Robots: What are robots? Definition of robots and their applications.


Robotics technology

Robotics is an interdisciplinary field of science and engineering that aims to design, build and operate functional robots. Our guide will give you a clear understanding of robotics, including the different types of robots and how they are used across industries.

Overview of Robots Types of Robots How do robots work? Examples of Robots History of Robots

A summary of robots

A robotic arm

Robotics is a multi-tasking field that focuses on creating machines that can perform different tasks efficiently.

What are robots?

Robotics is the intersection of science, engineering and technology to produce machines called robots, which imitate or replace human actions. Popular culture has long been fascinated by robots, examples of which include R2-D2, the Terminator, and WALL-E. These exaggerated human perceptions of robots often seem like a depiction of real robots. But do they have more advanced thoughts than we realize? Robots are gaining cognitive and behavioral capabilities that make the possibility of a machine like R2-D2 impossible in the future.

What is a robot?

A robot is a programmable machine that can complete a task, while the term robotics describes the field of study that focuses on the development of robotics and automation. Each robot has a different level of autonomy. These levels range from human-controlled robots that perform tasks to fully autonomous robots that perform tasks without any external influence.

As technology advances, so does the range of so-called robots. In 2005, 90% of robots were assembling cars in car factories. In fact, these robots are made of reliable arms that have the task of welding or screwing certain parts of the car.

Today, we see an evolving and expanding definition of robotics that includes the development, production and use of robots that achieve tasks such as surveying the world’s most challenging environments, assisting law enforcement, facilitating surgical procedures and performing rescue operations.

Description of Robots

While the world of robots as a whole is growing, robots have constant characteristics:

Robots have another type of mechanical construction. The role of a robot is to help it perform tasks in the environment it is designed for. For example, the wheels of the Mars 2020 Rover are individually steered and made of titanium tubes that help it to grip the hard surface of the Red Planet.

Robots require electrical components that control and power the machines. In fact, electricity – a battery for example – is needed to power most robots.

Robots have at least some level of computer programming. Without a set of code that tells it what to do, a robot would be just another simple machine. Programming a robot gives it the ability to know when and how work is done.

We are bound to see the promise of the robotics industry sooner rather than later, as artificial intelligence and software continue to advance. In the near future, thanks to the advancement of this technology, robots will continue to become more intelligent, flexible and energy efficient. They will also continue to be a key factor in smart factories, tackling critical challenges and helping to secure global supply chains.

The robotics industry is full of the wonderful promise of advancements that science fiction has only ever dreamed of. From the depths of our oceans to thousands of miles into space, robots will be found doing jobs that humans would never dream of doing on their own.

The origin of the robot’s name

The word “robot” comes from the Czech word “robota”, which means “forced labor”. The term first appeared in the 1920 game R.U.R., about the game’s protagonists being mass-produced workers unable to think creatively.

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Types of robots

Mechanical robots come in different shapes and sizes to be able to do the job they are designed for. All robots are different in design, functionality and degree of autonomy. From the 0.2-millimeter-tall RoboBee to the 200-meter-long robotic cargo ship Vindskip, robots are emerging to perform tasks that humans cannot.

There are five different types of robots that perform tasks based on their capabilities. Below is an outline of these types and what they do.

Pre-programmed robots

Preprogrammed robots operate in a controlled environment performing simple, fun tasks. An example of a preprogrammed robot is an arm that works on an automobile assembly line. A hand does one job—welding a door, putting a part in an engine, etc.—and its job is to do that job longer, faster, and more efficiently than a human.

Humanoid robots

Humanoid robots are robots that resemble or imitate human behavior. These robots often perform human-like activities (such as running, jumping, and carrying objects), and are sometimes designed to look like us, even with human faces and expressions. Two prominent examples of humanoid robots are Sophia from Hanson Robotics and Atlas from Boston Dynamics.

Autonomous robots

Autonomous robots operate without human operators. These robots are often designed to perform tasks in open spaces that do not require human attention. They are unique because they use sensors to see the world around them, and then use decision-making infrastructure (usually a computer) to make the next move based on the data and their goals. Another example of an autonomous robot is the Roomba vacuum cleaner, which uses sensors to roam freely around the home.

