Modern robotics have come a long way. Whether or not they accurately reflect how the movies portray them is a different story.
It is now possible for robots to move out of labs and factories—to walk, roll, and jump with us, as they have grown both in intelligence and mechanical capability. All kinds of machinery and technology make up the world of robotics, today, even including artificial intelligence.
Drones, manufacturing equipment, and vehicles are all using robotic technology these days. But where did the idea for robotics come from? More importantly, where is it headed? Let’s take a look at the history of robotics, and what their future looks like.
History of Robotics
The word “robot” comes from the Czech word “robota”, meaning forced labor. That word is itself derived from the Proto-Slavic word “orbota”, meaning hard work. The term robot was originally introduced by Karel Capek in his 1920 play Rossumovi Univerzáln Roboti, which can be translated to “Rossum’s Universal Robots.” The play talked about a time when artificial organic humanoid robots were built, but they quickly grew dissatisfied, leading to a robot revolution and a new robot society.
In 1942, American writer Isaac Asimov used the term ”robotics” for the first time in a short story titled ”Runabout.” He suggested the “Three Laws of Robotics” as a guideline for all sci-fi robot characters in his stories.
- Robots cannot harm humans.
- Robots must obey their master, except when such orders could conflict with the 1st Law.
- Robots must protect their own existence as long as the first & second laws are not conflicted by its action.
In the 1950’s, the first modern robot was invented by George C. Devol. His developments led to the creation of the unimate robot which was the first industrial robot. In 1966, Charles Rosen and his team at the Stanford Research Institute developed a more advanced robot for industrial applications that they called “Shakey”. This new, far more advanced robot began what was a transcendent period of time for robotics.
Robots vs. Machines
While both machines and robots have similarities, they are not the same. Machines are made up of mechanical and electrical parts that assist humans in task performance. Robots are machines that carry out tasks that they have been pre-programmed to do.
Robots tend to have cameras and sensors that increase their functionality. They are capable of sensing their environment with the help of these components. This gives robots a sense of artificial intelligence which helps them operate in a way that is similar to how a human would operate.
Decision-making also separates robots from machines. A robot is characterized as being autonomous to some extent, meaning it is capable of making decisions. On the other hand, an ordinary machine is not capable of such decision making.
Future of Robotics
Without counting its military applications, robots have certainly benefited our commercial industries in recent years. This allows most devices, appliances, transportation, and processed foods to be manufactured efficiently and inexpensively. Scientists are working on efforts to automate manufacturing even further, with robots taking the place of humans in an increasing number of manufacturing processes.
We are already seeing the next big application of robotics, which will focus on self-driving cars and vehicle automation. Soon, these vehicles will be reliable enough for humans to trust them, and they will be able to drive safely and consistently.
In the near future, robots that resemble humans more will be developed by robotics engineers. The hair on their heads and their skin may even be embedded with sensors that respond automatically to the surroundings.
The holy grail of robotics lies in the creation of what is known as Von Neumann machines—named after the mathematician who envisioned them back in the late 1940s. These are basically robots that might be able to build and repair themselves in the future.
Asylon takes Robotics seriously!
Asylon is all about robotics and security. We use cutting-edge technology that is a combination of AI, software, drones, and robots to build an efficient and effective security protocol for your facility. Apart from the standard implementation of robotic security operations and training, our engineers and security experts deliver 24/7 remote monitoring and assistance.
Reach out to us today to see how you can leverage our aerial drones, robot dogs, and automation platform to have the most advanced security system.