Understanding The Fields And Types Of Robots

Robots are machines that help make the lives of humans so much easier. They can perform difficult tasks with ease. With speed, strength, and the ability to perform repetitive tasks without getting bored, they have revolutionized many industries. With many companies such as cnc robotics producing useful robots that constantly improve lives, it is important to understand the different types of robots.

Types Of Robots

There are a wide number of robots with varying designs, sizes, and functions. Essentially, there are five main types of robots

1. Pre-Programmed Robots

These are robots that perform simple tasks that are often monotonous. They majorly function in controlled environments. This is to make it possible for the robots to perform the tasks evenly, uniformly, and precisely.

A mechanical arm is a good example of a pre-programmed robot. It is mainly used in assembly lines in the automotive industry. 

These arms are usually specific to their tasks such that they perform a single task. For instance, if an arm had the function of welding certain parts, it will not be used to pick up and place items. 

Pre-programmed robots are exceptionally fast and efficient in their task performance. They can perform significantly better than humans, which is why they are so commonly used. 

2. Humanoid Robots

These are robots that resemble and imitate humans in their looks or behavior. They can perform human-like activities such as carrying various items and moving in manners similar to humans. For instance, they can run, climb, and jump. Some look very human-like even in their facial expressions.

3. Autonomous Robots

These are independent robots that can function without any assistance from humans. This means that they can operate without any supervision from humans. The tasks they perform tend to be in open environments.

They have unique sensors which allow them to interact with the external environment and make logical conclusions. This ultimately allows them to take steps based on these conclusions. A good example of such a robot would be a robotic vacuum cleaner. It uses sensors that allow it to roam freely, without any supervision, throughout a home. 

4. Teleoperated Robots

These are robots that are only partially independent. They can be controlled by a human from a distance. Usually, they are connected by a wireless network, which allows for remote control.

These types of robots are useful in extreme conditions such as harsh weather, geographical regions, or circumstances.

Some examples of teleoperated robots include submarines. These can be operated remotely and used to fix any leaks in pipes underwater.

5. Augmenting Robots

These kinds of robots perform tasks that humans cannot and in some cases they are can replace tasks that humans have lost the ability to perform.

This type of robotic is evolving very quickly. The types of augmenting robots are redefining society by giving them a new scope of possibilities and abilities. Examples of augmenting robots are seen in many robotic prosthetic limbs or exoskeletons. These are designed to be very strong and can be used to hefty weights.

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Fields Of Robotics

Robotics is a sophisticated science and technological field. Engineers and scientists work to create better robots to serve various tasks. There are five main categories in robotics. Let’s take a closer look.

1. Operator interface

This is the part of the robot that allows for a human and the robot to communicate. It is also referred to as a human-robot interface. Through it, an operator can issue pre-programmed commands. The robot will function bass in these commands. If the operator interface isn’t working properly then the robot won’t function properly.

A good example of a human-robot interface (HRI) is a gaming controller. It allows the user to issue and it can also act upon the instructions given. HRI designs need to be intuitive for efficient and effective communication with users.

2. Mobility Or Locomotion 

Robots can only function effectively if they can move and interact with their surrounding environment. Locomotion is the robot’s ability to move. 

The way a robot moves will depend on its design and purpose. There are many ways a robot can be engineered to move. For instance, there are humanoid robots that mimic human anatomy and movement. Others such as pre-programmed can be used on assembly lines. There are robots, such as drones, that use propellers and other forms of propulsion to fly. Robots that are used in harsh geographical environments can be designed to navigate them with ease. For instance, creating large wheels for a robot deployed to Mars. 

3. Manipulators And Effectors

Robots are designed to perform tasks on behalf of humans. To do this, they need to be able to interact with the environment around them. This is why manipulators and effectors are important. 

They can pick up and transfer objects to another location. Some robots have effectors that look like hands, that have grippers that look like fingers. Other forms of effectors look like pincers, claws, or pushers. They all have their unique uses such as moving heavy objects. 

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4. Programming

A robot can not function without a programming language to control it. A program tells the robot what to do and essentially sets it apart from other types of machinery.

In recent times, there have been programs designed to allow robots to learn and adapt. They can take cues from the surrounding environment and interpret and respond to them.

The commands given can be interpreted by the control system. Commands can be pre-programmed or issued in real-time but it generally doesn’t matter as long as the robot responds as it ought to.

5. Sensing And Perception 

A robot can interact and interpret cues from its environment through sensors. So essentially, robots can gather external information from which they will draw logical conclusions. The control system will then give it the signals which will allow it to respond accordingly. 

Sensors need to be specific to the robot’s design and purpose. This will ensure that the robot makes the right decisions and conclusions.

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Wrapping Up

There are many concepts to be understood in robotics. The field is wide and constantly evolving. However, some essentials can help make concepts clear.

Robots are useful and they are particularly useful because of the many tasks that they help humans perform.

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