Robotics engineering and automation is changing the face of manufacturing across the globe. With its ability to increase efficiency while reducing costs, more and more we are turning to robots to do the job that people did only a few years ago. While the first industrial robot was put to work many years ago (1961), with the innovation of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) robotics are becoming more advanced than ever before. Engineers in this field are on the forefront of creating the technology of tomorrow.
What is Robotics Engineering?
Robotics is an interdisciplinary branch that brings together communications, computer science, and electronics all in a base of engineering. It involves the design and construction of robots and machine automations to improve society at large. Most often, these technologies are applied in manufacturing products at both simple and large scales.
Innovations in Robotics Engineering:
More and more, robots are migrating from the manufacturing warehouse to pharmacies, automobiles, and beyond. While they already contributed greatly to manufacturing by reducing risk, cost, and improving efficiency, artificial intelligence has introduced a whole new level of robot; one that more closely resembles something out of Star Wars.
Google’s Worker Robots
These robots are not the cyber bots of the past. Google has now patented the technology for their worker robots. Engineers will work with each robot to download several different personalities to access when interacting with humans over the internet.
Asimo is a humanoid robot developed by Honda. It is able to walk, run, hop and climb stairs as well as has hand dexterity. This robot is also capable of voice and facial recognition, even in a crowd, with the ability to predict a person’s next move based on his previous actions with astounding accuracy.
Boston Dynamics is best known for their development of a robotic dog named Spot. This robot can run, walk, trot and kick all while staying upright. Spot can be programmed to work day in and day out for you and is marketed to companies for security, safety, and site monitoring.
Resembling something out of the Transformers, this powerful robot was recently brought to life in Japan. It is rideable and user operated, billed as “the world’s first giant boarding robot.” (Wikipedia) It is over twelve feet tall, weighs five tons, and has on it a BB Gatling Cannon that can shoot six thousand bullets per minute.
It’s official: we have invented a robot for the most common of household chores. Developed in America and released in 2012, this machine has the one purpose: no more folding laundry. This machine lets you fold and iron an entire load of laundry in less time than it takes to make a cup of coffee.
Small and light, these tiny robots can fly, jump, and stand on water. Developed by the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard, these machines are being used for surveillance, communication, environmental studies and emergency response. Some insect robots have the ability to lift up to twenty two times their own weight, while others are used to gather data from the environment to protect our land and farms.
What does the future hold?
The future potential of robotics engineering is great and vast. Each day, more innovation is making work safer and more efficient for companies while saving time and improving accuracy. We can expect that many manufacturing jobs that were previously done by humans will be taken over by robotics in the future. With the dawn of artificial intelligence and machine learning, the robots of tomorrow will most likely be in both the work and home environments, making our lives easier and leaving more time for leisure. While robotics will never replace the creativity of the human mind, these new engineering innovations will continue to improve automations and manufacturing.