asimov proposed three “Laws of Robotics”. They are as follows:

1. Law 1: A robot may not injure a human being or through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

2. Law 2: A robot must obey orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with a higher order law.

3. Law 3: A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with a higher order law.

In the year 1954 the world witnessed its first programmable robot UNIMATE which was designed by George Devol, who coins the term Universal Automation. He later shortens this to Unimation, which became the name of the first robot company started in 1962. Unimate originally used to help in the manufacturing of TV picture tubes. After UNIMATE different kinds of robots were developed which were implemented in various sectors, right from agriculture to laboratories robots have found extensive usage. Humanoids like the one from Honda have been created. Cog and Kismet are future robots with high Artificial Intelligence. The Mars Rover is an epitome of robot usage in space exploration. Going by the technological trends a fully enabled robotic world is not far away.