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Robotics and Artificial Intelligence

Robotics is a separate entity in Artificial Intelligence that helps study the creation of intelligent robots or machines. Robotics combines electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and computer science & engineering as they have mechanical construction, electrical component and programmed with programming language. Although, Robotics and Artificial Intelligence both have different objectives and applications, but most people treat robotics as a subset of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Robot machines look very similar to humans, and also, they can perform like humans, if enabled with AI.

Robotics and Artificial Intelligence

In earlier days, robotic applications were very limited, but now they have become smarter and more efficient by combining with Artificial Intelligence. AI has played a crucial role in the industrial sector by replacing humans in terms of productivity and quality. In this article, 'Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, we will discuss Robots & Artificial Intelligence and their various applications, advantages, differences, etc. Let's start with the definition of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robots.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial Intelligence is defined as the branch of Computer Science & Engineering, which deals with creating intelligent machines that perform like humans. Artificial Intelligence helps to enable machines to sense, comprehend, act and learn human like activities. There are mainly 4 types of Artificial Intelligence: reactive machines, limited memory, theory of mind, and self-awareness.

What is a robot?

A robot is a machine that looks like a human, and is capable of performing out of box actions and replicating certain human movements automatically by means of commands given to it using programming. Examples: Drug Compounding Robot, Automotive Industry Robots, Order Picking Robots, Industrial Floor Scrubbers and Sage Automation Gantry Robots, etc.

Components of Robot

Several components construct a robot, these components are as follows:

Robotics and Artificial Intelligence
  • Actuators: Actuators are the devices that are responsible for moving and controlling a system or machine. It helps to achieve physical movements by converting energy like electrical, hydraulic and air, etc. Actuators can create linear as well as rotary motion.
  • Power Supply: It is an electrical device that supplies electrical power to an electrical load. The primary function of the power supply is to convert electrical current to power the load.
  • Electric Motors: These are the devices that convert electrical energy into mechanical energy and are required for the rotational motion of the machines.
  • Pneumatic Air Muscles: Air Muscles are soft pneumatic devices that are ideally best fitted for robotics. They can contract and extend and operate by pressurized air filling a pneumatic bladder. Whenever air is introduced, it can contract up to 40%.
  • Muscles wire: These are made up of nickel-titanium alloy called Nitinol and are very thin in shape. It can also extend and contract when a specific amount of heat and electric current is supplied into it. Also, it can be formed and bent into different shapes when it is in its martensitic form. They can contract by 5% when electrical current passes through them.
  • Piezo Motors and Ultrasonic Motors: Piezoelectric motors or Piezo motors are the electrical devices that receive an electric signal and apply a directional force to an opposing ceramic plate. It helps a robot to move in the desired direction. These are the best suited electrical motors for industrial robots.
  • Sensor: They provide the ability like see, hear, touch and movement like humans. Sensors are the devices or machines which help to detect the events or changes in the environment and send data to the computer processor. These devices are usually equipped with other electronic devices. Similar to human organs, the electrical sensor also plays a crucial role in Artificial Intelligence & robotics. AI algorithms control robots by sensing the environment, and it provides real-time information to computer processors.

Applications of Robotics

Robotics have different application areas. Some of the important applications domains of robotics are as follows:

  • Robotics in defence sectors: The defence sector is undoubtedly the one of the main parts of any country. Each country wants their defence system to be strong. Robots help to approach inaccessible and dangerous zone during war. DRDO has developed a robot named Daksh to destroy life-threatening objects safely. They help soldiers to remain safe and deployed by the military in combat scenarios. Besides combat support, robots are also deployed in anti-submarine operations, fire support, battle damage management, strike missions, and laying machines.
  • Robotics in Medical sectors: Robots also help in various medical fields such as laparoscopy, neurosurgery, orthopaedic surgery, disinfecting rooms, dispensing medication, and various other medical domains.
  • Robotics in Industrial Sector: Robots are used in various industrial manufacturing industries such as cutting, welding, assembly, disassembly, pick and place for printed circuit boards, packaging & labelling, palletizing, product inspection & testing, colour coating, drilling, polishing and handling the materials.
    Moreover, Robotics technology increases productivity and profitability and reduces human efforts, resulting from lower physical strain and injury. The industrial robot has some important advantages, which are as follows:
    • Accuracy
    • Flexibility
    • Reduced labour charge
    • Low noise operation
    • Fewer production damages
    • Increased productivity rate.
  • Robotics in Entertainment: Over the last decade, use of robots is continuously getting increased in entertainment areas. Robots are being employed in entertainment sector, such as movies, animation, games and cartoons. Robots are very helpful where repetitive actions are required. A camera-wielding robot helps shoot a movie scene as many times as needed without getting tired and frustrated. A big-name Disney has launched hundreds of robots for the film industry.
  • Robots in the mining industry: Robotics is very helpful for various mining applications such as robotic dozing, excavation and haulage, robotic mapping & surveying, robotic drilling and explosive handling, etc. A mining robot can solely navigate flooded passages and use cameras and other sensors to detect valuable minerals. Further, robots also help in excavation to detect gases and other materials and keep humans safe from harm and injuries. The robot rock climbers are used for space exploration, and underwater drones are used for ocean exploration.

