The idea of a mechanical agent functioning just like a human being has been a source of fascination for centuries. Even before it became the basis for Marry Shelly’s science fiction novel “Frankenstein” in 1818, the idea of an artificial human being attracted the interest of a great many people. As developments in technology made it possible to introduce designs with increasingly sophisticated behaviour, robots have come to be exploited by humans in a number of fields from medicine, to manufacturing and cooking.
Different uses of robots
Advanced medical robots have recently been developed to aid surgeons in performing complicated operations. Biologically inspired, robots in the form of worms make motions such as crawling and wriggling into patients bodies in order to cure brain and heart ailments. The advantages of using such machines are all too obvious: since they perform major surgeries while making only small, and sometimes almost no incisions, patients are less exposed to trauma, their healing time is significantly shortened and the likelihood of infections developing or scars being left is greatly reduced.
Furthermore, humanoid robots have also found use in testing medical students. Without the danger of inadvertently damaging the patient, these robots are often used to check the knowledge of the students.
Robots have become inextricably linked with mass production of consumer goods. In manufacturing, it is often the case that the job just cannot be accomplished by a human, and only micro and miniature robots can perform the desired function. However, the value of manufacturing robots does not only lie there; in manufacturing robots are mainly used for their speed, efficiency and accuracy. The use of robots has allowed companies to lower their costs while increasing productivity, so it is no wonder that they have come to be applied in all kinds of part production lines.
Recently, cooking robots can be found not only on exhibitions of technological development museums, but in actual restaurants. In several restaurants throughout Japan, for example, robots are the chefs preparing as intricate a meal as okonomi-yaki (Japanese pizza), pancakes or noodles. While many question whether a robot can cook better than a human, there is no doubt that the concept of cooking robots is fascinating to the public, which at least in the short-run is able to bring robot-using restaurants a greater number of clients.
This article is also available on TJC Oxford.