Portland State University
Abstract The concept about the robotic has always been the most attracting topic, especially to scientists and engineers. Robots, once the stuff of science fiction, are becoming part of our everyday lives. As to say, robotics are what people made to serve the humankind, and they are becoming one of the greatest disruptive innovation. The top three most famous robots are the Asimo, Kawada HRP-4 and Alderbaran Nao. When we talk about robotics, android, humanoid and cyborg are always mentioned. These terms are part of robotics. In this report, we will identify and analyze the use of robotics in human lives, and clearly understand why robotics have become disruptive technology.
History and Context The original meaning of the word robot comes from a Slavic word "robota", which means labor (Wikipedia). The Maschinenmensch (machine-human) was the first depiction of robot to appear on film in 1927. Moreover, In 1942, Issac Asimov formulated his Three Laws of Robotics, and in 1948, Norbert Wiener formulated the principles of cybernetics, the basis of practical robotics (Wikipedia). In other word, the principles of cybernetics were the base for the development of robotics. Historically, many inventions such as the steam engine by James Watt can be considered as the first step of the robot's developmental progress. Recently, there are many robotic development such as the cute-looking humanoid iCub that can play children's games, Reeti with the ability to perceive and react to human emotion, and Molly - the elderly helper. Robotics are being used in business in order to help perform tasks that are too dangerous, laborious, or time-consuming for human to do it.
Description of Technology Next, what are robotics and how does it work? As mentioned above, there are 3 types of robotics: robots, humanoid and cyborgs. According to Word Definition, robots are machines programmed to follow a specific set of instructions; humanoids are robots structurally designed to look and behave like human; and cyborgs are organisms with both natural/biological and mechanical/robot parts. Here, I want to focus only on how robots function. Each parts of the robots are connected together with joints, like a human body. According to the article "How Robots Work" by Tom Harrins," some robots use electric motors and solenoids as actuators; some use a hydraulic system; and some use a pneumatic system (a system driven by compressed gases). A robot needs a power source to drive these actuators." Most robots either have a battery or they plug into the wall. According to Harrins: "hydraulic robots need a pump to pressurize the hydraulic fluid, and pneumatic robots need an air compressor or compressed air tanks. The actuators are all wired to an electrical circuit. The circuit powers electrical motors and solenoids directly, and it activates the hydraulic system by manipulating electrical valves. The valves determine the pressurized fluid's path through the machine." Typically, in order to move their segments in two directions, robots use pistons that can push both ways. The robot's computer controls everything attached to the circuit. To move the robot, the computer switches on all the necessary motors and valves. Most robots are reprogrammable -- to change the robot's behavior, you simply write a new program to its computer.
Value and Benefit of Technology Since there are so many benefits of using robotics, some businesses have already use them, especially the industrial robotics. Companies can conserve funds, time, materials, and space, and at the same time, increasing production and product quality. First, Robots perform applications with consistency and precision, resulting in higher quality product. Companies can expect fewer mistakes and a safer work environment when they use robots. Second, many companies use industrial robots because they offer a quick