About 20 years ago, everyone dreamed: “Robots work – a person is happy”. But then, speaking objectively, devices like Electronics from a popular film seemed to be a perfect fantasy.
What has robotics already achieved and what unusual robots have been invented?
What is a robot and where does this word come from?
People wanted to create an artificial substitute in the ancient world. Remember the golems, the myth of Pygmalion, breathed life into the statue of Galatea, or the myths about Hephaestus, who created his servants.
Myths became a reality when the Arab scholar Al-Jazari in the 12th century developed the mechanical figures of musicians who played on tambourines, harp and flute.
Initially, robots had to replace a person where he was dangerous: they could work in mines, under blockages, in an aggressive environment, become universal soldiers, perform actions according to a given program or commands given by a person.
Later, the inventors began to transfer to robots a heavy, boring and monotonous work. In addition, many robot projects are created for entertainment.
The word “robot” was invented by the Czech science fiction writer Karel Capek and his brother Josef in 1920. Actually, with Czech robota translates as “bonded labor”, and robot – in fact, the one who is working hard.
A modern robot is a system that perceives, thinks, acts and communicates. It can automatically perform certain operations, mechanical work.
The line between robots and automatic systems is rather thin. Therefore, the developers of robots emphasize the complexity of the systems and their “thinking” capabilities, the degree of introduction of artificial intelligence technologies.
However, the bots are robots. They also work for people, they simply solve other problems.
What is the coolest robot in the world? Atlas!
A group of engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1992 created the company Boston Dynamics. In 2013, she bought Google, but three years later she sold Boston Dynamics to the company SoftBank – say, in the next three years commercially successful robots should not wait.
SoftBank, which previously absorbed the developer of ARM processors, believed in the prospects of Boston Dynamics. And the company still became the leader in the field of robotics, proving: not everything can be measured by commercial success.
Atlas moves better than us with you. He has already learned to walk, run through the woods, push up, even jump on the steps. And he became the first robot who knows how to do a flip back:
In parallel with Atlas, engineers are working on robotic animals: robots-dogs Spot, Spot Mini, BigDog and LittleDog, the world’s fastest four-legged robot Cheetah, etc.
A significant part of the robots are created for DARPA, the Office of Advanced Studies of the US Department of Defense.
But robots are different. Even bipeds
Experts agree that in future the wars will be transformed into a new format: only robots will be at war. Such developments are already being used by the US, Israeli and other military armies.
BigDog for DARPA is being developed just like a military transporter. In South Korea, robot sentries, which guard the border with North Korea.
MegaBots is the leader in the development of combat robots in the United States. Recently she showed the giant combat robot Eagle Prime. It is controlled by two pilots from the built-in cockpit. Mass robot – about 12 tons, height – more than 5 m.
Inside – V-shaped eight-cylinder engine capacity of 430 horsepower. A cannon and a huge claw help Eagle Prime defeat opponents in battles of robots.
The main rivals of the United States are the Japanese. One of the coolest Japanese furs is the Kuratas. Yes, the bellows went out of the computer games for a long time:
In Russia, combat robots have been used for more than two decades. For example, in the war in Chechnya in 2000, the robot “Vasya” found and neutralized radioactive substances.
Robots-scouts “Gnome” can neutralize mines in the thickness of the water and at the bottom. The Uran complex includes robots for reconnaissance and fire support.
The main difficulty here is the violation of the fundamental laws of robotics: a robot can not harm a person.
And while the developers do not guarantee that the robot will distinguish enemy soldiers from civilians attacking from surrendering; so the final team that can lead to bodily harm or murder, still gives the person.
There are robots with real citizenship, like people
Robots that are difficult to distinguish from people are created for two reasons: replace a person who provides certain services (consultant, for example) or give a “half”, which can be chosen and customized to your liking.
The most famous example of a humanoid robot is Sofia. By the way, the citizen of Saudi Arabia and in general the first robot with citizenship.
Sofia is endowed with artificial intelligence, is able to transmit emotions facial expressions and communicate. I remember once she promised to destroy humanity.
Robots are even in Russia. For example, Fedor
In Russia, the anthropomorphic robot Fedor was created by the order of the Ministry of Emergencies. FEDOR (Final Experimental Demonstration Object Research – the final experimental demonstration object of research) originally had to help rescuers.
