Robotics is an interdisciplinary study field at the interface of science and technology. Robotics entails the study, design, construction, testing, and use of robotics. The main goal of robotics is to create intelligent machines that can help humans in their everyday lives and keep everyone secure.
Today's robots can do more than perform simple jobs. Still, with the proper training, they can even think and reason along with their owners, perform complex tasks such as welding and soldering, and even diagnose the causes of accidents. Robotic technology is the application of technology to solve problems through mechanical and artificial intelligence, coupled with precise timing and knowledge of human behavior. Artificial intelligence refers to how an artificial system works depending on data provided and how it operates with its operator's knowledge. It is also part of a system that learns from its experiences and environment and adapts to the real world's changing situations. Thus far, the most common uses of robotic systems are in the industry, such as in manufacturing, medicine, agriculture, construction, transportation, and robotics.
Robotics research deals with the use of robots in everyday life. For example, a group at Michigan University has developed a computer software program called Arlo, intended to navigate the maze obstacle course used in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency competition. Arlo will navigate the competition robots, saving humans from getting accidentally dropped off the course and ending up needing to find their way back to base. Similarly, another group at Stanford University has developed a voice activation system for artificially intelligent Robotic Unmanned Aerial Vehicle vehicles (RUAVs) called Pepper.
Another application of robotics technologies is automation, which involves using robotics to assist humans in carrying out specific tasks. This can be used for picking plants in a garden, opening a locked door, or emptying garbage cans. Another application areas are military applications. Robotic armors can pick up dead soldiers from battlefields and distribute them to friendly medical centers.
The uses of industrial robots are endless. Robotic welding is being used for welding together heavy pieces of metal. Likewise, industrial robots are used in distribution, such as picking and packing merchandise at a warehouse. Also, robotic vacuum cleaners have been used to clean floors and clear gutters and downspouts from debris.
The future of manufacturing robots will most likely focus on three specific fields - automotive, R&D, and palletizing/bagging. The automotive industry is looking toward automated trucks, cars, and eventually, self-driving cars. In the field of R&D, robotic engineers are developing new technologies for manufacturing, including self-driving vehicles and other machinery. And in the area of palletizing/bagging, some form of robotic packaging equipment is being utilized by several different industries.
Today, the United States is not fully equipped to deal with all of the robotics challenges, and there is a dire need for experts in this growing field. To be prepared for any unforeseen disasters or emergencies, the best professionals in the field must be adequately trained to work alongside humans and work with different equipment and technologies.