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A Modern Day Guide To Artificial Intelligence and Robotics

With every passing day, we see new advancements in artificial intelligence and its application in the field of robotics. The future holds a high possibility of growth in this field. Hence it brings a lot of exciting ideas to our plate, every passing day. To help you visualize these future possibilities, we have formulated a guide with some of the best examples of humanoid robots and how such digital humans might evolve in the near future.

Modern day robots are highly independent unlike the toddlers. They might require zero to some attention to keep their functionality in check. These modern humanoids are developed in such a way that they may raise mixed emotions such as admiration and fear, all at the same time. This human creation which may help the future become much easier, safer, tireless. At the same time, it also raises issue such a AI winter, colonization because of AI or scarcity of human jobs because of AI revolution.

The scope of AI revolution

It is surprising to know that the first humanoid robot dates back to 1494 BC. It was mechanical armored robot that could sit as well as walk. This robot was developed by the legendary genius Leonardo Da Vinci. Contrary to Da Vinci’s mechanical robot, today’s humanoids run on artificial intelligence. The modern day robots not only have the capability of walking and talking but are well equipped to perform specialized tasks. They show a heavy usage of sensors, motors and actuators. It is formulated in such a way that it resembles human limbs. With such high advancements, robots have the capability to make their way into every domain of work possible. Along with the humanly looks, these robots are well known for replicating human actions and behaviors.

With the male humanoids being referred as Androids and the female models as Gynoids, it has only the tip of the iceberg to make their robot-ish nature into a more human like form.

Leonardo Da Vinci’s mechanical Robot
Drawing based on Leonardo Da Vinci’s robot.

The History of Robotics

The term “Robot” was coined by the Czech term “forced labor”. Unlike modern day robots, these robots were made out of chemical batter. They were used actively in the field of automation in industries for producing mass scale goods. They were deployed in the industries due to their high efficiency and profit making.

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In modern days, a robot is considered to be a highly intelligent, physically capable to an extent that it can perform tasks autonomously. Modern day robots are capable of artificially synthesizing environments to autonomously traversing in various directions, they have it covered all. The robotic revolution started with Shakey, the first perceptive robot was developed in the SRI International, Sillicon Valley in 1960s. This was the first robot which followed all the guidelines making Shakey the first of the great masterpieces.

Following this, in 1961, Unimate, the first industrial robot was discovered and put to action in General motors plant to work with heated die- casting machines. In recent times, Unimate’s descendants are commonly found working in the automobile factories. Earlier, robots were mainly confined to working in factories where they were involved in mechanical jobs such as lifting. In 1960’s a humanoid development program was started by Honda. They came up with P3, a humanoid which can walk and shake hands in a room full of people. The modern day humanoids is only possible because of three main advance technologies: sensors, actuators and artificial intelligence.

Understanding The Robot Vocabulary

  1. Humanoid: Humanoids are those “dreamy-looking” classical sci-fi robots which are close to humanoids. these robots can walk and balance on two legs while simultaneously navigating through areas of human interests.
  2. Soft Robots: As the name suggests, these robots are engineered using material comparatively softer than the materials used to engineer humanoids. Soft robots are commonly seen engaged in the the factory based work.
  3. Actuators: Actuators act as the powerhouse for the robots. They are a combination of a gearbox and electric motors.
  4. Lidars: Lidars are devices attached on the robots which create a 3D of the surroundings around the robots. It blasts their surroundings with lasers and the visual mapping of the robot’s surroundings is generated. It is commonly used in robots which can navigate autonomously as well as in self driven cars.
  5. Singularity:This is a hypothetical state of being where machines such as robots become highly advanced so that they lead human into a state of societal and existential crisis.
  6. Multiplicity: This is a concept that the future robots won’t replace humans but rather complement their potential.

A Glance At The Modern Day Humanoid

  • Ocean One: Ocean One is a bi-manual underwater robot which was developed in the Stanford Robotics Lab. This robot is specialized in reaching unexplored depths of the ocean. Since it can swim up to places where humans cannot go, Ocean One is used in anthropological and underwater research related areas.
  • Petman: Petman is the short name for Protection Ensemble Test Manequin. Petman was develped by Boston Dynamics, the same company which had come up with the Atlas. When one sees Petman in use, it is commonly seen testing chemical as well as the biological suits for the US military.
  • Sophia: Sophia is a more human like humanoid developed by Hanson Robotics. She has the learning capability similar to that of humans. She can carry out human-like conversations and can give facial expressions similar to those of humans. Sophia is the world’s first robot citizen and is currently the innovation Ambassador for UNDP.
Sophia the humanoid
  • Robear: Robear is a modern day humanoid whose main role is to mimic human actions. Since this humanoid had gentle moves, it is deployed in the care giving centers of Japan.

The Future Of Robotics

It is commonly said that the future holds immense automation and robots are most likely to populate the world. This may seem a great idea however humanoid robots can only do so if they are self reliant. Artificial intelligence makes the humanoid more human like by enabling them with enhanced listening, understanding and responding qualities. To overcome this issue in hand, one can rely on modern modes such as enabling them with advance AI and machine learning developed learning techniques. Using techniques such as reinforcement learning humanoids can acquire knowledge from time to time without much human help. This process involves the machines to acquire knowledge and the ability to teach itself by giving a virtual reward each time it learns something new. Recently Google has tried implementing digital training through motion capture videos to train and program humanoids physical motion implementing reinforcement learning.

Robots and future

With so much exciting going on in the field of robotics, one can say for sure that the future lies in the hands of automation. Robots won’t take over the world but they most likely will turn a realistic scenario into a more poised one. Developers and engineers keep in mind the idea of multiplicity while working on such projects. It is clear that the automation boom has started hence making the developers more cautious about the new species they have introduced on the planet.

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Antara Kar
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