AI technology used in Robotics

Computer Vision

Robots can also see, and this is possible by one of the popular Artificial Intelligence technologies named Computer vision. Computer Vision plays a crucial role in all industries like health, entertainment, medical, military, mining, etc.

Computer Vision is an important domain of Artificial Intelligence that helps in extracting meaningful information from images, videos and visual inputs and take action accordingly.

Natural Language Processing

NLP (Natural Languages Processing) can be used to give voice commands to AI robots. It creates a strong human-robot interaction. NLP is a specific area of Artificial Intelligence that enables the communication between humans and robots. Through the NLP technique, the robot can understand and reproduce human language. Some robots are equipped with NLP so that we can't differentiate between humans and robots.

Similarly, in the health care sector, robots powered by Natural Language Processing may help physicians to observe the decease details and automatically fill in EHR. Besides recognizing human language, it can learn common uses, such as learn the accent, and predict how humans speak.

Edge Computing

Edge computing in robots is defined as a service provider of robot integration, testing, design and simulation. Edge computing in robotics provides better data management, lower connectivity cost, better security practices, more reliable and uninterrupted connection.

Complex Event Process

Complex event processing (CEP) is a concept that helps us to understand the processing of multiple events in real time. An event is described as a Change of State, and one or more events combine to define a Complex event. The complex event process is most widely used term in various industries such as healthcare, finance, security, marketing, etc. It is primarily used in credit card fraud detection and also in stock marketing field.

For example, the deployment of an airbag in a car is a complex event based on the data from multiple sensors in real-time. This idea is used in Robotics, for example, Event-Processing in Autonomous Robot Programming.

Transfer Learning and AI

This is the technique used to solve a problem with the help of another problem that is already solved. In Transfer learning technique, knowledge gained from solving one problem can be implement to solve related problem. We can understand it with an example such as the model used for identifying a circle shape can also be used to identify a square shape.

Transfer learning reuses the pre-trained model for a related problem, and only the last layer of the model is trained, which is relatively less time consuming and cheaper. In robotics, transfer learning can be used to train one machine with the help of other machines.

Reinforcement Learning

Reinforcement learning is a feedback-based learning method in machine learning that enables an AI agent to learn and explore the environment, perform actions and learn automatically from experience or feedback for each action. Further, it is also having feature of autonomously learn to behave optimally through hit-and-trail action while interacting with the environment. It is primarily used to develop the sequence of decisions and achieve the goals in uncertain and potentially complex environment. In robotics, robots explore the environment and learn about it through hit and trial. For each action, he gets rewarded (positive or negative). Reinforcement learning provides Robotics with a framework to design and simulate sophisticated and hard-to-engineer behaviours.

Affective computing

Affective computing is a field of study that deals with developing systems that can identify, interpret, process, and simulate human emotions. Affective computing aims to endow robots with emotional intelligence to hope that robots can be endowed with human-like capabilities of observation, interpretation, and emotion expression.

Mixed Reality

Mixed Reality is also an emerging domain. It is mainly used in the field of programming by demonstration (PbD). PbD creates a prototyping mechanism for algorithms using a combination of physical and virtual objects.

What are Artificially Intelligent Robots?

Artificial intelligent robots connect AI with robotics. AI robots are controlled by AI programs and use different AI technologies, such as Machine learning, computer vision, RL learning, etc. Usually, most robots are not AI robots, these robots are programmed to perform repetitive series of movements, and they don't need any AI to perform their task. However, these robots are limited in functionality.

AI algorithms are necessary when you want to allow the robot to perform more complex tasks.

A warehousing robot might use a path-finding algorithm to navigate around the warehouse. A drone might use autonomous navigation to return home when it is about to run out of battery. A self-driving car might use a combination of AI algorithms to detect and avoid potential hazards on the road. All these are the examples of artificially intelligent robots.

What are the advantages of integrating Artificial Intelligence into robotics?

  • The major advantages of artificially intelligent robots are social care. They can guide people, especially come to aid for older people, with chatbot like social skills and advanced processors.
  • Robotics also helps in Agricultural industry with the help of developing AI based robots. These robots reduce the farmer's workload.
  • In Military industry, Military bots can spy through speech and vision detectors, along with saving lives by replacing infantry
  • Robotics also employed in volcanoes, deep oceans, extremely cold places, or even in space where normally humans can't survive.
  • Robotics is also used in medical and healthcare industry as it can also perform complex surgeries that have a higher risk of a mistake by humans, but with a pre-set of instructions and added Intelligence. AI integrated robotics could reduce the number of casualties greatly.

Difference in Robot System and AI Programs

Here is the difference between Artificial Intelligence and Robots:

1. AI Programs

Usually, we use to operate them in computer-simulated worlds.

Generally, input is given in the form of symbols and rules.

To operate this, we need general-purpose/Special-purpose computers.

2. Robots

Generally, we use robots to operate in the real physical world.

Inputs are given in the form of the analogue signal or in the form of the speech waveform.

Also, to operate this, special hardware with sensors and effectors are needed.

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