There is a version that the head of the Trusteeship Council of the Foundation for Advanced Studies Dmitri Rogozin named Fyodor a robot in honor of his grandson. The creation of the robot cost 300 million rubles.
The growth of Fedor is 180 cm, weight – about 160 kg. The robot recognizes voice commands and operates from a motor with a power of 20 horsepower (13.5 kW). It is managed by a Linux-based system, supported and remotely controlled. Battery Fedoru enough for about an hour of work.
Fedor already knows how to open a door, shoot a pistol, manage a drill. Recently he was taught to drive a quad bike and a car in an autonomous mode.
Appear robots in the form of animals, check your cat
Anthropomorphic robots are great, but robots created in the image and likeness of animals are sometimes much more interesting. For example, a start-up Festo created a spider robot and a flying fox that resembles a giant robotic bat.
Biomimetic robots have already lit up on the screen. The spider robot you could see in the Star Wars: the legs allow it to make a wheel, and the jogging allows the jogging of the last pair of limbs. Shoot down a spider robot from the feet is useless – it immediately rises and rolls on.
The flying fox quite naturally soars. For the wings, engineers used a modified airtight elastane. The design was eased to the maximum, so that the fox could fly easier. In addition, the company has developed a robotic kangaroo and many other robocards.
But some robots have long been in the business, like surgical
Robots allow doctors to carry out operations with stunning accuracy and reduce the influence of the human factor – in soulless mechanics and electronics, the hand will not falter.
One of the most popular medical robots is the da Vinci system manufactured by Intuitive Surgical. It includes two blocks: the executive device is a four-armed robot manipulator, and the second unit is designed for the surgeon-operator.
In one hand the robot is a video camera, the other two reproduce the movements that the surgeon makes. Another hand replaces the assistant. The doctor sees the operated area in 3D with a significant increase and controls the movements of the robot with special joysticks.
In Russia, about three dozen da Vinci complexes have been installed, each costing about $ 2 million. The number of operations in the world, which are conducted with the use of such complexes – more than 200 thousand per year.
Independently do not trust robots yet. If something goes wrong, the doctor at any time should be able to intervene and intercept control.
But with robots fine work done easier and faster. Patients after such operations recover faster and return to their usual life.
Naturally, robots are already conquering the cosmos …
At the ISS worked Robonaut – a robot developed by NASA in conjunction with General Motors. He helped astronauts perform complex tasks in orbit.
But when in 2014 the robot decided to equip with a pair of legs to move around the station, it went out of order. The astronauts could not repair the Robonavt, and he had to be written off to the ground.
Now the Russian robot Fedor is waiting in orbit. He is able to work in space and in the depths of the sea. Fedor will go into space on the ship “Federation” in 2021.
… and drive around your apartment
Of course, robots, vacuum cleaners can not be mentioned. Robots can be trusted to maintain cleanliness and order. Using infrared and radio sensors, they will scan the room, detect garbage, make up a plan of the room and lay out the optimal cleaning route.
And when the battery is running low, they will return to the base for recharging themselves, then to continue.
But did you know that modern robotic vacuum cleaners can also guard the house? It is enough to install a web-camera with a control over the Internet on the robot. This will allow you to see what happens at home, wherever you are.
In addition, robots have been developed for washing windows, cleaning sewers, mowing lawns, cleaning pools, cleaning snow.
And this funny thing is no less useful – it can bring beer from the refrigerator:
There are even robots that can not be seen
Nanorobots, or nanobots – are the smallest representatives of the industry. They are developed, for example, to deliver medicinal substances directly to diseased organs or foci of infections.
In addition, molecular machines can count molecules in individual samples or track chemical processes in cars. Develop and nanorobots, which will be able to place the sperm in the egg:
Robots the size of several nanometers are primitive and devoid of electronics, but they fulfill their function. However, while it is a question of laboratory developments, instead of about industrial samples.
Conclusions: take the power of robots now, otherwise you will regret it
You can talk about robotics forever. We do not doubt that while this article was being written, several new robots appeared in the world.
Robots are convenient because they can be entrusted with boring, routine, heavy or delicate work. But who knows what relationship with robots will develop in people in the future? And personally do you?
Today they vacuum your house, tomorrow they will do your work, and the day after tomorrow they will expel from home. Hmm.