While there is no official definition of what a robot constitutes, most roboticists consider them to be machines that move or has moving parts and can make basic decisions while interacting with the world. Therefore, the vacuum cleaner that you leave at home cleaning your home while you are at work is a robot. This is because it senses the world around it and makes the driving decisions as it sweeps and sucks.
However, a washing machine is not a robot because you tell it how to wash when and the choose the cycle and it gets on with the job. There are various grey areas when it comes to robots and the definition is debated but let’s leave it here. Below are some of the ways that robots are being used in today’s world.
Medical training robots
A good number of paramedics, doctors and nurses are now train on robot patients. These training robots have the capability of simulating various health conditions and giving students the chance to practice diagnosis as well as treatment of a variety of medical conditions before they are fully equipped to treat a real patient. You can think of medical training robots as the flight simulators used by airline pilots during flight training.
While some medical training robots are more specialized and might be representative of just one part of a person, others look like a person and are life-sized.
Food sorting robots
The agriculture industry is using robotic machines with lightning-fast vision systems to sort grains in warehouses. Rice sorting robotic machines are considered to be the miracles of automation because most people don’t have a clue that they exist. If you thought rice grows as uniformly in color and shape as it appears in bags, then you are mistaken.
Every grain of rice passes through robotic machines that use very high-speed computers, cameras and lights. The computer analyzes each grain of rice and a decision as per its grade is made. Grains are flicked or steered into the correct bin using jets of air that are turned on and off by the machine. This process happens a hundred times per second.
However, rice is not the only food that is sorted using robotic machines, they also sort seeds, wheat and pulses. For this reason, the food-sorting market continues to grow at a rapid rate.
Poison extracting robots
Most pharmaceuticals use scorpion venom as one of the ingredients in making medications that prevents malaria of suppress the immune system. While the extraction of venom from scorpions is obviously quite dangerous and to humans, it is the perfect job for robotic machines.
A plethora of items sold at large stores are partially moved by a robot or robots from where they were manufactured to where people purchase them from. Large containers at ports are mostly handled by giant robotic machines on wheels also known as straddle carriers. These machines move them around, unstack and then restack them. Once they are ready for transportation, they are automatically loaded onto trucks that carry containers for road transport.
Similarly, a lot of warehouses also use mobile robots. A good example of such is the retail giant Amazon which many of its warehouses are specifically built for mobile robots that have the ability to transport shelf units autonomously.
Most people don’t know this but there are robotic machines that are used down the sewer. Many cities around the world are experiencing major problems with fatbergs. For this reason, sewer maintenance and regular inspections are more important than ever. Therefore, dome inspection workers now use robots to assist in their difficult job.
While we have only listed five ways in which robots assist humans in various fields, there are still a dozen more ways in which they are likely to affect your life in a positive way if they haven’t already. The point is, the upcoming revolution that media is talking about is already here.