Remember “I will be back” from the movie “The Terminator“.
Robots or the metal men that we have today don’t look like the ones in sci fi movies. They look like machines controlled by computers. They can do the same work over and over again without getting tired or bored. Sometimes they do the work that is dangerous or impossible for humans to do like exploring outer space. Curiosity exploring Mars is a perfect example of that. The robots that are a part of bomb disposal squad help save lives. A lot of robots help the surgeons in their surgeries.
So how does a Robot learn to do all this work?
Well, the computer inside the Robots do the remembering or the learning. The memory of the computer remembers all the instructions which the programmer has coded. So the machine does whatever the computer tells it to do. When robots were first introduced it was the automotive industry. Now they are used in military, medicine, packaging, space, domestic purposes and electronics. In fact, there are some robots that are also used for fruit picking in orchards.
How do these robots performs each of the tasks? Its simple. They are trained to do it.
The Robots don’t have any of the five senses that us humans have. So how do they explore the surroundings that they cannot see or diffuse a bomb if they cannot touch? Well, they have cameras that work as eyes and microphones that work as ears.
While they make life easier for humans they also give rise to unemployment as they are doing the job of humans. Using robots for military purposes is done with some discomfort as they cannot make decisions like humans.
The first “humanoid” robot named Elektra was designed in 1939. It spoke more than 700 words. In 1495, Leonardo da vinci had probably designed a humanoid robot. We have come a far way as TOPIO, a humanoid robot, recently played ping pong at Tokyo International Robot Exhibition (IREX) 2009.
Japan has the highest number of robots, almost 40% of the robots in the world. Europe has 32%, North America has 16%, Australia and Africa use just 1% of the robots. Remember the famous Robot, created by the Ishikawa Oku Laboratory in Japan which could beat you in the game of ‘Rock Paper Scissor’ all the time.
What separates them from us? Intelligence. A lot of work has been done in the field of artificial intelligence and robots are becoming smarter each day. But where should we stop, should we make them as intelligent as us? Would it be a threat to humanity?
Pretty soon we might have a humanoid robot who can speak, walk and think just like the ones in the Sci fi movies and books.
Very interesting to see the the machines that were made to help humans might become humans in the future.