The unstoppable improvements of modern technologies, in the same line, robots are introduced into various fields to assist the human's reckless abilities to improve their live. They have been widely used in industrial sector and also for personal use. The creation of robots is not only to assist us, but they give us good opportunities to be our substitute for exploration and experiment the new risky things that human had never dare to try but hunger to achieve.
Isaac Asimov (January 2, 1920 - April 6, 1992)Generally, in all human's thoughts, robots are human-like machines that have heads and limbs, move and talk like human, either with or without their own thoughts and can be fully automatic, or partially otherwise completely controlled by human. However in the world of reality, the basic concept of a robot is: "a machine which is programmed to move and perform multitude tasks automatically, or may be partially controlled by human". It does not mean that robots must be built mimic to human, in fact they can be in any forms and shapes with different appearances as long as they meet the basic concept. According to a popular science fiction author, Isaac Asimov , he came out with 3 basic laws for robots, which they called it call "Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics":
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As we all know, human's abilities are limited. Thus, we need something to fulfil our incompleteness and we have chosen the robots to do that for us. This can be clearly described when we use robots to carry and move heavy objects in our daily life.
Land mine detectorOr, in the condition that risky jobs involve which may sacrifice the priceless life of human being, it will be wise to use robots as to replace the jobs for us to avoid any unnecessary sacrificing. Exploration for mines, space and underwater are example of highly dangerous tasks and these places are almost impossible for human to access. Sacrificing robots which can be valued in money is a much more intelligent act instead of sending the human's priceless souls to the path of death. In addition, assistance from robot's arms for handling hazardous and acidic chemicals can also be widely used in laboratories to take the place of human's arms.
Autonomous robot cleanerAnother main reason for the existence of robots is because of the demand of human to enjoy ease and comfort in their life. Everyone in this world is demanding to live in the best and easiest way in their life, without the need to do anything and waits to be served, in another words, the laziness of human beings caused the existence of robots. Example, there are robots being invented to clean and vacuum the house. Apparently, human in the world today are so lazy until they do not wish to do the household chores by themselves. Although this statement is not fair, but yet this is one of the very true facts. For workaholics, these robots are perfect in sharing responsibilities of household chores.
Sensors are the sensory system for robots, are much like human's "5 senses": sight, touch, smell, hearing, and taste. The robot's sensors sense the environmental like touch, distance, light, sound, strain, rotation, magnetism, smell, temperature, inclination, pressure, or altitude. Then it provides the data that must be processed to provide information to allow the robot to respond. Robots are equipped with sensors so they can have an understanding of their surrounding environment and make changes in their behavior. The following are the common sensors used in robots :
When it comes to space exploration, by automatically we know that robots have been contributing a lot, or accomplishing most of the space exploration tasks. The only planet that human has set foot on, besides Earth is the Moon. However, our tremendous robots have set their feet in planets like Mars, Venus, Jupiter and including few comets and asteroids . Without them, human will not be able to know how the other planets look like and of course, without them human will never know that aliens do not appear in the planets within Solar System. We would not conclude that aliens do not appear in our real life because there are no researches stating that robots have been successfully sent out and explored the whole Universe and so, we never know what is going on outside our "Universe". Robots have been used widely in this field because of the not-habitable environment for human beings. Eliminate the matter of oxygen; human are not able to cope with the different pressure and gravitational force on the other planets. Therefore costly astronaut suits have been created and in fact they are already being created, and this will never be an intelligence act. There are also risks involved when sending human to the planets and back to the Earth. Several cases happened in the past where explosions of space shuttle caused death to human.
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Logo of NASAIt is common when people talk about space exploring, they will think of NASA , in full National Aeronautics and Space Administration. NASA is an agency that has been established on July 29, 1958. Before the establishment of NASA, National Advisory Committee for AeronauticsÂ (NACA) is also an agency which is responsible for every space programs in United States. NASA has led the human nation towards the knowledge of space, after launching Apollo to the Moon, and then invented and released the space station, Skylab and later the Space Shuttle.
The historical moment when Neil Armstrong represented his nation to be the first man to step on the Moon.Apollo program is one of the world's most amazing events in the history that it was the first program that brought human to the Moon and back to the land safely. Apollo 1 caused a tragedy that kills all the astronauts who were inside due to a fire during experimental simulation. Thus, several experiments and observations had carried out before they boarded the human and sent them to the Moon. At last Apollo 11 had successfully landed the first men on the moon, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin .
Skylab was the first space station that had been launched to the orbit by United States in 1973. In the space station there are laboratories prepared for the researchers to carry out scientific experiments and studies such as the Sun, space flight, metallic-crystal growth, microgravity, and solar observatory. But in few years time, Skylab fell from the orbit on 11 July 1979. Currently Skylab have been replaced and named as International Space Station (ISS) .
The famous robots in space with no doubt have to be the series of Orbiters, Rovers and Landers that have been sent to Mars in the previous years. The first orbiter which was sent to Mars on July 14, 1965 is Mariner 4. Launching of Mariner 4 has been a great achievement as it enables the human to have a closer relation on the other planets after
Great amount of water required to cause the erosion shown. Picture taken by Viking 1 on Mars.it sent back the photos of Mars. In the series of Landers, 2 Viking Landers, Viking 1 and Viking 2 had been released to Mars in the year 1976 with the accompaniment of orbiters that send back photos and scientific data. Life detection application was installed to the landers to detect life on Mars but however, the result sent back an unclear data. From the newest research by NASA, they found that the Mars is covered with large amount of gas called Methane, which is also one of the main components found in the Earth. Methane gas in the Earth is largely produced by organism when digesting of nutrients. However, it can also being released to the air through geological processes. Thus, it is still unclear whether if there are organisms survive under the permafrost layer of Mars . There are other more advance robots that have been sent for planetary exploration. These include Sojourner and Mars Exploration Rovers (MERs). The 2 robots mentioned are tele-operated which they required human's control. However, MERs have been a better robot due to larger mechanical size and also equipped with better communication and instrumentation than Sojourner. Sojourner was sent to Mars in 1997 and MERs is in 2004 .
However, in such numbers of space robots, Sputnik 1 has been the very first robot that was sent to the space. Mariner 2 by U.S. was the first robot that flown to Venus on 12 December 1962. In the same year, a Russian space robot, Venera 7 was the first human-made vehicle to successfully land on another planet and transmits data back to Earth.
Voyager 1There was a mission, the Voyager mission, sent robot and explore the world outside of our Solar System. Voyager 1 and 2 were launched in 1977. Voyager 1 as in June 19, 2009, was at a distance about 16.49 billion kilometres away from the Sun, currently the furthest man-made object in the space .
In these decades, there are numerous missions that have been set and hopefully soon or later, robots can help to accomplish these missions.
2.5 Side Effects of Robots
The side effect of robots is mean that the negative issues or disadvantages which robots will bring to our world if there are over used or over populated. Although robots is create to assist us human to improve our life, but they may bring harm to us as well if we do not use them wisely.
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From the research we made, there are some disadvantages of robotic system and robots, when normal people to operate the robots, the functions are limited and only the creator or programmers what those functions are. Although robots is been programmed, but they may not function properly in case of an emergency or unexpected occasion. The cost for built the robots and robotic systems are very high, this make it needs to have full consideration before built it. Besides, it may need to have more extra funds and spaces to provide the facilities to build the robots.
There are some moral issues occur if the robotic systems and robots have over used. The too much using of robots and robotic systems in our society making us human beings become more dependent upon robot. Because of this, many people will always depend on robots to done their works (this could be possibly happen like in the movie "Surrogates", where the human just stay in their home and control their look alike robot to works). The advance use of robots and robotic systems may replace the human labour and causing people to lose their jobs and facing economic matter.
In medical field, if the robotic systems and robots have taking over majority of the doctor's job for example, certain surgeries, this may cause certain people may not be able to access the services due to lack of funds. This may also happen in some other fields, this can be describe in military field, because robots are more advance therefore, which country that are rich and own many military robotics system and robots will be the most powerful country. These mean that, if we do not want this negative effect to be happening in the future, we should wisely use the robots and balance the functions with our human life.
2.6 Expectation on Future Robots
There is no doubt to say human is imaginative. Since in the earlier decades, human has came out with lots of weird but amazing things, including robots and made them possible! Human is not only imaginative, but brightly intelligent as well. This can be explained by the influencing-movies regarding robots that was produced and shown on the screen. People are amazed by how the robots can be used in the future, how robots can make their life simpler! However in the current situation, there are all still in an imaginary-state, but we believed, with human's intelligence and the capabilities for them to go beyond their limits, robots as in the movies or cartoons will be soon possible and introduce into our life.