Examples of autonomous robots

  • Cleaning robots (eg, Roomba)
  • Robotic lawn mowers
  • Reception robots
  • Autonomous drones
  • Assistive medical robots
  • Remotely operated robots

Remote robots are autonomous robots that use wireless networks to enable humans to control humans remotely. These robots often operate in extreme environments, weather conditions and conditions. Examples of remote-controlled robots include human-controlled boats used to repair leaking pipelines during the BP oil spill or drones used to detect landmines on the battlefield.

Growing robots

Augmented robots, also known as virtual reality robots, can enhance existing human capabilities or replace capabilities that humans may have lost. The field of robotics to enhance human capabilities is where science fiction may soon be, with robots having the potential to redefine the definition of humanity by making humans faster and stronger. Some examples of augmented robots are artificial robots or exoskeletons used to lift heavy metals.

What is a robot? What are software robots?

Software bots, also called bots, are computer programs that perform automated tasks. Another common use case for software bots is the chatbot. A chatbot is a computer program that simulates a conversation on the Internet and over the phone and is often used in customer service. Chatbots can be simple services that answer questions with an automated response or complex digital assistants that learn from user input.

Types of robots

  • Chatbots: Have simple conversations, usually in the customer service area.
  • Spam Bots: Collect email addresses and send spam.
  • Download Bots: Download programs and applications automatically.
  • Search Engine Crawler Bots: Crawl websites and make them visible to search engines.
  • Monitoring bots: report on site speed and status.

Software bots are only available on the Internet and come from within the computer, which means they are not considered robots. To be considered a robot, the device must have a physical structure, such as a body or chassis.

How do robots work?

Autonomous robots

Autonomous robots are able to operate independently and without the control of a human operator. These often require extensive programming but allow robots to replace humans in dangerous, mundane or impossible tasks, from bomb loading and deep sea travel to factories. Autonomous robots have proven to be the most disruptive to society, as they eliminate certain jobs but also provide new opportunities for growth.

Interactive robots

Connected robots are autonomous robots that interact with humans to enhance and complement their existing actions. This is a new type of technology and it is constantly being expanded to include new tools, but another type of robot slaves achieved by advanced prosthetics controlled by the human mind.

A famous example of a follower robot was created by Johns Hopkins APL in 2018 for Johnny Matheny, a patient whose arm was amputated above the elbow. Matheny was fitted with a modular prosthesis so that researchers could study its use over time. The MPL is controlled by electromyography, or signals sent from the amputated limb that control the prosthesis. Over time, Matheny became adept at controlling the MPL and the signals sent by his amputated limb became smaller and weaker, resulting in more precision in his movements and allowing Matheny doing sensitive tasks such as playing the piano.

What are the main features of a robot?

Robots are designed to provide solutions to different needs and fulfill many different purposes, therefore, they need different specialized features to complete these tasks.

  • Control system: The central processing unit that manages the robot’s mission at a higher level.
  • Sensors: A component that provides electrical signals to allow the robot to interact with the world.
  • Actuators: The electrical components responsible for the movement of the robot.
  • Power source: A battery that powers the robot.
  • End result: The external parts of the robot that allow it to complete a task.

However, there are several important components in the construction of each robot, such as a power source or central processing unit. In general, robotics categories fall into the following five categories:

Management system

The reading process includes all the components that make up the central part of the robot’s operation, which is often called its control system. Control systems are designed to tell the robot how to use its specific parts, in some ways similar to the way the human brain sends signals throughout the body, in order to complete tasks. some work. These robotic tasks can include anything from minimally invasive surgery to line packing.


Sensors provide the robot with stimuli in the form of electrical signals that are processed by the controller and allow the robot to interact with the outside world. Common sensors found in robots include video cameras that act as eyes, photoresists that respond to light, and microphones that act as ears. These sensors allow the robot to take in its environment and deal with the most reasonable decision based on the current moment and allow the controller to transmit commands to other parts.


