When some people think of robots, visions of Terminator and The Matrix might come to mind, but the truth is, robots are making positive changes in our society every day. The fear that is associated with robots overtaking and destroying humans one day is outweighed by the fact that robots are saving lives and offering help to people today.
The armed forces were one the first groups to adopt robots to protect soldiers. Countries that experienced wars have an untold number of landmines buried just beneath the surface. At this time, there are millions of landmines around the world that are unaccounted for. These landmines get more dangerous the older they are and being near them poses an extremely dangerous situation for soldiers. The Digger D-3 is a remote controlled robot that looks more like a tank than a robot, and it takes away some of the risk by detonating them away from humans. There is a large chain attachment on the front of the Digger D-3 that pummels the ground. When a landmine is found, the robot takes the brunt of the explosion with little to no damage to itself.
The Da Vinci Surgical System performs minimally invasive surgeries on patients every single day, which translates into over 3 million surgeries since it was created. A surgeon controls the movements of the robot by simulating the surgical procedure, which the Da Vinci replicates the movements but they are more calculated. The robot is controlled by the surgeon at all times, but it probably won’t be too long until we see these robots performing surgery independently.
Clean Up of the Oceans
There are many problems facing our oceans like garbage, oil spills, and radioactivity. A self-steering robot called Protei is currently being designed to help clean up our oceans. The design for the small ships that are a few feet long, have a tail attached to the end that absorbs the oil and radioactivity in the water. These ships are unsinkable and react to the changes in the water.
Speaking of radiation, robots were used after the Fukishima-Daiichi nuclear power plant meltdown in March 2011. During and after the meltdown, additional work needed to be done as far as clean up so the situation wouldn’t spread or escalate. The radiation levels were too extreme for any human to go in safely, so robots that look like RC cars were used to keep the situation from getting worse.