Robots have been believed to do things more efficiently than a human can do. However, in term of cost, it is yet unreasonable to pay at incredibly price to purchase a robot slave. So in the future, people are expecting robots can be very common with reasonable cost in production and purchasing.
According to researches, majority of the people wished that inventors and scientist can put more attention and emphasized on robots for home purposes and medical. It is because of very simple reason - a simple life. Robots for space exploration, military and industrial maybe too unrelated to some of the people (in fact, this indicates the selfishness of human). Unlike home purpose robots and medical robots, all human can have it. Everyone in the world has at least a home and they fall into illness. The working groups who seldom have time to tidy up their houses can take the chance to use robots that can take up all household chores for them or sharing their workload. According to a report from University of Plymouth, U.K., the report shows that most of the people wish robots to do housework for them. In the term of "housework", they also break it into different categories including household, gardening, guarding of houses, looking after elderly or children and entertainment. The result shows most of the people prefer the robots to do household (vacuuming, washing, make beds and other general cleaning).
An in-house doctor robot is also one of the expectations of people in the future. Lots of cases happened in the past where people suffered to death due to the late discovery of their sickness. If there is a 24-hour standby doctor robot which can be easily accessed in one's house, there will be no more cases as mentioned above or at least, it reduce the percentage of people died due to late discovery. Besides having a doctor in house to examine one's body situation, they are expecting the hospitals to widely use the robots in surgery rooms. As discussed in the previous context, robotic surgeries have already existed in our life but yet, they are not widely used. Risky surgery that requires minimal movements can be done with the assistant of robot arms, thus increasing the confidence of people towards surgeries and reducing the percentage of death. But due to costly robots, only few hospitals in western countries used such surgery systems.
Anyhow, people are not expecting the future robots can do more on the battlefield. When we said robots do more in battlefield, by automatically most of the people will think that robots will fight more in the war, killing more civilians and conduct a greater attack. Rather than performing in such ways, we can ask robots to do more in saving life, instead of killing life. Rescue robot by BEAR has made a good inspiration to the robot engineers to produce more robots for saving life. But no matter to kill or to save, what people really want is: there is only peace in this world, without any wars.
The space authorities have been hoping for more robots that can travel around our Universe, searching for new life and habitats. If one day in the future the doomsday arrives just as in prediction, human will still have a new place to stay in, keeping the generations to grow. The mysteries of UFO and aliens can be completely solved without anymore question. With the advance technologies in space exploration field, travelling around the Universe have been a brilliant idea that people in the future can take a ride to peek the beauty of Universe.
According to a Professor of Computer Science in University of Sheffield (England), Prof. Noel Sharkey said that employment of robots that are fully autonomous and capable to make decision themselves should be limited and take into action. He also claims that Artificial Intelligent is never that intelligent when weapon-equipped autonomous robots have been employed into battlefield as they will not know on how to differentiate the combatants and civilians, thus resulting that more life to be sacrificed.
"People talk about programming the 'laws of war' into a computer to give robots a conscience, so that if the target is a civilian you don't shoot. But for a robot to recognize a civilian you need an exact specification, and one of the problems is there's no specific definition of a civilian. Soldiers have to rely on common sense." - Prof. Noel Sharkey.
Prof. Sharkey further said, "The military have a strange view of artificial intelligence based on science fiction. The next thing that's coming, and this is what really scares me, are armed autonomous robots. The robot will do the killing itself. This will make decision-making faster and allow one person to control many robots. A single soldier could initiate a large scale attack from the air and the ground."
Yet, they are also experts who see great bright future of robots. Professor Janet Wiles from University of Queensland's School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering Head said that: "Some very clever engineers...with very clever scientists to map the future of robotics - and it was going to be a very different world. We're doing a combination of the fundamental science and the translation into the technology and that's one of the great benefits of our project."
In Prof. Wiles's mind, she thinks that robots will be particularly important in the coming centuries. Besides of doing household chores and some basic tasks like what they have now, robots will evolve into a smarter machine that can even replace the limbs and joints of a human. These technologies have already being used in the world today, however not common.
"It's not going to be the robots and us. Already a lot of people are incorporating robot components; people who have had a leg amputated who now have a knee and in the knee. It is effectively a fully-articulated robotic knee [with] a lot of the spring in the step that a natural knee has," Professor Wiles said.