A device can only be considered a robot if it has a moving frame or body. Actuators are the components responsible for this movement. These components contain actuators that receive signals from the control system and move in tandem to make the movement required to complete the task at hand. Actuators can be made of different materials, such as metal or rubber, and are usually driven by compressed air (pneumatic actuators) or oil (hydraulic actuators), but they come in different shapes to fulfill their functions. unique.

Power supply

Just as the human body needs food to function, robots need energy. Passive robots, such as those found in factories, can run on AC power through a wall outlet, but most often, robots run on an internal battery. Many robots use lead acid batteries for their safety and longevity, while others may use silver cadmium batteries which are smaller but also more expensive. Safety, weight, replaceability, and cycle life are important factors to consider when designing a power supply for a robot.

Other possible sources for the development of future robots also include wind power from compressed gases, solar power, hydraulic power, flywheel energy storage, organic waste through digestion of anaerobic digestion and nuclear energy.

Final results

The end result is the physical and often external parts that allow robots to perform their tasks. Factory robots often have flexible tools such as sprayers and drills, surgical robots can have scalpels, and some types of robots can be built with claws or hands to do tasks like moving, packing, loading bombs, and more.

Examples of robots

  • Roomba vacuum robot

Robots are rapidly infiltrating all aspects of our lives, including the home. 

Use of robots

Robots have a wide range of applications that make them the perfect technology for the future. Soon, we will see robots almost everywhere. We will see them in hospitals, hotels and even on the roads.

Robotics tools

  • Conservation: fighting forest fires.
  • Manufacturing: Working in factories, receiving items and taking them to warehouses.
  • Friendship: Providing friendship to the elderly.
  • Health care: Help with surgeries.
  • Delivery: Fill the food in full and complete delivery.
  • Family: Sweeping and mowing the lawn.
  • Rescue: Conducting search and rescue operations after natural disasters.
  • Military missions: finding landmines in war zones.

Robots in manufacturing

The manufacturing industry is perhaps the oldest and most popular user of robots. These robots and cobots (humanoid robots) successfully test and assemble products, such as cars and industrial equipment. It is estimated that there are currently more than three million industrial robots in use.

Material robots

Robots for shipping, handling and quality control have become a necessity for many retailers and logistics companies. Because we now expect our packages to arrive faster, logistics companies are using robots in warehouses, and even on the road, to help increase turnaround time. Now, there are robots that take your items off the shelves, move them to the warehouse floor and pack them. In addition, the rise of the last bots (bots that will deliver your package to your door automatically) ensures that you will face a delivery robot soon.

Home robots

It is no longer science fiction. Robots can be seen everywhere in our homes, helping us with household chores, reminding us of our schedule and even entertaining our children. The most popular example of home robots is the Roomba autonomous vacuum cleaner. Additionally, robots have evolved to do everything from mowing lawns to cleaning swimming pools.

Travel robots

Is there anything more science fiction than self-driving cars? These self-driving cars are no longer just dreams. A combination of data science and robotics, autonomous vehicles are taking the world by storm. Companies like Tesla, Ford, Waymo, Volkswagen, and BMW are all working on the next wave of mobility that will allow us to sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride. Ride-sharing companies Uber and Lyft are also developing self-driving cars that don’t require a human to drive.

Healthcare robots

Robots have made great strides in healthcare. These mechanical marvels are used in almost every area of health, from robotics to robotics that help people recover from physical therapy injuries. Examples of robots working in healthcare include Toyota Healthcare Assistants, which help people regain mobility, and TUG, a robot designed to roam autonomously throughout a hospital and deliver something and another from medicine to clean linens.

Pharmaceutical companies have used robots to help fight the coronavirus. These robots are already being used to fill and seal COVID-19 test swabs, and are being used by other manufacturers to produce protective equipment and respirators.

A history of robots

Humans have been thinking about robots since ancient civilizations incorporated myths and beliefs of “thinking machines” into their societies and invented the water age. Robots have changed a lot since the days of the Greeks, Romans and Egyptians, but their history is very long. Here are some of the most important events that shaped the history of robotics.

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