The term “robot” was first used in a science fiction theatre play that premiered in 1921. A century later, robotics is no longer a futuristic concept; it is now a part of our everyday lives. From domestic to industrial robotics, the use of robots in our daily lives simplifies our tasks at home and work. Many people appreciate it when their Roomba vacuums the entire house or when the kitchen robot assists them in making dinner, but the truth is that the use of robots goes much further and has resulted in significant progress in fields such as medicine, education, physics, and chemistry. Let’s look at a few of them:
Domestic robots are increasingly being used to help people with household chores. Some of the most popular are robot vacuum cleaners and kitchen robots, but we now have robots that cut the lawn in the garden or clean the bottom of the pool, robots that clean our windows or even iron our clothes, though the latter are still very expensive and take up a lot of space. Furthermore, robotics has enabled home automation (heating, lights, blinds, or security systems).
Another common application of robotics is in industrial processes, notably in the automotive industry and other assemblies by parts. Industrial robots can move large boxes and pieces in this case. They can also modify these pieces by assembling and disassembling them, welding or melting them, among other things. Industrial robots can place batteries and connect them, package and label products, perform recycling processes, and so on. Robotics can do all of this faster and more precisely than humans, but most importantly, in a safer manner, because the weight of some parts can cause falls and serious workplace accidents. Thus, robots maintain the physical aspects of the processes, while humans oversee them.
Robots are an excellent tool for health professionals, both in diagnostic tasks and in treatment, rehabilitation, and human assistance. Some robots can make diagnoses very quickly because they are very good at identifying patterns, collecting data, and relating all information. Some robots can perform tasks that a doctor’s hand may not be able to do precisely, which makes them very useful during surgical interventions. Some robots assist the elderly, people with limited mobility, or those with special needs, as well as robotic arms and legs for those who have lost a limb. In short, the combination of robotics and medicine offers more and more possibilities for chasing the same goal: to improve people’s lives and health.
Physics & Chemistry
In the field of physics, robots have been vital in performing tasks that would be challenging for a human to perform. We’re talking about space robots, which can live in space and transport objects used in space missions, monitor space stations, or walk on the terrain, allowing humans to explore these territories from a safe distance. In chemistry, the precision of robots has been critical in the manufacture and packaging of chemicals that require a high level of accuracy, which is difficult for humans. One of the tasks performed by robots in this field, for example, is sample dissolution, even though it is a type of collaborative robot that requires extensive supervision by specialized personnel.
Finally, the use of robotics in schools is becoming more common, as it is a resource that allows students to engage in a wide range of subjects (mathematics, natural science, social science, technology, arts, etc.) in a fun and game-like environment. Furthermore, because the use of robots in class is associated with project learning, children can improve social skills such as teamwork. These projects also encourage students’ imagination and creativity, force them to constantly strive and think, and boost their confidence and self-esteem as they overcome new challenges.
In a Nutshell
Robots continue to evolve constantly and every day they are more prepared. As a result, in addition to the most common applications that we have seen, many other fields are already introducing robotics in small tasks or have prototypes that still require development time but will be used daily in a few years. The agricultural sector, for example, already uses aerial robots to collect useful information about the terrain and crops, but will soon be able to use ground robots in the form of tractors to help increase production levels.
The common feature of all the uses of robotics is the simplification of tasks for human beings and the improvement of our daily life thanks to this technology. However, like any technological progress, the extended use of robots has both positive and negative aspects. For this reason, it is very important to learn to make conscious and responsible use of robots, to think about their uses, and to understand their functioning, in addition to training from an ethical point of view allowing the positive coexistence of humans and robots.
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