A smallintroduction to robotics that gives you the basics about robotics.
Robotics is one of the leading educational fields in the contemporary world. Robotics means designing, constructing, operating and manufacturing ROBOTS. Robots have become very popular among us. Robots play a main role in industries and are also used in military purposes. Some are used to entertain too. This idea of a mechanical man has been in human mind from the BC’s. But the first introduction of robots in the 20th century was by Czech writer Karel Capek. He brought out his ideas through his Czech play “R.U.R” (Rossum’s Universal Robots) published in 1920. The terminology ROBOTS is also derived from this play. Science fiction writer Isaac Asimov was the person who used the word Robots in his 1941 science fiction play “Liar”. He was also the person who took much attention on robots and put forward the three laws of robotics.
Fully automated robots arrived only after 1950’s and was also of not much use. They were programmed to repeat a particular action continuously. They didn’t think or do any logical works. One of the pioneers was Unimate. It was first used in 1961 to lift hot metals from a casting machine. Even today such robots are used in manufacturing, assembling, packing and transport facilities. Advanced robots are used instead of man in many instances like space explorations, dirty and dangerous jobs, surgery, and military and in labs.
Robotics has its history from the first century A.D. Ancient Greek author Heron of Alexandria has mentioned about early robots in his two books “Pneumatica” and “Automata”. According to him an inventor called Ctesibius had invented more than 100 machines which worked by steam powered engines. Next evidence of robots in history comes in 1206. An inventor called Al-Jazari had invented an early independent humanoid (man – like robot) and an automated moving peacock. After Jazari the great Leornado Da Vinci designed a humanoid robot in 1495 called “Mechanical Knight.” It was one of his about thousand futuristic designs. After about 250 years a French inventor Jacques De Vaucanson invented the “Digesting Duck” in 1738. This was a robot in the form of a duck. It was famous for its digestive system. It was able to eat food digest it using some acids in its stomach and leave out waste matter. For people to see the interior of his duck Jacques made half of the duck’s body using transparent material.
After a very long history Czech playwright Karel Capek writes a play called Rossums Universal Robots. It was the first fiction to depict the humanoid robots. The word robot too was coined from this play which was staged in 1921. After this play robotics met a massive development. First real humanoid robot named “Elekro” was exhibited at the World’s Fair in 1939 and 1940 by Westinghouse Electric Corporation. Robots similar to Jacques’s duck were invented in 1948 called Elsie and Elmer by William Grey and Walter. Then came the first big machine for the industries named “UNIMATE”. It was invented in 1956 by a company founded by George Devol and Joseph Engelberger. The same company invented PUMA (Programmable Universal Manipulation Arm) in 1975 and it also served the purpose of its forerunner. The latest member of the robotics world is M – 2000iA, an industrial robot invented by FANUC robotics America in 2009. It is known to be the largest and strongest robot in the industry.
For a robot to function it needs a power supply and it comes in different ways. Most robots use compressed gases (Pneumatic) as a power source. And another common method is the Hydraulics which is used in many modern machines. Military purpose robots use human feces and other organic garbage as they can be easily obtained in a war field. Researchers are finding out methods to use nuclear energy and radioactive energy in robots.
At the present world robots have dominated our society and our industrial world. It will also dominate our future. So it is better to know about our machines before we make use of it. In the future robots will do all our works and it will even take care of your children and it will take them to school and bring them back safely. So it is in our duty to make maximum use of it while being secured from the dangers from it.