AI News, The evolution of robots: From single-task machines to backflipping robots
- On Wednesday, October 10, 2018
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The evolution of robots: From single-task machines to backflipping robots
The history of robots combines the best of science fiction and real life technology.
And while science fiction often misses the mark, the history of robots actually owes quite a debt to science fiction masters like Isaac Asimov.
For our purposes, we’re going to define a robot as a machine that’s capable of carrying out routine or complex actions that are programmed by engineers.
Today, robots can be used for surgery, massage therapy, space exploration, manufacturing, and code analysis, but the earliest robots were far more primitive —
With this in mind, let’s get into the curious history of robots and how far we’ve come in the branch of robotics engineering.
The oldest example of the water clock, found in the tomb of Amenhotep I, dates as far back as 1500 BCE.
Rather, it was that the force of the water in the clock would bang gongs or strike bells on the hour with human figurines.
Archytas designed and built what’s now called The Pigeon, a mechanical bird that could be propelled into the air by using steam.
It was Lovelace who was able to recognize the machine’s applications and explain the machine’s function to the British establishment between 1842 and 1843.
Similar to modern automation in manufacturing and other industrial fields, these industrial robots would be programmed for a specific function as a means of replacing unskilled labor.
Shakey (1966), the Stanford Arm (1969), and the Silver Arm (1974) gave rise to Puma350 (1985) and CyberKnife (1992), which both served as innovative robotic technology in the medical field.
A product of AiTreat, a Singaporean startup, Emma is a one-armed robot engineered to provide massage therapy to human patients.
These automated machines replace repetitive manual labor to give humans the ability to learn new skills in the same field.
For instance, in the shipping industry it takes 15 seconds for the average employee to assemble a complete box (including bubble wrap, tape, and barcode) for shipping.
Automated machines are programmed to perform one action over and over and are used today in manufacturing, maritime exploration, space exploration, military, and commercialized agriculture.
Recent advancements in this field have led to software capable of preventing identity theft, producing relevant search queries for search engines, and cracking ciphers for the FBI.
Smart Homes have also been gaining traction because of their convenience and ability to save on utility bills, increase comfort, and improve security.
Up to 35% organizations in health, logistics, and utilities are expected to begin exploring the use of automated robots as soon as 2019.
Car accidents involving self-driven vehicles show the coexistence between impulsive human drivers and careful self-driving cars may be difficult.
Since the Soviet Union’s Mars 2 became Earth’s first interplanetary robot when it landed on Mars in 1971, engineers have been developing newer and greater technologies.
That being said, the innovations of new technology will continue to rapidly develop, but not necessarily in the way science fiction predicts.
Rather, breakthroughs in automation and programming will continue to improve what humans have been seeking to advance for years: communication, education, and life itself.
- On Sunday, January 20, 2019
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