Heard a lot about artificial intelligence and robots right? But have you ever wondered how a robot works? Do they have any feelings and senses? We’ve seen robots in many movies and online. Well, everyone has a different picture of a robot in our mind. When most of us think of a robot, the picture that leaps into our mind is something like a humanoid.Most likely a fictional creature like R2-D2 or C-3PO from Star Wars.
It has movable parts just like us. Robots are basically man-made versions of animal life-machines that replicate animal and human life. Robots are a clever piece of work.Robots have replaced humans in the assistance of performing those repetitive and dangerous tasks which humans prefer not to do, or are unable to do due to size limitations, or even those such as in outer space or at the bottom of the sea where humans could not survive the extreme environments. Robots have now made man work easy. They have made our life simpler. The advancement of technology that deals with design, construction, operation, and application of robots as well as computer systems for their control, sensory feedback, and information processing is robotics.
How a robot moves and responds to the world is the most important thing about it. Intelligent machines that sense and think but don’t move or respond hardly qualify as robots; they’re really just computers. Action is a much more complex problem than it might seem, both in humans and machines. In humans, the sheer number of muscles, tendons, bones, and nerves in our limbs make coordinated, accurate body control a logistical nightmare. There’s nothing easier than lifting your hand to scratch your nose—your brain makes it seem too easy—but if we try to replicate this sort of behaviour in a machine, we instantly realize how difficult it is. That’s one reason why, until relatively recently, virtually all robots moved around on wheels rather than fully articulated human legs. Many of today’s robots are inspired by nature contributing to the field of bio-inspiredrobotics.
Almost all robots have a movable body. Some only have motorized wheels, and others have dozens of movable segments, typically made of metal or plastic. Robots spin wheels and pivot jointed segments with some sort ofactuator. Some robots use electric motors and solenoids as actuators; some use a hydraulic system; and some use a pneumatic system (a system driven by compressed gases). Robots may use all these actuator types. The actuators are all wired to an electrical circuit. The circuit powers electrical motors and solenoids directly, and it activates the hydraulic system by manipulating electrical valves. The valves determine the pressurized fluid’s path through the machine. To move a hydraulic leg, for example, the robot’s controller would open the valve leading from the fluid pump to a piston cylinder attached to that leg. The pressurized fluid would extend the piston, swivelling the leg forward. Typically, in order to move their segments in two directions, robots use pistons that can push both ways. The robot’s computer controls everything attached to the circuit. To move the robot, the computer switches on all the necessary motors and valves. Most robots are reprogrammable — to change the robot’s behaviour, you simply write a new program to its computer. These are the basics of robotics. All robots contain some level of computer programming code. A program is how a robot decides when or how to do something. In the caterpillar track example, a robot that needs to move across a muddy road may have the correct mechanical construction, and receive the correct amount of power from its battery, but would not go anywhere without a program telling it to move. Programs are the core essence of a robot, it could have excellent mechanical and electrical construction, but if its program is poorly constructed its performance will be very poor or it may not perform at all. There are three different types of robotic programs: remote control, artificial intelligence and hybrid. A robot with remote control programing has a pre-existing set of commands that it will only perform if and when it receives a signal from a control source, typically a human being with a remote control. It is perhaps more appropriate to view devices controlled primarily by human commands as falling in the discipline of automation rather than robotics. Robots that use artificial intelligence interact with their environment on their own without a control source, and can determine reactions to objects and problems they encounter using their pre-existing programming. Hybrid is a form of programming that incorporates both AI and RC functions.
The next generation of robots will feel and act more like humans. There will be a time when we won’t be able to differentiate between a man and robot just by looking at it. Embedded sensors will allow to react naturally. Suppose you touch a robot, it will feel your touch and respond. Well, this can be done by engineers. They aim to make such robots in the coming future. Let’s hope to see our future brighter and better with this technology!