For many years, robots have been around in science fiction movies. We all remember watching C-3PO and R2D2 gallivanting around the galaxy in Star Wars. I recall my younger self, watching in awe, wishing I had a robot of my own. I became resigned to the fact that robots aren’t a reality. They only existed in films, and I had to make do with these fake robot toys they sold.
However, these days, there’s a lot going on in the world of robotics. We already see some robotic creations. There are some industries that use robotics to help with their work. A good example of this is car manufacturing. They use robotic arms to help attach parts and paint vehicles, etc.
Car Factory – Kia Sportage factory production line
We also see the first signs of advanced humanoid robots too. These are machines that are created and look like humans. They move like humans, talk like humans, and in some cases, think like humans too. Obviously, these robots are very high-tech, and there are only a few of them on this planet. And, even then, they’re in development phases and aren’t properly completed. But, the point is, robots are very much real. We see more and more robotics developments every day. As a result, robots are creeping into our lives. What I’m interested in looking at is how robots are becoming a reality. So, I’ve taken a look at some of the best tech that’s making robotic dreams a reality:
You may not know this, but 3D printing is making a lot of things possible in the world of robotics. Mainly, it’s making the production a lot easier. Companies can create entire robots using a 3D printer. Or, they can manufacture parts for robots, etc. It’s very impressive, and there are many other examples of 3d printing in robotic industry. With this technology, building robotic creations is a lot easier. There’s more freedom of design, and things can be created a lot quicker than before too. One thing’s for certain, this technology is helping us get a little bit closer to having our own C-3PO!
First-ever 3-D printed robots made of both solids and liquids
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Now, in the past, there was one main thing holding the robotics industry back. They had the means to create the bodies of robots. They even had the engineering power to make the parts move by pressing buttons. However, they couldn’t give the robots a brain. If you want to create a robot that can think and talk to you, it needs to have a brain. Now, it’s impossible to transplant a human brain into a machine, that wouldn’t work. So, the answer lies in artificial intelligence. This technology has been around for ages, and people are starting to harness it. The first signs of advanced AI came from things like Siri or Cortana.
Artificial Intelligence, real-life applications – 60 Minutes CBS Special
These are virtual assistants in smartphones that will answer and ask questions. You can almost have proper conversations with these virtual assistants, such is the power of the AI. Artificial intelligence has also been around in gaming for ages. It’s what enables NPC video game characters to move around and interact with one another. This technology is being developed further and planted into machines. Thus, the machines have the power to communicate with humans. By using this tech, humanoid robot servants are getting closer and closer to becoming real.
Sensors have been around for a very long time now. We see them in use every day, in various places. The main one that springs to mind is a parking sensor on a car. When you’re close to an object, your car beeps, and you know when to stop. Sensor technology is also playing a big role in the robotics industry. By equipping robots with sensors, they can become aware of what’s around them. They’ll have the ability to ‘feel’ when they’re close to objects, and avoid crashing into them. You see this in action with some of the robot-like things out there right now. Think about those little things that can vacuum a room for you. They have sensors which help them navigate the room and avoid crashing all the time. It enables them to vacuum up all the dirt, while you sit with your feet up. Sensor technology is playing a big role in the autonomous robot industry. This is where robots are made that can do things themselves. They get programmed to perform a function and can do it.
World’s first robotic 3D printing system
There are so many examples of real life robots in this day and age. If things carry on like this, in a few decades there may be robots walking the streets with us. Who knows, everyone could have their own C-3PO robotic servant!