You are at Topic Wiki - Robots -> Current uses of robots
This is a robot that has a combination of teleoperations and automatic control. They are robots that can be controlled from a distance using wireless connections such as:
- The Deep Space Network
- Tethered connection
- The Internet
Teleoperations and Telepresence are the major subfields of Telerobots. Teleoperations means "doing work at a distance" while Telepresence means "feeling like you are somewhere else". This means that one can operate the robot even if one is far away from the robot.
Thus, they are considered more capable robots than any other robots available as they can perform a larger class of tasks. Thus, the advantages of these robots are magnified and the limitations are minimised, as the right cooperative mix of human and automated agents for any given set of missions. They are useful in semi-structured to unstructured environment.
- Space exploration
- Biomedical areas
- Hazardous area exploration
The leader in this field is NASA. As they look to more distant stars, they need the help of Telerobots. They have been developing Telerobots that can conquer the many potential problems that the Telerobots can face in the space. Such development has extended to the usage of Telerobots under the water. There are two different types of Telerobots that have been useful for NASA; namely free-flying and platform attached Telerobots. 1
- Mars Exploration Rovers
- Hubble Space Telescope
- Remotely operated Vehicles (ROV), this has been used to explore the wreck of the Titanic
- Minimally invasive surgical systems - a surgeon can work inside the body through tiny holes just big enough for the manipulator, with no need to open up the chest cavity to allow hands inside. 2
In October 2004 RoboDynamics introduced MILO at the first annual RoboNexus conference in Santa Clara. MILO is a 3.5 foot tall Telepresence robot featuring an onboard PC and running Windows XP Pro and the RoboDynamics Platform SDK (RDP SDK). The RDP SDK is a robust real-time platform for distributed processing of various robotic tasks across local and wide area networks - enabling developers to create various telepresence applications that take advantage of Internet and other types of TCP/UDP networks.
Roomba Tools and Accessories
In January 2006 in collaboration with iRobot Corporation RoboDynamics launched RoombaDevTools.com, a comprehensive web resource for hacking and developing for the iRobot Roomba vacuum cleaner platform. RoombaDevTools.com contains information, forums, galleries, software, and products for Roomba developers. It allows developers and hackers to use Roomba as a mobile robotic platform by creating software and hardware application - in the form of Accessories for the Roobma. The website carries products from RoboDynamics as well as other vendors. 2
A domestic robot is a robot used for household chores. Thus far, there are only a few limited models; There are different types and classes:
- Low level: a basic home robot is any robot that can be used at home, including the entertainment robots, like AIBO((Artificial Intelligence roBOt), which is a electronic pet.
- Care and chore robots: used for household chores.
- The highest level robot is the domobot(domestic robot): used for household chores, autonomous and connected to a WiFi home network or smart environment.
- Toy robots include
o Sony's Aibo, a robot pet dog also used by many universities in the RoboCup autonomous soccer competition
o Robosapien, a small humanoid remote controlled robot
Care and chore robots:
- Scooba (by iRobot)
Robotic vacuum cleaners:
- CleanMate (by Infinuvo)
- IClebo (by Yujin Robot)
- Koolvac (by Koolatron)
- Orazio (by Zuchetti)
- Ottoro (by Hanool robotics)
- Roomba (by iRobot
- Dressman (by Siemens AG).
- Driron (by Fagor).
- RoboMower (by Friendly Robotics)
- The Husqvarna Automower
- Ambrogio by Zucchetti
Robots whose main object is social interaction (partner robots) include:
- Wakamaru (like the one below), a humanoid robot designed to provide company for the elderly and less mobile people, made by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, on sale from 2005
- Paro, a robot baby seal intended to provide comfort to nursing home patients
- PaPeRo, a robot designed by NEC to study robot-human interaction.
Transport is the main element in the domestic robotic system, (i.e. moving glasses from the table to the dishwasher):
In 2006 Sharp said it has developed a humanoid robot that clears dishes from the table and puts them into a dishwasher. The robot (measuring 95x50x45cm) opens the door of the dishwasher, takes hold of cups,bowls and plates and places them in the dishwasher. It can also recognise plastic and ceramic objects. 3
They are robots that are independent or remote-controlled machines designed just for military purposes. Military robots have been used since World War II and the Cold War in the form of Goliath tracked mines and the Soviet teletanks, though their uses were really limited as the machines can only do little or mundane tasks. Now, military robots are the advanced kinds as military contractors in the USA are developing independent robot soldiers. However, most of these robots look more like army tanks than soldiers.
