Humanoid Robots

How do humanoids work?

A perfect humanoid robot is one which replicates humans exactly in looks and actions and thinking capability. Each action that a humanoid needs to perform needs extensive programming and wiring to the components. Diverse components work together in order to make this machine humane. How are these components related and made to work as a single machine? Let’s take a look at it. How do robots work?

Perception

This part is used to give the robots the look and feel of the world. This is the sensing part of the humans given to the robots. Like humans, robots require eyes to see the world, hands to get the touch and feel, a pair of ears to hear and probably a nose to smell the dirty garbage that needs to be thrown. For the eyes, a camera is given to the robot and it captures input in the form of photos or videos. This input is processed later. Interestingly, microphones(things that we speak into) are used as the ears of the robot because it should listen to what we say. Odour sensors are used to detect smell.

Cognition

The thinking part of the robot is very essential to its working as it forms the bridge between the inputs received and the output performed. Artificial Intelligence acts as the brain for these robots. The Turing Test for Artificial intelligence determines its ability to think and be capable like a human being. AI determines the way in which inputs are Processed and which actions need to be done. It uses various concepts such as Image Processing, Audio Analysis, Natural Language Processing and the like to interpret data and make it into useful information. But Intelligence nowadays is only limited to the level of a Chatbot and there needs to be extensive training to make the robots really intelligent.

Movement

Each robot needs to do some work to justify its usage to humans. The output received from the intelligence needs to be acted upon. There are two parts in this: Actuators and Effectors. Actuators are the parts which generate the power for the working of the robot and Effectors are the devices which use this power to act on the environment. Motors are the best examples for actuators whereas the different parts of the humanoid robot like the arms and limbs constitute the effectors. These combine to perform actions like standing up, walking and the like.

History of Humanoids

Robots have been fascinating people and this trend started quite long ago when Leonardo da Vinci, in 1495, attempted to build the first-ever humanoid robot. This was an automaton, a mechanism that can automatically perform a series of steps continuously, that resembled a human. Also called Leonardo’s Mechanical Knight, the machine was able to stand, sit and maneuver his arms. However, Leonardo only sketched his plans and the robot was not built.

Roadblocks in Humanoid Development

The development of humanoid robots presents an exciting future ahead. Yet there are various factors that hinder the large-scale implementation of these or even the construction of better robots. A few of the major roadblocks are analysed here.

Cost

This is the most important reason why humanoid robots aren’t implemented on a large scale. A fully functional(with its limitations) humanoid robot can set you back by a cool USD 20,000. The worst part is that these humanoid robots are more of a showpiece rather than a robot with high productivity and usage. Therefore, humanoid robots are open for improvement to make them cost-effective and more useful on a day to day basis.

Privacy Issues

Humanoid robots shouldn’t be easy to hack into as they contain the knowledge related to working of the robot and other sensitive information. Any misuse could lead to the robots being dangerous and counter-productive. Companies creating these humanoids should give respect to the privacy of the user and not record video, audio or any other personal information of the user. Learn more.

Legislative Issues

Law for robots is emerging as a new form of law which establishes guidelines on the ethical and logical use of robots. Liability for defective robots, product liability and the damages they cause, protecting intellectual property (or innovations) about robots are certain concerns in this field. In addition to this, there are claims for a robot to have its own rights. Hence the Legal issues, Cyber security and Policy for robots needs to be considered.

Final Note

Humanoid robots are one of the most promising fields in robotics with great scope in future. With the look and feel of human beings, they’re tipped to replace humans in varied fields in the world. Various dull jobs such as data entry, librarians, receptionists, sewer management and jobs that could be automated such as tax preparation, tele-marketing can be done by robots. However, there is no need to have Frankenstein’s complex as a robot is only good if it serves a human.

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Rancho Labs

Rancho Labs

Tech enthusiasts fostering young minds to have a strong foothold in Coding | Robotics | Artificial Intelligence.