What is it?
Robotics refers to the engineering and computing geared towards the design, creation and operation of robots. Advanced Robotics is the name given to the technologies associated with the creation of automated machines that have a higher level of capabilities than stationary robots, things like washing machines. These abilities can include movement, touch, communication and vision. In the coming years Advanced Robotics is expected to impact increasingly on everyone, both at home and in the workplace. This is a technologically complex emerging market with significant opportunities for the right application.
How did the technology develop?
The concept of human-like machines appears to have first surfaced in Ancient Greece, in the writings of Aristotle. The philosopher realised that machines capable of human tasks would lessen the workload for labourers. The word robot itself comes from ‘robota’, the Czech word to describe hard labour. In the fifteenth century, Leonardo da Vinci devised a robotic knight. Various human-like machines were invented throughout the following centuries, but it wasn’t until the mid-Twentieth century that we really saw the rise of the robot. During the 1940s, mathematician and philosopher Norbert Wiener penned the principles of Cybernetics. Cybernetics refers to the manipulation of any system using technology, and forms the basis of much robotics research. In the following decade, science fiction author Issac Asimov published ‘I, Robot’, a series of short sci-fi stories about humanoids. By the 1960s, the first industrial robot had been installed by Unimation, making it the world’s first robotics company. From the 60s onwards, robotics research took off in both technological institutions and popular culture. Today, the advanced robot is becoming more and more realistic. Teamed with Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things, Advanced Robotics presents a hugely disruptive technology.
Advanced Robotics can be used for many different applications, from manufacturing to entertainment. Increasingly robots are being used on the production line, handling raw materials. Using machines in the place of humans is both cost-efficient and less risky, so the technology is well-suited to big industries. Advanced robots have been developed by the military to assist soldiers in war. Boston Dynamics is the company responsible for creating ‘Atlas’, a six-foot tall humanoid allegedly designed for search and rescue missions. The healthcare industry has also profited from Advanced Robotics. In 2001, ‘CyberKnife’ was cleared to perform surgical operations on patients with tumours. In coming years, we will see the growth of Advanced Humanoid Robots in the home, in the form of robot carers or mechanical pets.
Devices that act largely, or partly, autonomously that interact physically with people or their environment and that are capable of modifying their behaviour based upon sensor data
Research and Markets have stated that in 2014 the global industrial robotics market was worth $28 billion USD. By 2020, they predict that this figure will exceed $40 billion. According to ABI Research, the consumer robots market was worth $1.6 billion USD in 2012. By 2017, they predict that this number will have risen to $6.5 billion. Marketsandmarkets.com have estimated that the industrial market worth of Advanced Robotics will reach almost $80 billion USD by 2022.
‘Atlas’ by Boston Dynamics
Full documentary on Advanced Robotics
TED Talk by Cynthia Breazeal on ‘personal robots’