Robotics Everywhere

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There are now robots in every aspect of modern life, and more types of robot are being created every day. Although industrial robots have been around for a long time, robots are now starting to appear in the domestic lives of people.

This site has been created to explore the different kinds of robots available and give some insight as to how they work.

If you any ideas of what you'd like to see on this site please let us know though the contact form on the About page.

What is a robot?

The English Oxford dictionary says it is 'a machine resembling a human being and able to replicate certain human movements and functions automatically', and more specifically 'A machine capable of carrying out a complex series of actions automatically, especially one programmable by a computer'.

Where did the word robot come from?

The word 'robot' was first used in the play R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots) by the Czeck Karel Čapek in 1920. Čapek has said that his brother Josef came up with the word from the Czech word Robota meaning forced work. Although the robots in this play were flesh and blood rather than metal and plastic, the word became used for any android.

How many Robots are there?

The International Federation of Robotics (IFR) has produced global figures for 2017 stating that the number of personal and domestic robots increased by 25% to about 8.5 million in 2017. The value increased by 27% to US$ 2.1bn.

The top 10 most automated countries in the world are:

  1. South Korea
  2. Singapore
  3. Germany
  4. Japan
  5. Sweden
  6. Denmark
  7. USA
  8. Italy
  9. Belgium
  10. Taiwan.

What's the average lifetime of a Robot?

The International Federation of Robotics (IFR) using 2017 data has stated that the average lifetime of an industrial robot is 12 years. Lifetime varies by robot type; underwater robots have a shorter life, say 10 years, and military robots even less.

The first Robot

In 1949 Grey Walter built what is arguably the first robot from war surplus materials and old alarm clocks. These robots had light and touch sensors which determined their actions and one version returned to a charging port when its batteries ran low, much like the robots of today. Although simple by today's standards, they inspired other researchers to continue the work on similar robots.

The field of Robotics is fascinating as it brings together bioengineering, artificial intelligence, ethics, electronics, computer science, mechatronics, battery technology and nanotechnology.

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