What is Robotics
Robotics is an interdisciplinary branch of engineering and science that includes mechanical engineering, electronic engineering, information engineering, computer science, and others. Robotics deals with the design, construction, operation, and use of robots, as well as computer systems for their control, sensory feedback, and information processing.
These technologies are used to develop machines that can substitute for humans and replicate human actions. Robots can be used in many situations and for lots of purposes, but today many are used in dangerous environments (including bomb detection and deactivation), manufacturing processes, or where humans cannot survive (e.g. in space). Robots can take on any form but some are made to resemble humans in appearance. This is said to help in the acceptance of a robot in certain replicative behaviors usually performed by people. Such robots attempt to replicate walking, lifting, speech, cognition, and basically anything a human can do. Many of today’s robots are inspired by nature, contributing to the field of bio-inspired robotics.
History of robots
The history of robotics has its origins in the ancient world. The modern concept began to be developed with the onset of the Industrial Revolution, which allowed the use of complex mechanics, and the subsequent introduction of electricity. This made it possible to power machines with small compact motors. In the early 20th century, the notion of a humanoid machine was developed. Today, one can envisage human-sized robots with the capacity for near-human thoughts and movement.
The first uses of modern robots were in factories as industrial robots – simple fixed machines capable of manufacturing tasks which allowed production with less need for human assistance. Digitally controlled industrial robots and robots using artificial intelligence have been built since the 2000s.
Types Of Robots
There are six main types of industrial robots: cartesian, SCARA, cylindrical, delta, polar and vertically articulated. However, there are several additional types of robot configurations. Each of these types offers a different joint configuration. The joints in the arm are referred to as axes.
These are also called rectilinear or gantry robots. Cartesian robots have three linear joints that use the Cartesian coordinate system (X, Y, and Z). They also may have an attached wrist to allow for rotational movement. The three prismatic joints deliver a linear motion along the axis.
Commonly used in assembly applications, this selectively compliant arm for robotic assembly is primarily cylindrical in design. It features two parallel joints that provide compliance in one selected plane.
The robot has at least one rotary joint at the base and at least one prismatic joint to connect the links. The rotary joint uses a rotational motion along the joint axis, while the prismatic joint moves in a linear motion. Cylindrical robots operate within a cylindrical-shaped work envelope.
These spider-like robots are built from jointed parallelograms connected to a common base. The parallelograms move a single EOAT in a dome-shaped work area. Heavily used in the food, pharmaceutical, and electronic industries, this robot configuration is capable of delicate, precise movement.
Also called spherical robots, in this configuration the arm is connected to the base with a twisting joint and a combination of two rotary joints and one linear joint. The axes form a polar coordinate system and create a spherical-shaped work envelope.
This robot design features rotary joints and can range from simple two joint structures to 10 or more joints. The arm is connected to the base with a twisting joint. The links in the arm are connected by rotary joints. Each joint is called an axis and provides an additional degree of freedom, or range of motion. Industrial robots commonly have four or six axes.