Robotics is an amalgamation of a number of different technologies. The progressive advancement in technologies supporting Robotics results in a number of practical and cost-effective applications across domains. Therefore it makes sense to opt for mini electronics projects in the realm of Robotics. Here are the reasons supporting this claim.
Robotics and its Wide Range of Functions
Robots are very much unlike the form they are known to assume in typical fiction series. Robotics is tied to function, and every robot has a specific physical structure, size, weight and intelligence that will help it accomplish what it is intended to perform.
Robots available today are much more superior than those that were available in the yester years, in the form of hydraulically powered robots. Earlier robots were deployed as mechanical machines for dangerous and dirty tasks exclusively. However, after the 1980s, there is much more accuracy and performance improvements tied to robotics devices.
Robotics is a rapidly growing industry with a predicted value of $100 billion by the year 2020. The value of robotics in 2020 is estimated to equate to the value of the tourism industry for the year 2012. Robotics is supposed to span many more segments in the healthcare and rehabilitation sector, in addition to wearable devices during the period between 2014 and 2020. Robotics is estimated to generate close to two million jobs from 2017 to 2020.
Key Robotics Advancements Expected in 2020
Advanced Robotics technologies will enable a wide range of technological breakthroughs by the year 2020:
- Flexible Manufacturing Materials – The rigid frames and robotic structures will be replaced with plastic, aluminum, and a range of composite materials, and manufacturing methods including plastic injection and composite molding will come to the forefront.
- Stretchable Electronics – Rigid fiberglass boards in the Printed Circuit Board (PCB) technology will be replaced by a flexible stretchable electronics circuit board which can be bent, stretched, manipulated, or folded. The ability to bend along any axis will enable PCBs to be free from conforming to rigid predetermined 3D shapes.
- Loss of Heavy Equipment for Efficiency – Heavy gearing equipment and actuators will be replaced by light-weight material that will target efficiency and versatility. These advancements will open up endless possibilities to help adapt robots to spaces and situations that were not possible before.
- Robotic Ability to Sense and Feel – Robotics will advance into a new realm where the robotic skin will enable robots to be able to sense touch and be able to conduct electricity. Robots will be programmed to heal themselves. Embedded transistors and pressure sensitive rubber will make it possible for robots to sense pain, pressure, balance, and movement.
- Modular Manufacturing Approach – Robotics manufacturing will assume a highly modular approach, in terms of mechanics, electronics, and programming. Robotics products will feature inter-compatibility with products from other manufacturers.
- Seamless Information Sharing – Advanced Robotics will enable Robotic Networks that will enable seamless information sharing, and will enable the accession of databases through a learning loop.
- Bio-printing – As an extension to the 3D printing process, bio-printing will enable the growing of tendons or printing of bones, and will open up the possibility of building biological parts, and eventually living organisms which are robust, versatile and resilient in nature. Scientists hope that the future of robotics will enable the creation of robot DNA with its inherent capability to replicate itself and evolve into new organisms.
- Modular Robotics – Modular cubes are commonplace and will acquire the ability to arrange themselves in the form of predetermined patterns for the accomplishment of specific tasks. Nanorobots will be able to assemble together to form objects which have the ability to move and interact to accomplish a certain goal through the use of environmental feedback.
- Remote Deployment – Robots will be designed with the computational ability for deploying in remote locations. Such advances will enable mission critical applications as well as will allow travelers to save money and time through telepresence robots.
- Artificial Intelligence and Neurons – As robot size and complexity will increase and the sharing of code and design will be made possible, robotics will advance to next level in emulating the human brain by exploring the structure of the neuron. Computational neuroscience and neurobiotics are fast progressing to answer questions about the communication that takes place between neurons and the process of decision-making and thinking.
- Alternative Power for Robots – Robots will become more efficient than ever as they will be powered by alternative sources including wind energy, solar energy, and wave energy. Alternative sources of power will enable endless possibilities for robotics driven applications.
Robots are expected to become the vital components of numerous robotics applications and the force behind intelligent automation, producing some of the most lucrative technology options as outlined below:
- Microbots – Robotics will make it possible to explore extreme and dangerous environments, which cannot be accessed by humans or large robots. Microbots in robotics technology will allow the deployment of “swarms” which will feature limited ability in terms performing computations. However, their volume will enable them as exceptional options for exploration purposes.
- Exoskeletons and Body-Machine Interfaces – Robotic advancements in the field of rehabilitation will enable individuals with a physical disability to be able to walk and climb through highly sensitive sensors. Theses exoskeletons will enable immense convenience to the physically disabled people. Sensors attached to robots will enable disabled people to understand their intent and will possess the ability to convert digital readings to feelings.
- Intelligent Robots – Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning will blend with Robotics to provide leverage to Robotics projects as Intelligent Robots will execute human-like expressions and present reactions that resemble the expressions and actions of human very closely.
The advancement in robotics in the next few years is not restricted to the creation of humanoids. The scope of research in the coming years goes beyond this simple accomplishment into the realm of machines that will surpass human intelligence and physical capabilities. Robotics will assume an out-of-the-box multidisciplinary approach going beyond the realms of mechanical and electrical engineering and computer science, drawing inspiration from nature for the deployment of revolutionary designs.