Research robotics are used in several scientific and educational applications. Generally, the researchers conducting researches in various fields use robots to venture out into areas that could be impossible or dangerous to reach while gathering information or executing hazardous tasks.
There are various areas of applications for research robotics. They are used in education to facilitate learning, outer space and sea navigation, farming and mining industries, and insecurity. Using research robotics prevents exposing human researchers to dangerous environments and achieving autonomous control in executing repetitive tasks within an organization.
There are numerous types of robots, and new ones are being developed each day. It is not possible to discuss all of them in a single article. Hence, in this article, we shall explore some of the common types of research robotics.
Humanoid robotics is an emerging field in research robotics that has received increasing attention in recent years, especially in the role of robotics in various applications. The common goal behind the creation of humanoid robotics is understanding the underlying mechanisms of the human brain in processing information when dealing with real-world situations.
As technology advances, more ambitious goals are being set to create future humanoid robotics, which is expected to serve as human assistance in daily life and helpers in man-made and natural disasters.
For example, Go was considered a complicated game beyond the reach of even the most sophisticated computer programs. But in 2015, the AlphaGo AI system, a Google-owned company system, defeated the world’s best Go player Lee Se-Dol four matches to one.
Scientists are striving to create robots that do the things that humans do in the real world. For example, it is expected that in 2050 a team of humanoid robot football players will win against a recent team of world cup champions. This may not just be mere expectations. There has been considerable progress in developing humanoid robots that have highly advanced mechatronic systems and complex sensorimotor capabilities.
This type of humanoid robot offers a wide range of features for human and environmental interactions. It is used for handling objects, communication, and human services such as guidance, reception, and other forms of assistance through artificial intelligence and a wide range of sensors.
This humanoid robot has a user-friendly design that allows you to equip it with up to 6 modules to fit your needs and budget.
Currently, there are three Reach versions:
- Reach basic, Reachy expressive, and advanced reachy.
- Reach basic has three modules, the robot torso, an articulated robotic arm, and a manipulator in the form of a human hand or gripper.
- Reach expressive has all the aspects of the basic version plus the ability to communicate emotions with the public through mobile antennas.
Advanced Reach has all the modules, torso, head, two manipulators attached to two robotic arms.
Poppy is an open-source platform that allows science, education, and art experts to share interactive poppy robots. Poppy robots are designed to assist these experts in creating and sharing digital technology ideas. These robots use Dynamixel servomotors, and 3D printed parts.
Swarm robotics is robots that organize themselves to solve complex problems that individual robots cannot manage. It is a decentralized multi-robot system that is used for tasks like exploration, cleaning, and monitoring.
Swarm robotics consists of several simple and homogeneous agents that cooperate without a central control system. However, through their interaction, a collective behavior emerges, thereby making challenging problems easier to solve. Swarm robots are some quasi-organisms that can adapt to changes in the environment by communicating directly and indirectly and pursuing specific goals.
Indoor Mobile Robots
As the name suggests, these are robots that operate indoors. They are often used to carry out indoor research projects. Indoor robots like Dingo are lightweight, mobile, and compact robots that are designed for education and robotic research. These robots have two drive systems; omnidirectional and differential.
They also have expandable power and computing options, making them ideal for a range of applications such as autonomous navigation, mapping, and mobile manipulation. They are also compatible with a range of robot sensors and accessories.
Outdoor Mobile Robots
These types of robotics are quite similar to indoor robotics, but they are much heavier, weatherproof, can withstand more weight, and can move over all sorts of terrain. These robots are often used in fields such as security, explorations, farming, and mining.
An Autonomous Mobile robot is an example of an outdoor robot. This robot has a navigation and monitoring system designed to be used in big organizations with more than one building within their premises. This robot delivers items like equipment and documents from one building to the other. These robots save companies the delivery and labor costs. This robot navigates the pathways on its own, avoids obstacles, and returns to its original location.
Measuring 50cm by 60cm by 60cm and weighing 15kg, this robot can move a load weighing 10kg over a two-hour distance at a speed of 0.5-1.0 m/s. It also can sense objects and people around it, in which case it reduces its speed from 1 m/s to 0.5 m/s.
This is a robotics platform that is used for high-quality research. It has open-source software that is ROS-compatible. This robot has software that is easy to add, change or remove any sensor or component to suit your needs.
Robotics Arms and Manipulators
These are cobots with fast, accurate, and tireless arms designed to work alongside humans and increase productivity. Most cobots have software that is ROS compatible.
Research robots are devices that are used for research purposes, mainly to collect and analyze data. There are many types of research robots but the main ones are humanoid robots, swarm robots, Poppy robots, Key robots, and indoor and outdoor robots. These robots are also used to assess the efficiency of newly developed appliances and robotics software. You can also use them to conduct various studies involving movement, human interaction, and locomotion.