What is Robotics?

How Robotics Is Changing Our World

We live in an amazing time in which robots impact our lives every day. These machines wouldn't exist without robotics.

What Is Robotics?

To understand robotics, you must understand how these machines differ from other machines: They perform complex automatic actions. Originally, the term meant humanoid machines that could serve as inexpensive labor. Computer scientists, engineers and others use the word "robotics" to refer to the specific area of technological study involving all automatons. People who work in this area of computer science focus on engineering, programming and repairing them. They also use science to research new ways to bring these machines into businesses, warehouses, homes, medical facilities, schools and other areas.

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Robots All Around Us

This type of non-humanoid machine has been in use for years. A lot of people own disc-shaped automatic vacuums. Machines designed with a base and two arms assemble products at manufacturing sites. Many children and adults own miniature humanoid, vehicle and animal robots. There are also military ones that detect bombs and monitor dangerous areas so that soldiers lives aren't put at risk. If you follow space exploration, then you know that we also have machine researchers on Mars.

Humanoid machines don't yet play as much of a role in people's lives as the non-humanoid ones. Recently a humanoid home companion was released for public use. Although it doesn't look exactly human, it has the overall shape. Researchers have been attempting to create automatic machines called androids that are so realistic that you wouldn't be able to tell that you aren't interacting with a real person. One of the greatest problems with this research is that many people don't react well to machines that look human. This phenomenon is referred to as the "uncanny valley." Essentially, when certain people see a humanoid machine they experience aversion and unease. As a result, companies have found it difficult to market truly life-like ones to the public. Instead, many humanoid machines have been designed to look cute and non-threatening.

Robotics represents a field of study that can only continue to grow as our need for labor, exploration and new technology evolves. Scientists and fiction writers have both seen a future where these machines handle many of our most menial tasks. Medical professionals and doctors believe that surgeons will one day use micro-machines more than their own hands during complex surgeries.