- Dispose of dangerous explosive by All Purpose Remote Transport System (ARTS)
- Disarm or detonate Explosive
- Fire Fighting in fires that occurs at industrial plants
- MAARSTM Robots4 , for distance attacking the enemies
- *Dragon Runner Field Transformable SUGV*5 can do under vehicle inspection
- Packbot from iRobot company
- Talon Robots as used in the Iraq warfare6
- FCS UGV Soldier
- Dragon Runner
- MPRS - Man Portable Robotic System
- MTRS - Man Transportable Robotic System
- SMR - Small Mobile Robot
- FCS UGV Mule
- RCSS - Robotic Combat Support System
- RONS - Remote Ordnance Neutralization System
- FCS UGV Armed Recon Vehicle
- ARTS - All-purpose Remote Transport System
- CAT - Crew-integration and Automation Testbed
- XUV - Experimental Unmanned Vehicle
- Robotic Follower
- AOE - Automated Ordnance Excavator
- CRS - Common Robotic System
- Panther - M60
- Panther II - M1
ARTS, equipped with a Harley Box Rake, begins explosive-ordnance disposal activities.
Many soldiers felt the power of these machines as these robots have been able to be a super help in various military fields. This can be seen from the email excerpt below:
I have to give a big 'atta boy' to the TALON. I'm not gonna give too many details on the incident, but let's just say the TALON can handle falling off a bridge after a bomb blast and can swim in the rivers... Talon just saved my butt on a huge secondary car bomb down the road from the primary IED. If we didn't send TALON down range we wouldn't be here today. We lost the robot but saved ourself.
As we can see, there are many practical advantages to having these military machines around. This led to Project Alpha, a U.S. Joint Forces Command rapid idea analysis group to focus on the concept of developing and employing robots with more capabilities. They are thinking of ways to conjure up robots that can replace humans to be used in the battlefield.
They are the machines that are becoming exponentially smarter as the future hurtles forth at a breakneck speed. These robots can perform, or at least assist, doctors and nurses in the complicated and delicate filed of surgery. Some of these robots can perform drug testing and analysis at speeds that was impossible before.
- General Surgery
- Cardiothoracic Surgery
- Cardiology and Electrophysiology
- Gastrointestinal surgery
Popular Medical Robots in use
- Da Vinci Robot
It has three arms; one carrying a pair of miniature cameras to produce a 3D image of inside the patient's body, which the surgeon views on a monitor, and the other two which perform the operation through tiny incisions only eight millimeters across.7
It has robotic arm that is equipped with a high-speed drill, mostly used for orthopaedic operations. The robot mills cavities for hip implants, removes bone cement for revision surgeries, and planes the femoral and tibia surfaces for knee-implants.8
- Robot Injection Device
The robot finds the patient's vein by gently prodding parts of the arm and by recording the forces of the rebounding tissue. Once it has found the veins, the robot displays their location on a screen, suggesting the most appropriate place to put the needles in.
- ZEUS Robotical Surgery System
ZEUS has three robotic arms that are mounted on the operating table. One robotic arm is called the Automated Endoscopic System for Optimal Positioning Robotic System (AESOP). AESOP is a voice-activated robot used to hold the endoscope. The FDA cleared AESOP to hold and position endoscopes in 1994, and voice activation was added later. ZEUS differs from the da Vinci system in that the AESOP part of ZEUS responds to voice commands. For example, a surgeon might say: "AESOP move right." The positioning arm then would move right until the "stop" command was given.
Advantages of medical robots
- "Robotic arms don't have tremor," so they can remain steady at all times, Paul Massimiano, M.D., a cardiac surgeon ay Inova Fairfax Hospital in Virginia said. Robotic wrists make it easier for surgeons to manipulate tissue and work from all kinds of angles. "I can reach around and get to places that would be harder to get to otherwise," Massimiano says.
- Robotic surgical systems can also improve depth perception, giving surgeons three-dimensional vision, compared with the two-dimensional vision they would normally get with endoscopic procedures. And the surgical field can be magnified so that millimeter-sized veins appear as big as pencils. This also means that only a small cut is needed to reach those inconvenient places.
- Robotics also offers motion scaling, which means that a surgeon's gross hand movements can be reduced to fine movements, allowing for accuracy in tight spaces. For example, with motion scaling, one inch of movement by the surgeon results in a quarter-inch movement by the robotic surgical instruments.
