Where Are All the Robots?
Thu, October 21, 2021

Where Are All the Robots?

Robots are in your everyday life / Photo Credit: Sarah Holmlund (via Shutterstock)

 

Imagine a future where you have robots that take your dirty clothes and clean them for you and another robot who takes care of turning down the heat when you’re away, helping you save energy. When you get home, a robot monitors your surroundings while controlling the car’s engines to keep you safe. According to Forbes, the future is now. For example, smart washers and dryers monitor their loads and ensure your clothes are clean with minimal human supervision. Thermostats turn on and off the flow of natural gas, electricity, and heating oil to help achieve your desired temperature. Smart thermostats can even learn your schedule to keep you comfortable while saving energy.

Elevators control powerful motors to lift the elevator car to your desired floor, making stops to maximize efficiency. Adaptive cruise control utilizes radar and other sensors to drive your car at a certain speed while maintaining a safe distance from other cars. These are not robots, right? You see them every day but did you know that they share the same features as those with more advanced robots? According to the IEEE technology organization, a robot refers to a device that “receives an objective, senses its environment, takes an action, and achieves its objective." Let’s take the elevator as an example. Its objective is to safely bring you to a given floor. It senses certain factors like drum rotation and cable length, taking action by varying the electric current and speed of its hoisting motors. A dryer’s objective is to dry your clothes by sensing the temperature and moisture level. It varies the speed it spins at, as well as the temperature of the dryer’s air blower.

With welding robots, they follow the weld paths required by the parts in the process. These robots are equipped with cameras, infrared beams, etc. Its output involves gas flow to the welding torch and the currents to each of the robots’ arms. Sure, elevators and dryers may not look like your typical robots, but robots are just machines built by humans for humans.