AI in Robotics



Robotics and artificial intelligence are two very distinct fields, despite the fact that this may seem clear. While artificial intelligence can be used to create robots, robotics can also advance without it, and the majority of systems do so already. We'll discuss the distinctions between robotics and artificial intelligence on this page, as well as the applications of AI in cutting-edge robotic technology.


What is Robotics?


Robotics is a field of engineering and computer science in which machines are constructed to carry out preprogrammed activities without additional human involvement. This concept is quite broad and encompasses everything from a basic mechanical arm used to assemble autos to science fiction creations like Wall-E or Amazon's planned Astro "Alexa on wheels" household robot.


Robots are typically utilized for activities that are either too challenging for people to complete well (such as moving incredibly large pieces on an assembly line), excessively repetitious or both. A robot will gladly perform the same taxing duty repeatedly every day. Humans tend to make mistakes when they are bored, tired, or both.


Are AI and Robotics The Same Thing?


Robotics and artificial intelligence, though occasionally (and wrongly) used interchangeably, are completely separate concepts. Through the use of artificial intelligence, systems may learn, solve issues, and come to choices on the fly without the need for well-coded instructions. Robotics is the field where machines are designed and programmed to carry out highly particular tasks. Most of the time, this just doesn't require artificial intelligence because the tasks are repeatable, predictable, and don't require further "thinking."


What is the role of AI in Robots?


Robotics and artificial intelligence can coexist despite this. Although there aren't many projects using AI in robotics, as our AI systems advance, such projects are likely to become more prevalent. Here are a few real-world instances of AI-powered robots.


AI Applied to Robotics


Household Robotics

The impending Astro bot from Amazon is the most visible instance of an AI-powered home robot. The robot, which resembles an Echo Show on wheels, uses artificial intelligence to travel on its own within the house. A periscope camera allows it to serve as your eyes and ears while you aren't home. The ability of robot vacuums to maneuver around furniture is not entirely new. But again, AI is taking on a bigger role in this. Most recently, iRobot, the manufacturer of the Roomba, declared that future machines will detect and avoid pet waste using machine learning and AI.


Manufacturing Robots

Industry 4.0, which also refers to robotic AI in manufacturing, has the potential to be more revolutionary. This may be as straightforward as a robot utilizing algorithms to find its way through a crowded warehouse, but businesses like Vicarious are applying AI on turnkey robots when the task is too complex for programmed automation. It is not acting alone.


The Shadow Dexterous Hand is another illustration of a robot employed in production. It is quick enough to pick tender fruit without smashing it and can learn by doing, which has the potential to revolutionize the pharmaceutical industry. The Site Monitoring Robot from Scaled Robotics, on the other hand, can patrol a construction site, survey the undertaking, and examine data to look for any quality problems.


Robotics in the Workplace

The delivery robots from Starship Technologies are a smart invention for any company that wants to send goods within a four-mile radius. The tiny robot on wheels can determine the best path to take on the go while avoiding external risks because it is outfitted with mapping systems, sensors, and AI. Things are improving much more in the catering area. Despite being named after the straightforward process of flipping burgers, Miso Robotics' Flippy employs 3D and thermal vision to learn from the kitchen it is in and can acquire new talents over time. The robotic kitchen at Moley's is another potential window into the future of catering.


Healthcare Robotics

Healthcare workers are frequently exhausted and overworked, and weariness can have deadly effects. Since robots never grow weary, they could possibly be the ideal replacement, and so-called "Waldo Surgeons" are capable of carrying out procedures with astounding accuracy and a steady "hand." But for robots to be helpful, they don't have to be able to carry out the tasks that highly skilled doctors undertake.


Simpler instances of healthcare robots can free up the time of medical professionals by handling less skilled work. For instance, Moxi can run patient samples and distribute PPE, giving human doctors more time to focus on patient care. Additionally, Cobionix developed a robot that can administer needleless immunizations without any form of human supervision during the coronavirus pandemic.


Agriculture Robotics

Although worker tiredness and labor shortages may not feel as acute in agriculture as they do in healthcare, there is another significant potential benefit: sustainability. For instance, Iron Ox combines artificial intelligence (AI) and robots to try and make sure that each plant receives the ideal amount of sunlight, water, and nutrients needed to ensure that it flourishes to its full potential.


Less water is wasted and farms create less trash thanks to the robotics and AI analysis of every plant. The idea is that the AI will keep picking up new skills from the data, increasing yield for further harvests. Another illustration of a robot used in agriculture is the Agrobot E-Series, which has 24 robotic arms and can harvest strawberries while also determining the freshness of each fruit with the help of artificial intelligence.


Military Robotics

The military is less eager to highlight its accomplishments than other organizations deploying robotic AI for less contentious goals, for obvious reasons, yet the future of AI weaponry is very real, and autonomous military drones have participated in actual conflict.


Aerospace Robotics

While NASA is presently attempting to enhance the artificial intelligence of its Mars rovers and developing a robot that can automatically repair satellites, other businesses are also eager to further space exploration through robotics and AI. For instance, Airbus' CIMON, a form of Alexa in space, is intended to help astronauts with their daily activities and alleviate stress through speech recognition, as well as serve as an early warning system to identify issues.


Additionally, NASA isn't the only group developing autonomous rovers. In the not-too-distant future, iSpace's own rover might be in charge of constructing the foundations of a "Moon Valley" colony away from Earth with the use of onboard tools.


Software Robotics

To further complicate matters, the word "bot," which is an acronym for "robot," can also be used to refer to computer programs that carry out activities on their own Additionally, these at times make use of AI. Software bots, which can include anything from web crawlers to chatbots, are not considered robotics because they lack a physical presence. In order to effectively reply to signals supplied by people, the latter of these embraces artificial intelligence.


Why wouldn't you want to use robotics with artificial intelligence?


The primary defense against artificial intelligence in robots is that it frequently isn't required. Since the jobs currently performed by robots are routine and predictable, introducing any kind of AI would be unnecessary since the work already requires sufficient "thinking." On the other hand, most robotics systems to date have been created with the boundaries of artificial intelligence clearly in mind.


In other words, because there wasn't much room for them to be able to do anything more complex, the majority of robots have been built to execute simple, programmable jobs. It's likely that over the following decades, as artificial intelligence continues to grow at a rapid rate, the distinction between robotics and AI will become even hazier.


In Conclusion


Artificial intelligence and robotics are unrelated but distinct fields. Robotics is the process of building machines that can complete tasks without human assistance, whereas AI is the process through which machines mimic human decision-making and "learn." Although robotics can have an AI component (and vice versa), both can exist independently of one another and typically do. Most simple, repetitive task-performing robots don't require sophisticated AI because their jobs are straightforward, predictable, and pre-programmed.


However, many of these AI-free robotics systems were developed keeping in mind the past limitations of AI, and as the technology continues to advance at a breakneck pace every year, robotics manufacturers may feel more confident in pushing the boundaries of what is possible when combining the two disciplines. The above-mentioned applications of artificial intelligence in manufacturing, aerospace, healthcare, and agriculture should give us reason to be optimistic about the future of robotics and AI.


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