- The idea of Telesurgery is more possible. The da Vinci and ZEUS make it possible for surgeons to perform robotic surgery across long distances. Surgeons from the European Institute of Technology used ZEUS and high-speed telecommunications to perform the first complete long-distance robotic surgery last year. According to an article in the Sept. 27, 2001, issue of the journal Nature, the surgeons worked from New York to remove the gallbladder of a 68-year-old woman in Strasbourg, France.9
Disadvantages of medical robots
- Installing these robots as surgery "helpers" is just way too costly at the moment. This means that almost any kind of surgeries that use such robots will have to be at least a few times the current cost.
- Surgeons and staff need special trainings to operate the robots 10
Industrial robots are robots that can be automatically controlled, reprogrammable and multipurpose manipulator programmable machine in three or more axes. Manufacturers introduces robots to their production processes have typically seen a significant transformation in their production and efficiency.11 Most of these industrial robots are in non-humanoid forms.
Industrial robots are mostly made with varying degrees of independency to their programs;
Some robots can be programmed just to carry out repetitive actions without variations at a high degree of accuracy. This type of routine program is specified by direction, acceleration, velocity, deceleration and distance of a series of coordinated motions.
Other robots are more flexible as to the orientation of the object on which they are working on. For example, robots like these often have machine visions sub-systems acting as the robots' eyes which are linked to powerful computers or controllers. Artificial intelligence is also a big part of the complex industrial robot.
- Assembly, pick and place
- Product inspection, and testing
All the jobs can be done with high endurance, speed and precision.
A company that has been actively building robots for industrial purposes is KUKA Company. They provide various industrial robots for different purposes:
- Small robots
- Low payloads
- Medium payloads
- Heavy duty
- Special models
All of the industrial models provide different mechanism suited to their intentions.12
There are a number of large companies that have been conjuring up robots for sale simply due to the robot's endless advantages.
More big industries are actually relying more on robots to do high or low ends jobs as such robots can really expand their current production at lower relative cost. One of such companies that actually sell Industrial robots is RobotWorx.13 Most of the Industrial robots on sale are priced from USD 12000- USD 100000. The price depends on the complexity of the task given to the robots.
Companies like ABB Group even posted on youtube boasting the advantages of industrial robots. (ABB Robotics - 10 good reasons to invest in robots)14
Industrial Robots manufacturers 15
- Adept Technology
- Asyst Technologies
- Brooks Automation
- Cloos GmbH
- DENSO Robotics
- Epson Robots
- FANUC Robotics
- Fuji Yusoki Robotics
- HYUNDAI Robotics
- igm Robotersysteme
- Intellibot Robotics LLC
- Intelligent Actuator
- Intelitek (previously Eshed Robotec)
- Kawasaki Heavy Industries
- KUKA Robotics
- Mitsubishi Electric
- MobileRobots Inc
- Nidec Sankyo
- Stäubli Robotics
- ST Robotics (bench-top)
- Toshiba Machine
- Yamaha Motor Company
They are mostly robots with various degree of mechanism from those with simple machines and those that are highly complicated. Their jobs are mostly to entertain and interact with the owners. Most of them are available at affordable costs and most robots enthusiast own one.
Released in 2004:
The AkaZawa's Desktop PLEN Robot is a 23 cm tall, roller skating robot that can
Released in 2005:
Wow-wee Robosapien V2. It combines fluid biomechanical motion with interactive humanoid
Released in 2006:
Wow Wee Robopanda. It is a robo-bear that features many advanced sensors including a
Released in 2007:
RoboBuilder's Creator is a DIY robotic kit designed for robot enthusiasts and education. It offers a complete kit of interchangeable modules which come together to form computer programmable mini robots. You can build any type of robot: spider, vehicles, wheels, androids, snake, duck and many other creatures.
Released in 2008: 16
i-SOBOT - billed as the world's smallest humanoid robot, produced for the general
Spykee - Formely known as the Spyke robot. New robot from French company Meccano and being
Some consumers nowadays have even bought companion robots to be their companion. They are the robots in humanoid forms as they are made to look like humans.
Some examples of companion robots:
Hitachi has released a new mobile robot called the Emiew(Excellent Mobility and Interactive
Sony has just revealed another walking/dancing android called SDR-4X. This android is obviously intended to compete against the
Kyosho of Japan is offering a small humanoid called Manoi AT01for 150,000 Yen or about $1300. This humanoid stands 34 cm (13.3
If you want to find out more about the current uses of robots, these links will be of help!