From automation to robotic assistance

Many industry sectors rely on robots for repetitive tasks and high level of precision

By Philippa Martin-King

The July e-tech takes a look at automation and the advent of robotics in daily life.

Robot guarding system. Source: Automation Technology Inc.
Robot guarding system. Source: Automation Technology Inc.

From electromechanics to helper

Today, it comes as no surprise to find fully automated production lines in most manufacturing plants. Electromechanical devices carry out a broad variety of sophisticated repetitive actions. But until quite recently, the role of robots barely went beyond this mechanical automated functionality.

Robots and robotics are becoming increasingly sophisticated, both in functionality and in operation, and are being used in a multitude of environments. In production plants they carry out a broad variety of operations that are highly repetitive, dangerous or need a level of precision that can't be matched easily by humans.

Healthcare

In healthcare they are used to lift and transport patients, they control prostheses or provide stimulating companionship for Alzheimer patients. In education, programmable systems interact with the young, for example in kindergartens where they take on the role of additional assistants, allowing teachers to focus on those kids that need extra help.

To the rescue

Under water, in fires and volcanoes, at the centre of nuclear reactors, robots can handle tasks that are too dangerous for humans. To do so, they depend on a broad array of advanced electrotechnology and artificial intelligence where sensors, cameras and remote controls co-exist with cables, connectors and communication protocols built on IEC International Standards.

Articles in this month's e-tech look at the role of automated and robotic systems in a variety of surroundings.

Gallery
Robot guarding system. Source: Automation Technology Inc. Robot guarding system. Source: Automation Technology Inc.
Miniaturized systems for robotic control Miniaturized systems for robotic control
Philippa Martin-King, Managing Editor, e-tech. Philippa Martin-King, Managing Editor, e-tech.