Robotics used to be something that seemed only to exist in the world of science fiction. But nowadays it is becoming more and more commonplace. We are starting to use robotics in various different aspects of our lives, and you might not realise how many of the goods and services that you use are dependent on robots. These are some of the latest innovations in the world of robotics.
Robotic Vision is a huge leap forward in the technology that industries are using to manufacture goods. It is being used primarily in the automotive industry as it allows for more precise construction of cars. Using cameras and lenses, the robots can now see the various components for themselves and so if there is any fluctuations in sizes, the robot can react to this in the same way that a human would. This means that cars are built better and more safely, without the need for a human to constantly monitor the robots that are putting them together.
Collaborative robots can refer to robots working together with one another, or robots that can work alongside humans. Chinese automotive manufacturers have recently developed a production line that combines robotic welding with other robotic arms that hold the pieces of the car in place. Using this method they can perform 4,000 different welding operations in just under a minute and a half.
Collaborations can also be in the form of human/robot hybrids. Some areas of manufacture still need to be carried out by a human at the moment. But that doesn’t mean that robotics cannot be useful. The development of a robotic arm that fits over the human hand, is helping to take the stress out of physically demanding tasks. It adds an extra 10 pounds of force to the wearer and can help to avoid repetitive strain injuries on a production line.
Robotics are increasingly being used in healthcare. Scientists at the University of California have developed a Robotic Pharmacist that could help save millions for hospitals around the world. It is able to dispense medication as well as administering injections. It has been operational since 2011 and has a perfect record for giving out medications. If this were to be rolled out across the world, it could free up a huge amount of time for doctors who would no longer need to book an appointment for each injection they need to give.
Work is also being done on technology that can take the burden off nurses by carrying out all of their note taking, and organising the large amount of patient information that they need to assess.
Transport is another area that is being revolutionised by robotics. The first self-driving car is already on sale and the technology is being developed for trains, buses and aeroplanes as well. Aeroplanes are already automated for the most part, the pilots are just responsible for take-off and landing. It would be possible to automate them completely right now, although the general public are not accepting of the idea of a self-flying plane.