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It comes as a surprise to many people when they find out that robots have been around for centuries. The common belief is that they are recent inventions. Actually, a number of cultures all over the world have had inventors and engineers who have attempted to build create intelligent machines.
Many cultures have attempted to build robots resembling humans and animals. History records automata such as Archyta’s mechanical doves.
When human beings try to figure robots outs, most have in mind human-like machines that are capable of independent actions such as movement, operated by some mechanical means. In movies, many are made to even develop independent thought. Some are equipped with robot software that makes them act so much like humans that you have to be reminded that they are not human.
How Much Do You Know about Robots?
Aside from what they see in movies and sci-fi novels, many people know very little about robots. Here are a few facts about robots that may surprise you.
- The word ‘robot’ is derived from ‘robota’ which is a Czech word which means drudgery. Drudgery is synonymous with ‘work’. It is no surprise that robots are built mostly for works, especially the menial, the monotonous and the dangerous.
- The earliest known robot was created by Archytas of Tarentum who created mechanical doves. This was sometime in the 5th
- Mark Rosheim created a small robot copied off a 1495 prototype of an armored humanoid which was drawn by Leonardo da Vinci. Rosheim’s created was meant to be used to colonize Mars for NASA.
- The first humanoid robot was named Elektro. It was built in 1939 by Westinghouse, was seven feet tall and had a vocabulary of 700 words.
- In 1981, a robotic factory arm crushed an employee in a Kawasaki plant. Robotic manufacturers are very keen on creating robots that have safety features to prevent such incidents from recurring. In addition, workers who work in close proximity to the robots are trained to work safely around them.
- Records state that more than a million robots are engaged in various industrial functions in various industries especially manufacturing plants. A majority of these robots are in Japan.
- Did you know there are robots on Mars? Spirit and Opportunity were built to last at least 90 days on Mars but the two robots have been there for a few years. A rover named Curiosity has joined them to look around the planet.
- 4,000 robots are used by the United States military for scouting countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq where bombing is quite common. They may need to improve them because the Taliban have learned to disable the bots by flinging ladders onto them.
- There exists a robot vacuum cleaner that can sense its surroundings and clean without any human involvement to move it.
- Engineers are working on a plan to create a microrobot that is capable of performing a biopsy from the inside of a patient. It is expected to move inside the body in much the same way E.Coli, the bacteria moves.
- The nanobot is the smallest robot in existence. It is a very tiny robot that measures less than one-thousandth of a millimeter.
- A robot that is able identify different types of wine is called a winebot. It is not only built to recognize different types of wine, but also to identify different types of cheeses.
These facts help to put a few things that you have heard about robots into some perspective. It is evident that robots can be created for a lot more tasks than industrial use such as motor vehicle assembly, packing, loading and other tasks performed in manufacturing plants. It is also clear that having robots performing domestic chores will become a reality.
Robots are useful in just about every industry and can be programmed to perform a variety of tasks. If you need what tasks you need your robot for, you will be advised on the one that best suits your specifications.