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By Angela Betsaida B. Laguipo, BSN, RN
A robot is a machine which has the ability to carry out complex actions and movements automatically. Robots play important roles in society, with the aim of making the lives of humans easier.
What is Robotics?
Robotics is a branch of science and technology that deals with the conception, design, construction, manufacture, and operation of robots. This field goes hand in hand with other fields, such as computer science, mechatronics, electronics, artificial intelligence, bioengineering, and nanotechnology.
The word robot comes from the term, “robota”, which means “forced labor or work”. Typically, robots are machines that perform actions that are normally performed by humans, either through the remote control or automatically.
Importance of Robots in Life
Currently, the role of robots is to take over hard and dangerous jobs. Jobs that are repetitive and need great precision are the ones robots are good at. There’s no room for human error in these jobs. Since robots are machines and computer-controlled, all the calculations of each movement are accurate.
For instance, a job requires tightening one screw on an appliance over and over, day after day, for weeks, and years. Routine work like this is better off performed by robots than by humans. Most robots perform repetitive actions that need precision. Robots are used in factories to build equipment and devices, such as cars and electronics. Today, robots aren’t just used for dangerous jobs, but also in various applications that help mankind.
Roles Robots Play in Human Lives
Robots play important roles in the lives of humans as it is used in many applications.
In the world of medicine, robots have played imperative roles. For instance, robots help the surgeon do precise movements and work, even with shaky hands. Robotic surgery is now being used worldwide to assist doctors during surgical procedures.
Computer-assisted surgical systems or robotically-assisted surgical (RAS) devices are used for pre-operative planning and surgical navigation during operations. The RAS enables the surgeon to use a computer and software technology to control and maneuver instruments through a small incision in the patient’s body.
Due to robotic surgery, doctors can facilitate minimally-invasive surgery, access hard-to-reach areas in the body and assist with complex tasks.
Rehabilitation robotics and prosthetics are increasingly becoming popular. Today, these robots can now think and able to interact directly with humans, through sensing neural and environmental signals, triggering movements in response. Rehabilitative robots help humans who lost limbs to move as if they still have their arms or legs. Hence, these robots help people live normal lives, despite disabilities.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a term that involves the use of a computer to model or replicate intelligent behavior. Robotics today utilizes artificial intelligence, so they can perform tasks with minimal human intervention. This means they perform tasks automatically, without human control.
AI is the recreation or replication of the human thought process. This man-made machine contains human intellectual abilities, including the ability to learn just about anything, the ability to use language, formulate original ideas, and the ability to reason.
The use of robots in agriculture has gained popularity over the years. Robotics help overcome challenges and problems in farmlands. Precision agriculture, dubbed as precision farming, is a type of farm management based on the use of various technologies, including robots.
In farming, farmers no longer need to apply fertilizers, pesticides, and water across the fields. Machines and robotics can do this for the farmers at accurate levels, which can produce higher crop productivity, less runoff of chemicals into groundwater and rivers, and increased farmer safety.
Marine robotics has improved from navigation and control algorithms for surface and underwater vehicles. Now, robots are used to explore the oceans at an unprecedented scale, keeping scientists and engineers safe. These robots can also measure water pollution and the extent of coral damage in the world’s oceans.
Robots play important roles in society. Aside from that, they make the lives of humans easier and faster
- National Institute of Food and Agriculture. (2019). https://nifa.usda.gov/topic/agriculture-technology
- Roldan, J.J., del Cerro, J., Garzon-Ramos, D., Garcia-Aunon, P., Garzon, M., de Leon, J., and Barrientos, A. (2017). Robots in Agriculture: State of Art and Practical Experiences. IntechOpen. https://www.intechopen.com/books/service-robots/robots-in-agriculture-state-of-art-and-practical-experiences