Robots taking the next step

flying robotWe all know that Robots have replaced humans in performing those repetitive and dangerous tasks which humans prefer not to do.

It might be in outer space or at the bottom of the sea where humans could not survive the extreme environments. But in many other areas of industry, robots are developing almost out of all recognition.

Not only are robots here to stay, but with the ever-evolving world of technology in full swing, there have been a number of key developments in recent times. Many of those developments are taking place in the United States. However, the UK’s Robotic and Autonomous Systems are gathering pace too.

One of the latest developments comes out of Harvard University where scientists have built a soft robot that can function without a communications and power tether. The four-legged robot can literally stand up and walk away from the people who built it!

The development team called the machine, which is about a foot-and-a-half long and can carry more than seven pounds, a huge step forward for robotics.

It has the potential to complete life-saving tasks like squeezing into the crevices of collapsed buildings to search for victims, send their location and images to rescuers and provide them with water and medicines.

Read more about the soft robot here.

Away from the world of soft robotics, the EU’s ARCAS project (Aerial Robotics Co-operative Assembly System) has designed a range of flying robots to assist in a range of situations – from rescue missions to inspection and maintenance in the energy and space sectors.

According to project manager Professor Anibal Ollero, the idea is that robots should be able to fly in anywhere where it is impossible and impractical for piloted aircraft or ground robots to operate.

Read more on flying robots here.

UK robotics

Although the US-based developments have tended to dominate the field, in terms of research and development, the UK is not lagging behind. It has a number of centres of excellence and several established robotics specialists, some of which are now winning lucrative contracts both at home and abroad.

The United Kingdom is supporting research and development in the field of robotics and autonomous systems and it’s something that brings a smile to the face of Iain Gray, the chief executive of the Technology Strategy Board.

Gray said; “The UK is in a strong position, with the market of Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS) still init’s infancy but projected to be worth $6.4tn globally per year, by 2025.”

What’s your view on the developments in robotics and their increased usage in industry?

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