Robots, Robotics and automation have fascinated humans for ages. Robots are also staple themes in si-fi and in some cases, entrepreneurs, researchers and scientists have taken a cue from fiction to visualize the art of the possible.
Robotics is the science and technology behind the design, manufacturing and application of robots, and here are a couple of descriptions.
Robotics is the interdisciplinary branch of engineering and science that includes mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computer science, and others. Robotics deals with the design, construction, operation, and use of robots, as well as computer systems for their control, sensory feedback, and information processing. – Wikipedia
Automation or automatic control, is the use of various control systems for operating equipment such as machinery, processes in factories, boilers and heat treating ovens, switching on telephone networks, steering and stabilization of ships, aircraft and other applications and vehicles with minimal or reduced human intervention. – Wikipedia
History of Robotics and Automation
Let us begin the review with a brief history of automation
- Manual Control – In this method everything was done manually. The industrial age automated some aspects of manufacturing but the operations were still controlled and managed manually.
- Hardwired Control – This was considered to be the first step towards automation. Automation was done by designing control logic using analog timers and counters along with relays and contactors.
- Electronic Control – In this method logic gates and microprocessors started replacing the relays and contactors in the control circuit.
- PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) – PLC is an industrial computer control system that continuously monitors the state of Input devices and make decision based upon user program to control the state of output devices.
Modern Robotics is a branch of engineering technologies that involves the conception, design, manufacturing, and operation of intelligent systems. This field overlaps with electronics, computer science, artificial intelligence, electrics, mechanics, micro/nanotechnology, biology, medicine, etc.
Robotics technology holds the potential to transform the future of the country. Adoption of robots in flexible manufacturing generates economic production systems. A key driver in adopting robotics technology is the aging population that results in an aging workforce. Robotics technology allows “human augmented” labour that enables acting on the vision of co-workers who assist people with dirty, dull, and dangerous tasks. Robotics technology will allow an acceleration of in shoring of jobs, and longer-term, will offer improved quality of life in a society
Automation is the process or a combination of various technologies which represents the human control over the technical equipment’s to monitor or control the production and delivery of products and services. Automation provides benefits virtually to all the industries:
- Manufacturing: including food and pharmaceutical, chemical and petroleum, pulp and paper.
- Transportation: including automotive, aerospace, and rail.
- Utilities: including water and wastewater, oil and gas, electric power, and telecommunications.
- Facility operations: including security, environmental control, energy management, safety, and other building automation and many others.
- Other sectors including Defense
How should Corporate IT leaders approach Automation and Robotics?
Emerging technologies like industrial robots, artificial intelligence, Automation and machine learning are advancing at a very rapid pace. Intelligent machines and ‘bots’ are already being employed in ways we never thought possible a few years ago. While machines may be able to match us in logic, when it comes to creativity, they are woefully inadequate. There are really only two human enterprises: creation and implementation. We design things, come up with interesting strategies and ideas and then we execute them.
In the present world of rapid technological changes there is an urgent demand for the very best quality products and services that can only be supplied by a high level of productivity which requires automated manufacturing and process engineering systems.
A few startups engaged in robotics and automation include
GreyOrange is a multinational technology firm that designs, manufactures and deploys advanced robotics systems for automation at distribution and fulfillment centers. They combine expertise in robotics, hardware and software engineering to solve operational inefficiencies in warehouse operations at both third-party logistics vendors as Gridbotsll as companies with in-house logistics functions. With in-house Mechanical, Electrical, Embedded, UI/UX, Software department and quality assurance teams, GreyOrange ensures unquestioned quality of all their products.
Gridbots – a young technology and Innovation – Robotics company from India and work in the field of Robotics – Artificial Intelligence and Machine Vision. Founded in August 2007 by young and passionate innovator Mr. Pulkit Gaur [TED Fellow and MIT Young Innovator of the year]. Gridbots today are a team of more than 30 people – Head quartered in Ahmedabad. Gridbots have sales and support offices in Jaipur – Meerut and Faridabad – India. Since inception the company has been growing exponentially both in terms of market share and technological capabilities day by day.
Systemantics – An Industrial Robotics company headquartered out of Bangalore, India. The company is on a mission to enable widespread adoption of flexible automation in industry. With the experience of having implemented custom turnkey solutions for several clients, the company has accomplished several innovations in robotics and industrial automation such as under water robots and walking machines. Systemantics is focused exclusively on manufacture of high-quality industrial robots with design innovations that facilitate affordable solutions and a faster ROI.
Asimov Robotics – Aims to be a single window Solution and Services provider who can meet all robotics/automation needs. They provide engineering products solutions and consultancy in the areas like robotic simulation and control, machine-vision, training, virtual reality, and navigation applications. Their systems/solutions provide the customers a competitive advantage. They have expertise in designing and developing customized solutions to meet specific requirements to maximize profit, maintain quality, reduce risk and to support research.
Check out an earlier article that includes foresight:
| June 2017 Reproduction with permission only |